Arts and Entertainment

Local BC Made Documentary Selected At Six Film Festivals In First Two Weeks

Surrey, British Columbia – The 26 minute short documentary film, My Name Was January, has been selected at six film festivals in its first two weeks of release.


When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered in her own home in New Westminster, BC, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. January was seen as a bright light in the lives of many. This is the story of January, a friend, a daughter, a person. This film will not only bring justice to January, but to all the women who have lost their lives. January had a beautiful soul, and now part of her soul rests in each and every one of us.

Official Trailer – My Name Was January from January on Vimeo.


The film is directed by two former Kwantlen Polytechnic University Journalism students Elina Gress and Lenee Son. The film is produced by the Sher Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society, specifically Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha and Sher Vancouver President Ash Brar. “I feel January is watching over us like our Angel in Heaven. I feel she is blessing the film and helping us spread her message of love and light,” says Sher Vancouver Founder Alex Sangha.


The film has been selected into six film festivals. Surprisingly, four of the film festivals are located in California with three in Los Angeles alone. In addition, the film was selected as a Semi-Finalist at the Alternative Film Festival in Toronto where it was nominated for an award in the Best North American Documentary category. Furthermore, the film was selected as a Semi-Finalist at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival in Los Angeles.

The exclusive Canadian rights of the film for the educational market has also been acquired by Moving Images Distribution which is a local non-profit social justice distributor in Vancouver. A discussion guide for teachers is currently being prepared to go with the film. The film will be formally released for sale to high schools, colleges, and universities in 2019. The official poster of the film is attached and below is a current listing of all our Official Selections at film festivals to date:

Independent Shorts Awards
Los Angeles
(Event Date: September 15, 2018)

Alternative Film Festival
Toronto, Canada
(Event Date: September 17, 2018)

Best Shorts Competition
La Jolla, California
(Event Date: September 18, 2018)

Los Angeles Film Awards
Los Angeles
(Event Date: October 11, 2018)

Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival
Los Angeles
(Event Date: January 26, 2019)

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
(Event Date: February 15, 2019)

Alex Sangha
Alex Sangha is an award winning author and social worker based in Surrey.  He completed a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics.  For more information on Alex check out his author blog at