Alex Sangha – Producer

Alex Sangha has a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics.  He has a Master of Social Work from Dalhousie University, as well as a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of British Columbia with a First Class Standing.

Alex is the founder of the Sher Vancouver which is a registered charity for South Asians and friends and the Co-Founder of Goodness Pictures Ltd. Goodness Pictures is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association.  Alex is also a member of the Documentary Organization of Canada and DOC BC YT NT.  Alex completed the Business for Producers Course with the National Screen Institute.

Alex has produced an award-winning short documentary film entitled, My Name Was January, and his debut feature documentary film, Emergence: Out of the Shadows. Alex’s next documentary film, I, Migrant, captures the journey of newcomers and settlers from different parts of India to different parts of Canada.

Alex has received many awards and recognitions.  Most notably, he was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada.

Vinay Giridhar – Director and Editor

Vinay Giridhar is a visual artist turned documentary film director who is an alumnus of Vancouver Film School’s Classical Animation program. Vinay is the Co-Founder of Goodness Pictures Ltd.

His award-winning debut documentary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows, has been showcased at nearly 50 established film festivals around the world including the Canadian Screen Award, Academy Award, and BAFTA qualifying festivals. The film has completed nearly 40 community screenings locally in Metro Vancouver in high schools, colleges, and universities. The documentary was broadcast on television on Knowledge Network in British Columbia, TVO in Ontario, and OUTtv, as well as their streaming platforms.

Vinay hopes to make many more films that portray the authentic life experiences of people from diverse and marginalized communities. Originally from Kerala, India, Vinay currently calls Surrey, BC home.

Bhavesh Chauhan – Director of Photography

Bhavesh Chauhan is an independent filmmaker, music video director, and cinematographer. His career in filmmaking has spanned almost 15 years with humble beginnings making shorts with his friends in high school. Many of his films have gone on to screen and won awards at numerous film festivals around the world. Some recent productions that feature his work include shorts “Solidarity Lives,” “Prisoner,” “Lovely Mummers,” and “A Calling,” a web series pilot with TELUS StoryHive “Lux-Me,” a Crazy8s short “Mom vs. Machine, and a feature film “Jewel Fools” which screened at the Calgary International Film Festival.

Bhavesh is the Director of Photography for Goodness Pictures’ upcoming documentary film, I, Migrant, as well as he did some cinematography on Emergence: Out of the Shadows.

Annie Ohana – Teacher’s Guide Developer

Annie Ohana is a nationally recognized Social Justice Educator in Surrey, BC.  She practices a liberatory and anti-oppression teaching philosophy.  She is the Indigenous Department Head at LA Matheson Senior Secondary and the Founder of Mustang Justice which is a unique Social Justice program for high school students, providing them with opportunities to be engaged and involved in the community and have a social impact.

She has a Master’s in Equity Studies and has a long record of curriculum specialty work and community organizing.  She is a graduate program mentor instructor at Simon Fraser University, a local representative with the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation, and sits on a number of Surrey Teacher’s Association committees including Indigenous Education, Status of Women, Economic and Environmental Justice, and International Solidarity.

Annie is currently a member of the Sher Vancouver Board of Directors.  She was one of the primary developers of the Teacher’s Discussion Guides for Sher Vancouver’s previous two documentaries, My Name Was January, and Emergence: Out of the Shadows. 

Varnnitha Venugopal – Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager

Varnnitha Venugopal is originally from Kerala, India and currently lives in Surrey, B.C.  Varnnitha is the Social Media and Digital Marketing Manager for Sher Films debut feature documentary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows, as well as Goodness Pictures upcoming film, I, Migrant. 

She has a Professional Master’s in Computer Science with a Big Data specialization from Simon Fraser University.  She is currently enrolled in the Applied Data Analytics Certificate program at the British Columbia Insitute of Technology.  She has worked as a Systems Engineer with Infosys Ltd. In India and in Enterprise Intelligence and Data with Vancity Savings Credit Union. 

Sean Farnel – Consulting Producer

Sean Farnel provides creative, marketing, and distribution services to documentary producers, companies, and institutions. He was the first Director of Programming for Hot Docs, which tripled its audience during his six-year tenure.

Prior to joining Hot Docs, Sean created the popular national screening series Doc Soup and founded the documentary programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. As well, he developed and launched TIFF’s initial strategic plan for Learning programmes.

Sean has done research and strategic consulting for the National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada, FilmFreeway, the Documentary Organization of Canada, and other media companies in the private and public sectors.

Along with writing for numerous publications, Sean has served as a mentor, facilitator, panelist and juror at hundreds of film events.

Joshna Hirani – Community Outreach Manager

Joshna Hirani is of Gujarati origin and was born in Kenya. She values learning objectively about the communities and cultures around her and contributing to making positive changes where she can. She practices mindfulness and equanimity in her daily living. Her professional background is in Occupational Therapy.

Joshna currently works in a number of capacities for Sher Vancouver.  She delivers presentations in high schools, colleges, universities, and the community about Sher Vancouver’s debut feature documentary, Emergence: Out of the Shadows, which deals with themes of bullying, racism, homophobia, gender identity, and coming out in a South Asian culture with traditional families.

She is also engaged in significant community outreach work.  She represents Sher Vancouver at events and is engaged in networking and letting people know of the work of Sher Vancouver.  For I, Migrant she will continue this community outreach work both online on social media, as well as in person by reaching out to various organizations that I, Migrant would be an excellent fit to partner with.

Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains – South Asian Scholar and Story Consultant

Dr. Satwinder Kaur Bains is the Director of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley and an Associate Professor in Social Cultural Media Studies College of Arts. Dr. Bains’ critical analysis of India’s multilingual policy and planning has fueled her interest in studying the impact of language, culture, and identity on South Asian Canadian migration, settlement, and integration. Her research includes and intersects cross-cultural education with a focus on anti-racist curriculum implementation; race, racism, and ethnicity; identity politics; Sikh feminist ideology; migration and the South Asian Canadian Diaspora, and Punjabi Canadian cultural historiography.

Satwinder has extensive professional experience in community development and has worked with organizations in the area of cross-cultural mental health, immigrant women, youth and families, and board development, diversity, equity, inclusion, cross-cultural development, women’s rights, and socio-religious interfaith dialogue She serves the community as a diversity educator, community developer, and community activist in the field of anti-racism and immigrant settlement integration. She is a consummate community advocate and volunteer and has assisted numerous community organizations to develop and grow. She continues to serve on numerous Boards, committees, and organizations locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Bains is a newly appointed member of Knowledge Network and the Abbotsford Community Foundation. She has served as a Commissioner on the Agricultural Land Commission, as a Director of the Fraser Basin Council, as a Bencher on the Law Society of British Columbia, and as a member of the Farm Industry Review Board for British Columbia. She has received recognition for her commitment to social justice, preservation of histories and cultural knowledge, women’s rights, service, and research. She lives in Abbotsford with her partner Parm and three children and helps support an international farming operation, shipping blueberries around the world.