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Monster: Not Just Another Film About South Asian Gang Violence In Surrey

inderveer sodhi, monster, film, surrey, gang violence, surrey604, taslim jaffer writer

This is not your typical film about a South Asian teen involved in a Surrey gang.

In fact, this isn’t your typical film at all.

One conversation with filmmaker and actor Inderveer Sodhi, who created Monster, will turn every stereotype you have on its head. Sodhi describes Monster as a “socially-relevant story and burning cause that our community should be aware of. Often throughout the years, many filmmakers have attempted to tell these stories but unfortunately do not do justice to the depiction of South Asian culture, the lifestyle of first generation teenagers and their immigrant parents, and the city. Worst of all is the glamorization of the violence and abuse involved in these issues.”

Sodhi’s primary motivation in creating this work was to give the community the whole story – why and how people end up in this life or on the front page of the paper. Having grown up with many labels himself, Sodhi says he can relate to the those in his city who are also stereotyped and misunderstood. “I wanted to make a film that would make people cry for someone they wouldn’t necessarily cry for.”

He goes on to say, “Not only does this film completely illustrate the real lives of Surrey teens, it also encompasses the audience into the real world lifestyle of most teenagers today, with the incorporation of social media, music and culture, as well as the religious and personal growth aspects to the current gang violence issue. This film focuses on the teenagers who have just freshly graduated out of high school and become victims of circumstance, the script follows these characters in environments hidden from the public and also hidden in plain sight.

We didn’t want to create a documentary, rather the film brings the audience into a visceral experience by following our main character and his friends in an hour of their night to bring you to a place where most of us don’t go or know about. An examination of their deeper personal emotions not visible to the public. This film is written as a coming-of-age gangster drama.”

Get your first impression of Monster – set to come out in 2019 –  here (coarse language is used).

Sodhi’s cast is a great mix of professional actors, models and people whose personal life merges well with the characters in the story. His crew are all professionals in the industry. His team means everything to him. “I’ve grown up with a lot of problems and adversity. I had a lot of hardships to face to get to this point. What kept me going was I always wanted to have a feeling of family. This team emanates family. It’s another personal motivation for making a film.”

When asked about the response his idea has received from his peers, Sodhi said that one of the words that many people used to describe Monster was “authentic.”

What are your thoughts after viewing the video above? Be part of the conversation on social media with #monster2019 and follow Sodhi on Twitter and Instagram @inderveersodhi. You can also join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ monster2019/ and stay posted on the 2019 release date.

Learn more about supporting this local artist and his powerful message about teen life in Surrey.

Taslim Jaffer
Taslim combines her love of writing and social change by telling the stories that build bridges among people. Her motivating forces are her 3 children and her INFJ personality. Taslim is a regular contributor to Huffington Post Canada and Yummy Mummy Club, and a columnist for Peace Arch News. She has romantic notions of travel writing across European countrysides and historic African towns but her heart belongs to Surrey, B.C. You can connect with Taslim on Twitter and Instagram @taslimjaffer.
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