KDocsFF partners with Sher Vancouver to offer a filmmaker residency prize

The Emerging Filmmaker Residency Prize provides access to a workspace, equipment, and consultations

KDocsFF and Sher Vancouver have partnered together to offer a residency prize for a promising Metro Vancouver filmmaker. (Submitted)

KDocsFF and Sher Vancouver have partnered together to offer a residency prize for a promising Metro Vancouver filmmaker. (Submitted)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University based social justice film festival KDocsFF announced on April 17 it’s partnering with Sher Vancouver, a charity for 2SLGBTQIA+ South Asians and allies, to offer a residency prize for a promising Metro Vancouver filmmaker.

The Emerging Filmmaker Residency Prize will provide a jury-selected filmmaker, who has less than five professional credits, four-month access to the KDocsFF Social Justice Lab in the Cedar building at KPU’s Surrey campus, an interdisciplinary workspace set to open this fall.

 “They’re artistry sometimes goes unnoticed,” says Greg Chan, KDocFF’s community outreach director.

 “These are critical, social justice, [and] intersectional stories. Some of them are very quiet and some of them don’t get the recognition they deserve, and we want to amplify those voices so that these stories do get heard.”

 The lab will have editing equipment and other devices available, like 3D and colour printers. The winner will also have access to consultations with the KPU film studies faculty and test audiences made up of students and staff.

 “It’s very exciting for the potential filmmaker in residency, because they will have the campus community supporting them in this initiative,” Chan says. “There’ll be a lot of opportunities to get feedback on their work as they’re developing it.”

Chan, who sits on the jury for the residency prize, says out of the about 70 submissions already sent in, applicants are most excited about sharing their work with an academic audience and collaborating with them.

 In addition to the residency, the selected filmmaker will also receive a cash prize, which was originally set at $500.

“Emerging filmmakers often have financial struggles too to realize their projects, so in consultation with the KDocs team, we have increased [the cash prize] to $1,000,” Chan says. 

KDocsFF and Sher Vancouver will contribute $500 each.

This is not the first time KDocsFF has partnered with Sher Vancouver. During the pandemic, KDocFF screened two films from the organization, My Name Was January in 2020 and Emergence: Out of the Shadows the following year.

Chan reached out to Sher Vancouver founder Alex Sangha about partnering for a third time, by supporting the charity’s newly developed Sundar Prize Film Festival.

 While the Sundar Prize is open to international submissions, the residency is for local filmmakers only.

“We really wanted to give local filmmakers a chance, because technically, in this round, all the top international films could win all the prizes. So we wanted to give local filmmakers … a chance of winning a prize,” Sangha says.

 Both Sangha and Chan want the residency prize to continue and be offered as an ongoing program.

“We will always be there for KDocs, because they were always there for us,” Sangha says.

“We also want to work with and nurture Surrey filmmakers and provide opportunities for everyone in our community to reach [their] potential and capacity and also to provide them with the platform to share their work.”

The residency will be awarded at the inaugural Sundar Prize Film Festival at Surrey City Hall, which takes place June 15 to 16 next year.

The regular deadline to enter the competition is July 1. The late deadline is Oct. 1 and the extended deadline is Jan. 1, 2024, which both have higher entrance fees.

The Sundar Prize accepts films from any theme, but encourages filmmakers to cover themes like human rights, people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community, and social justice issues. 

BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and marginalized filmmakers are strongly encouraged to apply.

Visit www.filmfreeway.com/sundarprize to learn more and make a submission.