Canadian writer-director-producer R. Paul Dhillon’s film Gone Are The Days, a powerful indictment of institutional racism in Canada, has won the runner-up award as the Best Feature Documentary at the Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) in India, which concluded on January 21.
“So humbled and honoured to have our feature documentary Gone Are The Days not only make it’s world premiere at the Jaipur International Film Festival on Monday, January 20th (lucky 20-2020) but we were honoured with the Runner-Up (Second Best) featured documentary award at the festival tonight,” Dhillon announced on his Facebook page, with pictures from the festival which was attended by the film’s principle subject Dr. Hakam Bhullar and his family.
The Awards ceremony was held Tuesday night where Dr. Bhullar accepted the award on behalf of Dhillon and his production company MMM Films. “It’s so gratifying to have Dr. Bhullar and his fellow veterinarians’ struggle and fight against racism and abuse by their professional association be recognised at an international film event,” Dhillon said.
“It’s a proud moment for me personally as it took me a decade to shoot this epic story of Indo-Canadian Veterinarians who endured more than decade of extreme form of racism and abuse from their regulatory body,” Dhillon added.
The Jaipur International Film Festival ran over five days from January 17 - 21, 2020 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The festival showcased selected films and documentaries, which were chosen based on the aim of revolutionizing the style of filming for the beginning of a new era.
Dr. Bhullar, a veterinarian practicing in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, battled a decade long human’s rights case with fellow Indo-Canadian veterinarians against the BC Veterinary Medical Association. Gone Are The Days is the story of the epic struggle of Canadian-South Asian Veterinarians led by their leader Dr. Bhullar, who fought against institutional racism and abuse of power for more than decade. It is a powerful story of heartbreak, perseverance and ultimately triumph of the human spirit and a fight for justice to realize their Canadian dream against great odds.
During the screening of Gone Are The Days, attendees were brought to tears seeing the struggles of others in this situation of injustice. The blood and sweat that was put into fighting against racism in this age and day was inspiring, yet terrifying as well. To imagine that there are still those who carry such ignorant and constricting values and beliefs towards not only their colleagues but any other human being was disgusting and disheartening to witness to the core, according to feedback from the attendees.