Little India: Village Of Dreams
A film by Nina Beveridge
World Broadcast Premiere
July 1, 2017
A storied Toronto South-Asian ‘hood serves as a metaphor
For a New Canadian “next-generation” experience
The Western-influenced next generation in Toronto’s Gerrard India Bazaar cope with adapting family businesses to the 21st century while preserving their cultural legacy.
Little India: Village of Dreams is a generational look at an “ethnic” business neighbourhood, a microcosm of what many new Canadians and their ambitious offspring experience. We meet the families behind the East Toronto business community known as Gerrard India Bazaar – a blend of grocery, jewelry, religious supplies and clothing stores, beauty shops, cafés, restaurants and galleries, owned by a diverse group of South Asian immigrants and entrepreneurs.
Behind the façade of this uniquely vibrant and colourful mosaic, we come to appreciate the push-and-pull of the Canadian dream. A new generation weighs the pros and cons of preserving the family legacy and reshaping it for the 21st Century, or letting go to carve its own identity and future. We meet the matriarchs and patriarchs who founded the community, and gain insight into their heirs – some of whom enthusiastically embrace the responsibility of carrying on a family business, while others openly talk of escaping it.
The film asks: How do new Canadians and their communities process their identity? How do they survive the pounding waves of an unforgiving modern business world? And what changes occur when their legacy is passed on to a profoundly-Westernized generation with its own ideas and independent streak?