SURREY – Well known Surrey-based filmmaker and award-winning journalist R. Paul Dhillon’s much anticipated documentary series Reflections: South Asian Stories, an 8-week series which explores the fascinating men and women behind the success stories and news headlines, has begun airing on OMNI Television stations across Canada and continues till February 27.
This week’s film’s features Commonwealth Games Gold medal champion Arjan Bhullar in The Heart Of A Champion, which airs on Saturday, Jan 16 at 3pm on OMNI Television.
Bhullar is a rarity among top athletes in Canada, in that he lived and breathed the sport of wrestling. A true giant among giants, the super heavyweight has been a dominant figure in the sport on both the national and international scene, winning numerous championships. His biggest accomplishments include a commonwealth Gold and a trip to the 2012 Olympics.
He comes from a family of great wrestlers, the most famous being his own father Avtar Bhullar, who laid the foundation for his son with a great legacy of championship wrestling. Avtar, or Tara Pehlwan as he is famously known, is a legend in the Punjabi-Canadian community. Pehlwan in Punjabi means “Strong-Man” and it’s a moniker given only to the elite!
The Reflections series is produced by Dhillon, MMM Films with Bobby Nagra serving as an executive producer. The first show in the series called Moe Sihota – Feared And Desired aired on Dec. 19 and the rest of the shows airs every Saturday, concluding on Feb. 27.
“To explore the colourful characters and unsung heroes who work hard, with sweat and tears, behind the scenes to show the many facets of the vibrant and thriving South Asian and Punjabi community is what motivated me to write, direct and produce the series,” said Dhillon.
Reflections features a number of prominent figures from BC who are also internationally renowned, including history-making Indo-Canadian politician Moe.
The other subjects featured in the hour long documentaries include activist Harsha Walia, super-cop Kal Dosanjh, moderate Sikh leader Bikramjit Singh Sandhar, business elites Peter Dhillon (Richberry Group), venture-capitalist Hari Varshney, Tony Singh (Fruiticana), Parminder Singh (formerly with Microsoft) and builder Daljit Thind and others in a special business doc The Millionaires.
Award-winning actress Balinder Johal is featured in The Thespians, which also showcases Leena Munro and Munish Sharma, the famed comedy duo from the belly-hurting laugh-fest I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Chicken show. Other working actors featured in the doc about working South Asian actors include veteran Parm Soor, brother-sister acting-duo Veena and Manoj Sood, Agam Darshi, Sandy Sidhu, Mannu Sandhu and others.
Writer-director Dhillon’s personal favorite from the series is his ode to his mother tongue Punjabi called For The Love Of My Mother Tongue, which features the who’s who of Punjabi language icons like Sikh historian and Renaissance man Harinder Singh of Panjabi Digital Library, writer-poet Gian Singh Kotli, writer-Sikh historian Raghbir Singh Bains, teacher-historian Sadhu Binning, entrepreneur Barj S. Dhahan (Dhahan International Punjabi Literature Prize) writer-activist Balwant Sanghera (PLEA), Punjabi music star Balvir Boparai, radio-star Lady B and Punjabi journalist Gurpreet Lucky Sahota.
“I felt many of these individuals, some who rarely get the recognition, deserve the recognition for hard work and dedication to improving the social, cultural and political fabric of our communities and our nation,” added Dhillon, who has written, produced and directed over two dozen documentaries and television shows as well as the feature 9/11 themed film Sweet Amerika, starring Bollywood veteran Gulshan Grover.
Reflections – South Asian stories follows Dhillon’s music series Bhangralicous and his highly successful documentary on Bhangra music tiled The Bhangra Generation, which also aired on OMNI Television and has enjoyed a very long and successful run across Canada.
Punjabi versions of the Reflections series will air at a later date and these English ones will be repeated on OMNI and online on their website throughout the year.
Here are broadcast airdates for the Reflection: South Asian Stories shows on OMNI across Canada. Some have already aired and others are airing until February 27.
Dec. 19 Moe Sihota – Feared And Desired (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Dec 26 – Bikramjit Singh Sandher – Keeping The Faith (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Jan 2 – Harsha Walia – Pricking The Conscience (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Jan 9 – Kal Dosanjh – The Personification Of Integrity, Truth And Justice (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Jan 16 – Arjan Bhullar – The Heart Of A Champion (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Jan 23 – The Thespians – For The Love Of Art (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Jan 30 – The Millionaires – Building Business Success (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Feb 6 – For The Love Of My Mother Tongue – Keeping Punjabi Alive (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Feb 13 – Bikramjit Singh Sandher – Keeping The Faith (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Feb 20 – Harsha Walia – Pricking The Conscience (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Feb 27 – Kal Dosanjh – The Personification Of Integrity, Truth And Justice (3pm on OMNI BC, 4 on OMNI Alberta & 6pm on OMNI Ontario)
Show Times for All Docs
OMNI 2 (Ontario) at 18:00 (6pm)
OMNI BC at 15:00 (3pm)
OMNI ALB at 16:00 (4pm)