Blog | Intercultural Development | Centre For Excellence

Bringing Identity to the Silver Screen

  • Bringing Identity to the Silver Screen

What do hockey, the Intercultural Centre, and popcorn have in common? Why the REEL Canada Film Festival of course! 

The Intercultural Centre was proud to co-host the 3rd annual festival with REEL Canada, on March 18th.  Over 700 learners attended the event, which focuses on exposing English language learners to Canadian films.  Each year REEL Canada provides opportunities for learners in high schools as well as adult English language learners to view films either in schools or movie theatres.  We were fortunate to host our learners at Eau Claire Market Cineplex theaters. 

Attendees viewed the hit movie Breakaway (2011), a film about a Sikh man from Toronto who forms an all Sikh hockey team to rival the best teams in the league, after experiencing discrimination when trying out for another team.  The movie highlighted the experiences, pressures, and constant balancing act that many individuals face in negotiating their identity in Canada. 

However, the movie wasn’t the only treat that the learners received.  At the end of the movie, they were ecstatic to see that the main actor, Vinay Virmani, showed up for an intimate and candid Q&A with the learners.  Vinay expressed his own experiences growing up as a Sikh Canadian.  Vinay was asked questions on everything from acting with other major Bollywood talent, to bullying, and multigenerational interactions with his parents. Vinay also provided students to a sneak peek for his new movie, Dr. Cabbie, where he plays a cab driver who is also a doctor.  The film identifies with the struggles faced by internationally trained professionals, however his story takes many comedic turns!

Interested in viewing a film on identity and culture? The Intercultural Centre will be celebrating National Film Day with a free screening of Double Happiness (1994) on April 29th, 2014 in room N124. Look out for details on BVCTV or come visit us at the Intercultural Centre!