RAY OF HOPE
Producer Ryan Singh, former MP collaborate on documentary
Ray of Hope will be directed by Singh and filmed in Canada, France, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
Former Canadian NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has partnered with Toronto-based filmmaker Ryan Singh on a documentary on the impact of the 1983 pogrom in Sri Lanka on Tamil families. The documentary will be filmed in Canada, France, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
Ray of Hope is told from the viewpoint of Sitsabaiesan as well as other affected Tamil families, when they were forced to flee their homes following the outbreak of armed conflict in Sri Lanka in 1983 that culminated in the 2009 Tamil genocide, according to a news release. It is expected to be released in 2023 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the pogroms.
Ray of Hope is directed and produced by Singh (Memento: A South African Artventure), with production scheduled to commence in a few weeks, a spokesperson for the documentary tells Playback Daily, with filming to take place in the Greater Toronto Area, Edmonton, France, Switzerland and Sri Lanka.
The documentary is executive produced by Patricia Scarlett (Rasta: A Soul’s Journey) and Nikila Cole (Wanderings), who also serves as a co-director and production consultant. Dayana Stanislaus is a cultural consultant. It was developed by Singh as part of the 2022 DOC Institute’s Breakthrough Program.
Sitsabaiesan is touted as the first Tamil person and visible minority to be elected as a member of Parliament for Scarborough—Rouge River in Toronto, according to the release, as well as the youngest representative to the parliamentary house.
Ray of Hope has received support by the All In Media Group, as well as the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Mentorship Program for Diverse Producers. Producers are still finalizing financing for the film, according to a spokesperson, including a crowdfunding campaign, which will be used to raise both funding support and awareness for the project. The budget has not been disclosed.
The idea of H.E.N.R.I. was borne out of the Ryan’s observation of his children’s reaction and relationship with the Google home and Alexa communication consoles. Ryan also saw the opportunity to empower his six-year-old children, Ava Singh (Tall Boyz, Handmaid’s Tale) and Sebastian Singh (Suits, Handmaid’s Tale, Silent), in telling their own story. So together, they began writing the story.
Andrea Grant (Get Rich or Die Tryin’, The Listener) joined the team as an actor and producer.
As the project developed, it became the catalyst for honing and nurturing talents in varying stages of professional growth. This project engaged more than two-dozen artists, most of them BIPOC.
- 60% of the producers were females
- 80% of the producers were BIPOC (Black or Indigenous Persons of Colour)
- Over 80% of the crew was BIPOC
- More than half of the crew were females with 70% being in a key role/position
- We had more than a dozen roles being a first credit for that individual with some being a first credit ever in a film
- 2/3 of the writer/producer/actor were under 7-years-old, and they had key creative contributions throughout the post production process, not just credits
- And last but not least our FEMALE director had a chance to express her voice uncompromisingly