Writer-director-producer R. Paul Dhillon’s feature documentary Gone Are The Days was awarded Jaipur International Film Festival’s (JIFF) runner-up prize as Second Best Documentary film out of over 240 films selected for the festival. The documentary was commended for its realist approach and unique filming style. “It’s so gratifying to have Dr. Hakam Bhullar and his fellow veterinarians’ struggle and fight against racism and abuse by their professional association be recognised at an international film event,” Dhillon said. “It’s a proud moment for me personally as it took me a decade to shoot this epic story of Indo-Canadian Veterinarians who endured more than decade of extreme form of racism and abuse from their regulatory body,” Dhillon added.
JAIPUR/SURREY – Canadian writer-director-producer R. Paul Dhillon’s film Gone Are The Days, a powerful indictment of institutional racism in Canada, has won the runner-up award as the Best Feature Documentary at the Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) in India, which concluded on January 21.
“So humbled and honoured to have our feature documentary Gone Are The Days not only make it’s world premiere at the Jaipur International Film Festival on Monday, January 20th (lucky 20-2020) but we were honoured with the Runner-Up (Second Best) featured documentary award at the festival tonight,” Dhillon announced on his facebook page, with pictures from the festival which was attended by the film’s principle subject Dr. Hakam Bhullar and his family.
The Awards ceremony was held Tuesday night where Dr. Bhullar accepted the award on behalf of Dhillon and his production company MMM Films.
“It’s so gratifying to have Dr. Bhullar and his fellow veterinarians’ struggle and fight against racism and abuse by their professional association be recognised at an international film event,” Dhillon said.
“It’s a proud moment for me personally as it took me a decade to shoot this epic story of Indo-Canadian Veterinarians who endured more than decade of extreme form of racism and abuse from their regulatory body,” Dhillon added.
The Jaipur International Film Festival ran over five days from January 17 – 21, 2020 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The festival showcased selected films and documentaries, which were chosen based on the aim of revolutionizing the style of filming for the beginning of a new era.
Dr. Bhullar, a veterinarian practicing in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, battled a decade long human’s rights case with fellow Indo-Canadian veterinarians against the BC Veterinary Medical Association.
Gone Are The Days is the story of the epic struggle of Canadian-South Asian Veterinarians led by their leader Dr. Bhullar, who fought against institutional racism and abuse of power for more than decade. It is a powerful story of heartbreak, perseverance and ultimately triumph of the human spirit and a fight for justice to realize their Canadian dream against great odds.
At the festival’s closing ceremony, Dhillon’s film was awarded the second best documentary film out of over 240 films selected for the festival’s program.
Upon entering the opening ceremony, located at GT Bazaar INOX Theater in Jaipur, traditional garlands of various flowers and red pigmented sindoor tilak with rice was placed at the center of the forehead. Several traditionally dressed welcomers greeted each guest with love and respect while guided onto the red carpet event.
Major Bollywood stars and legends like Prem Chopra and TP Aggarwal, a Bollywood film director and producer, were present amongst others. Participants and guests arrived from all over the world to attend the festival, such as: Germany, Poland, USA, France, China, Japan, Canada, etc. The g three days of the festival were scheduled between two locations of the GT Bazaar INOX Theater and Amer Clarks Conference Hotel. Panels were held with well known directors, actors, producers and lyricists throughout the middle days with question/answer sessions taking place.
During the screening of Gone Are The Days, attendees were brought to tears seeing the struggles of others in this situation of injustice. The blood and sweat that was put into fighting against racism in this age and day was inspiring, yet terrifying as well. To imagine that there are still those who carry such ignorant and constricting values and beliefs towards not only their colleagues but any other human being was disgusting and disheartening to witness to the core, according to feeback from the attendees.
During the screening of Gone Are The Days, the theater was full and audience’s sniffles were heard throughout. The audience were taken on a roller coaster of emotions as the real life heart aches of indo-Canadian veterinarians unfolded on screen.
On the final night, the red carpet closing ceremony was held at INOX Theater. Awards were handed out for participation and category winners, from which Gone Are The Days was awarded for displaying the struggles behind creating a revolutionary change for future generations to come.
The documentary was commended for its realist approach and unique filming style. Overall the film festival was a great success and gave film makers and participants a platform to learn and showcase their talent for the world to see.
Writer-director-producer R. Paul Dhillon says Canadian elites talk a big game about fighting racism but what Dr. Hakam Bhullar and his colleagues did in fighting this absolutely abhorrent form of extreme racism and abuse was remarkable and a testament to the human spirit and the spirit of the IMMIGRANT. The film written, directed and produced by Dhillon will begin rolling out on the international film festival circuit early next year.
“We are so proud to tell this story that the Canadian establishment doesn’t want the world to see. Mighty is the Pen and the Camera,” said Dhillon.
The film is produced by Dhillon’s MMM Film Finance International, a Vancouver-based company engaged in the production of independent feature films, documentaries and television production.
Writer-director Dhillon has previously written-produced-directed BHANGRALICIOUS, a 13-part music Doc-series and REFLECTIONS – South Asian Stories, consisting of 8 hour long documentaries featuring such luminaries as pioneering BC politician Moe Sihota, Olympian Arjan Bhullar, activist Harsha Walia, Justice Wallace Taru “Wally” Oppal, top cop Kal Dosanjh and Sikh Youth leader Bikramjit Singh Sandher among many others, for national broadcast in Canada.
Dhillon, an award winning journalist-screenwriter-director and producer, has made more than 40 productions including two dozen documentaries and television series which have aired OMNI Television, CTV and CBC.