From left to right: Gurnam Multani (Multani Village) unknown, Jasbir Singh (Miss India Fashion), Jatinder Pal Singh (Chandan Fashion) and Mirza Baig (Lahore Paan Centre).
We were excited to be in the midst of the action at the 2016 Festival of South Asia located in the Gerrard India Bazaar this past weekend, July 16 & 17. Our documentary project has recently launched into the filming phase and having a presence at the Festival was very important for us. We knew that our characters would be far too busy for one-on-one conversation, this weekend our goal was to film them in the midst of their head-on, high intensity sales with the throngs of Festival visitors. Many of the shops were packed and people were streaming on and out of the stores. The crowds were down from last year, but there was still a great turnout. The Bazaar shines at night when throngs of people – families, kids, seniors, groups of friends all shapes, sizes and ages come out to stroll up and down the streets and take in the sights, sounds and smells. We roamed up and down Gerrard Street East from Coxwell to Glenside numerous times throughout the day and night. The street was blocked to vehicular traffic, and the pedestrian-only boulevard was lined with food stalls, clothing racks, beauticians, astrologers and palmists as well as dancers, musicians and clowns. We made some new friends too, of all ages, that we hope to include in the film.
We are grateful for the cooperation of the many shop owners and attendees at the Bazaar who let us film. Thanks to one and all, and a special thank-you to this year’s Festival Producer Tushar Unadkat, GIBBIA (Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area) and GIBBIA Coordinator Tasneem Bandukwala.