Arts and Entertainment

Documentary Profiling Maple Batalia to Screen at VISAFF in Surrey

Maple‘ is a documentary profiling the life and loss of Maple Batalia, the 19 year old health sciences student, aspiring actress and model who was gunned down in 2011.

Maple Batalia, a 19 year old health sciences student, aspiring actress and model, was gunned down in a Surrey parking lot on September 28, 2011. Her death sparked outrage in the community, and after five years of court appearances and trials, Gary Dhaliwal was found guilty of second degree murder, and sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Gary’s accomplice, his “eyes and ears” of the operation, Gursimar Bedi, was sentenced to 18 months in January of 2017. ‘Maple’ tells the story of a girl whose passion for life was unparalleled, and who had an impact on everyone she encountered during her short life. In the film, we hear from prominent members of the community, including Barinder Rasode and Pink Orchid Studio’s Shannon Mann and Harp Sohal. It sheds light on prevalent issues in the community, such as gender inequality and domestic violence, particularly in the South Asian community.

Jasleen Kaur is a director, producer and actress from Vancouver, BC. In 2016, she graduated with distinction from Capilano University’s Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts Degree Program, and has produced several short films and music videos. Her directorial debut, Maple, is an official selection at VISAFF 2017 and was also screened at TSAFF 2017, where it won for Best Documentary. Currently, she works as a producer at Hodgee Films alongside multiple award winning director, Brent Hodge.

Statement by Director, Jasleen Kaur:

I never met Maple Batalia, but she lived close-by and was born on the exact same day as me: March 4, 1992.

I remember the morning I found out that she had been killed. I had opened my laptop and was scrolling through, only to find an article about the homicide that had occurred that night. Alone in my room, I remember yelling ‘NO’ at my laptop.

How does something like this happen? How does a 19 year old girl who would never hurt a fly and had so much going for her, just be murdered?

I spent the next five years obsessively following the case, learning everything I possibly could. When I graduated with my film degree in 2016, I knew I wanted to do something that related to Maple’s case. I wanted to use my education and experience to figure out a way to shed light on this issue and help in any way I could. I contacted Maple’s sister, Roseleen Batalia, and told her that I wanted to do a documentary about her sister. She was completely supportive of any initiative that would raise awareness about the type of horrendous violence that killed her sister, so I got to work.

I want this documentary to tell Maple’s story, about who she truly was, and not just who the media portrayed her to be. When talking to her best friends, they told me a story about a girl who didn’t like attention, who was generous and kind, and would drop everything if she knew that someone needed her. I want to tell THAT girl’s story.

I want people to see the type of impact this type of tragedy can have on not just family and friends of victims, but to the community around them. This type of violence cannot be tolerated. Maple was like a daughter to so many, she was like a sister, a friend; the list goes on. It could have happened to any one of us, which is why we have to stand together and make a stand for what’s right. #WeAreAllMaple

“Maple” will screen at the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, held from Nov. 16 to 19 at Surrey City Hall. Visit VISAFF for your complete festival guide.


VISAFF 2017 Media Contact : Paarull JS Bakshi, Paarull Communications Ltd., 604-318-4913, paarullb@gmail.com

Paarull JS Bakshi
Paarull is a Public Relations and Marketing Professional who has experience with covering clients from various industries and has also written for many publications. She runs her own firm , Paarull Communications Ltd. that handles PR, Marketing, Advertising Management, and Event Management. She can be contacted at paarullb@gmail.com or at 604-318-4913
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