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Canadian Dream: an immigrant's descent into drugs and gangs

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A captivating new movie by Manmord Sidhu explores an immigrant’s harrowing foray into an underworld of organized crime in Canadian Dream.

Sidhu fuses together a compelling plot, based on a true story, mirroring ongoing episodes of organized crime among the Indo-Canadian community in Western Canada.

The film centers on Amar Dhillon (Vic Parmar), a native of India who envisions a better life as an immigrant to Canada. Joined by his beautiful wife Simran (Preet Cheema), Amar sets out on a journey in a new world filled with ambitious hopes and dreams.

But that optimistic future encounters a considerable challenge when Amar unexpectedly loses his job at a nearby mill, triggering uncertainty and panic about the family’s prospects for success.

Bedeviled by an accident in which Amar inadvertently strikes his wife, coupled with his subsequent incarceration which leads to him being kicked out of his house, Amar’s life suddenly spirals downward. With no home, no job, and no family to confide in, his quest for survival propels him down an ominous path.

As fate would have it, a casual encounter with a middle-aged man named Sunny at a nearby gas station leads to contacts and opportunities with a new family. Initially unbeknownst to Amar, this new family operates within the drug trade.

Amar subsequently ascends from full-time trucker within the “family business” to co-conspirator in a twisted plot to assassinate the drug cabal’s notorious leader, Khan. Although Sunny’s dreams of becoming rich fizzle when both he and Khan die in a fatal gang fight, Amar quickly moves in and assumes a new leadership role to forge ahead with his own version of the ‘Canadian dream.’

“I wanted to illustrate through Amar’s life the decisions that immigrants make and the importance of getting connected with the right people,” Sidhu said. “Amar’s participation in the drug trade attests to how difficult it is to leave that type of lifestyle.”

Outbreaks of violence within the Indo-Canadian community dating back to the early 1990s underscore the film’s contemporary message. Between 1991 and 2004, there were at least 49 shootings tied to organized crime in the Greater Vancouver Area. Invisible to the unsuspecting bystander, lower British Columbia remains a magnet to gang activity, drug-dealing and violence for scores of unscrupulous young Indian men.

Filmed exclusively in Vancouver and Surrey, award-winning actress Balinder Johal headlines a talented roster of supporting cast members by reprising the role of Amar’s unforgiving, tenacious mother-in-law. Industry veteran Poonam Sandhu plays the part of Sonia, an accomplice to the narcotics network whose actions foreshadow an electrifying, life-changing confrontation between Amar and the authorities.

About director Manmord Sidhu:           

Surrey resident Manmord Sidhu immigrated to Canada from India and graduated from Vancouver Film School. In addition to founding White Hill Production Inc, Sidhu previously worked on Bollywood movie productions as an assistant director, and has also directed music videos and commercials. For more information about Canadian Dream, visit www.canadiandream.info

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