Synopsis

Begumpura The Wives Colony

The film addresses some pertinent issues related to immigrant communities in Canada. A major challenge of globalization is an increasing number of fragmented families where the mother and children live alone while the father works elsewhere in places with lucrative remuneration and employment opportunities, both across Canada and abroad in countries like Hong Kong, Korea and the Middle East.

This film deals with the social and psychological implications of the unique phenomenon of South Asian immigrant wives / mothers living alone with their children in Toronto while the husbands / fathers stay back or have had to return to better suited and more remunerative job prospects in the Gulf.

The women learn to cope with the help of support groups and through their social network, as many choose to live in close proximity to each other, especially in Mississauga, colloquially known as Begumpura (The Wives Colony).

This film will help understand the negative implications of fractured families, forced single parenting, changing marital relationships along with the positive results of the new found independence and self worth among these women as many come out of the traditionally imposed male shadow. Most of the women have used their time well to better their professional and personal skills. Despite their trials and tribulations, most families choose to stay and seek utopia for their progeny in Canada

The film portrays the network, camaraderie and underlying pathos in the lives of these Begums, an experience shared by Rashmi, the Director and also a Gulf wife / mother living alone with her daughter. These women have spent varying lengths of time in Canada, primarily to be with their children through their schooling years. However, a common thread running through these stories is the frustration, loneliness and burden of coping with a dual role due to the absence of the husband and father figure. The long distance communication across time zones is tiring, cumbersome and limited.

Characters

Rashmi Lamba

Rashmi lived in the UAE for over twelve years with her husband and two children. They considered moving to Canada for better prospects and global mobility for their children but like most immigrants, her husband found it difficult to find suitable employment. Rashmi and her daughter have taken up residence and chose to stay in Mississauga in close proximity to family and their friends from the Gulf who provided support and companionship.

Professionally, Rashmi has met wonderful people and made good connections. She feels stimulated and encouraged with the opportunities in Canada, as living in the UAE was a creative vacuum. However, the loneliness and fractured family situation throws up constant doubts and emotional challenges.

Tahira Khan

Tahira embraces life in Canada as she makes the most of the opportunities for herself and her four children while her husband stays on in Dubai to look after his business. Her lively nature and positive outlook help her cope with the strain of a long distance marital relationship and the challenge of single parenting.

Tahira Khan

Tahira embraces life in Canada as she makes the most of the opportunities for herself and her four children while her husband stays on in Dubai to look after his business. Her lively nature and positive outlook help her cope with the strain of a long distance marital relationship and the challenge of single parenting.

Swapna Sanke

Swapna questions their decision to move to Canada because at this stage everything is too new and very different which makes her feel lonely, helpless and depressed. Swapna and her daughters feel the emptiness in their town house because of the absence of the husband / father and the contrast to their home in Dubai living as a complete family.

Sanjeevani Patil

Sanjeevani coped and actually thrived while living alone in Canada for four years with her two children as she found a creative outlet through her community in the Maharashtra Mandal. She returned to Dubai because she has met the required time as a landed immigrant to apply for Canadian Citizenship and is happy to be together for a while with her husband in their lovely home and is still continuing with her creative activities in Dubai and Toronto.

Sanjeevani Patil

Sanjeevani coped and actually thrived while living alone in Canada for four years with her two children as she found a creative outlet through her community in the Maharashtra Mandal. She returned to Dubai because she has met the required time as a landed immigrant to apply for Canadian Citizenship and is happy to be together for a while with her husband in their lovely home and is still continuing with her creative activities in Dubai and Toronto.

Divya Lamba

Divya is a Certified Behaviour Analyst with a specialization in dealing with Autism. She was studying for her Masters Degree in the United States when she had to move to Canada, but went on to become the first graduate from a newly launched, unique Masters program in Applied Disability Studies at Brock University.

A passionate film buff, Divya enjoyed the experience of facing the camera herself as the central subject in her mother’s film. But she questions the sacrifice made by her parents in the move to Canada that has forced them to live apart to seek better prospects for her.

Biographies

Rashmi Lamba

Rashmi is a creative and versatile media professional with diverse skills and over thirty years experience in all aspects of film and television production, international film festivals, corporate and social communications. Her portfolio includes documentaries, infotainment series, news coverage, commercials, public service and corporate films. She has set up her own production companies in Mumbai, Dubai and Toronto

Widely travelled, Rashmi brings a creative and conceptual edge to her work with in-depth research, compelling story telling and an inherent multi-cultural understanding.

Keen to find her feet in the film industry in Toronto, one of the first assignments Rashmi managed in 2007 was at Hot Docs, the largest Documentary Film Festival in North America. It was here that she met the Director for Independent Programming at OMNI, the popular diversity channel on the Rogers Network, who right away commissioned Rashmi to find and share stories about immigrants like herself, most of whom live in the area he said was known as ‘Begumpura’.

Sadia Zaman

Sadia has spent her entire career in television, both on the screen and behind the scenes. She is an award-winning writer, producer, host and interviewer who has created hundreds of hours of television.

Sadia was the Executive Director of Women in Film and Television-Toronto. WIFT-T is a not-for-profit dedicated to the professional development and advancement of women in the industry.

Sadia has won numerous awards and accolades for her work. As Director of In-House Production at VisionTV, she launched two critically acclaimed, Gemini award-winning shows. She has been named a trailblazer by the ReelWorld Film Festival and was awarded the prestigious Southam Fellowship for Journalists. Sadia has also worked at CBC and TVOntario.

Pamela Ward

Pamela Ward is a dynamic, innovative individual with over 10 years experience in all aspects of Television Production. Portfolio includes: producing, directing, post-production, writing, talent coaching, developing budgets, sound mixing and supervising crews. Pam is a team player and natural leader with a unique blend of creativity, dedication and professionalism. Her objective is to contribute to strong Canadian programming through expanding creative boundaries and strong story telling.

For 10 years Pam was mandated to oversee all Post Production activities for in-house production at Vision TV. She insured the highest technical standards were met and contributed both creatively and editorially to this award winning team. Pam has been fortunate to work with broadcasters such as CTV, Global Television and iChannel along with various independent productions.

Pam’s hands on approach to management enable her to grasp the bigger picture, allocate resources and motivate team members. Her love for collecting and crunching data allow her to identify strengths and weaknesses and guide the team past obstacles and on course for meeting its goals. Pam’s superiors and co-workers have described her as “the ultimate trouble shooter…the consummate team player and utterly reliable.”

Trailer

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Latest Post

Begumpura & Brooklyn

A surprise invitation to the ‘Canadian Screen Awards’ held last night found me hobnobbing with the best in the Canadian Film and Television Industry!!!
Paritosh, the force behind my film on ‘Begumpura’ invited me to join him at the Awards. A wonderful evening!
I was happy to see the recognition awarded to the two films ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘Room’…both great films, especially ‘Brooklyn’ that resonates with the sentiments and emotions expressed in ‘Begumpura’…looking for a better life but the consequences of homesickness, insecurity, finding your feet among new, unknown people…and the kindness shown by other immigrants…but in the process emerging as a strong, confidant woman who can deal with her life on her own terms!!

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