Imagine Django being created in a Canadian context – with Aboriginals instead of black slaves.

Is it crazy to even think that? How crazy is it though? 

There’s been a lot of talk and controversy about the content in Django Unchained and how if it was any other director or if it was made in any other country it probably wouldn’t have been received as well as it did. So imagine if some Canadian director decided to direct and write this movie. Would he have done it in a Canadian context and instead of black slaves it would be a revenge story of Canadian Natives who had their land, culture, language, and rituals stripped away from them? Would it be just as economically successful, do you think?

I can’t claim to know all the answers to these questions but I will say – I would watch a movie like that. In fact, I think Canada NEEDS a movie like that. Heck, I’ll write it! 

I just think the Natives of Canada truly need to be heard by our so-called multicultural country.

I wrote a position piece recently, on the fact that it’s really strange how Canada can be considered such a multicultural society (actually a lot of us take pride in describing our country as such), when we actually aren’t. We may be welcoming and accepting of other ethnicities and cultures and all that jazz, but we are not really all that multicultural. Here’s the piece I wrote – may it be some food for thought:

            Multiculturalism is the over-used adjective to describe Canada. The question that should be asked here is “why?” Is it true that very few countries in the world can boast of the cultural diversity found here? And what makes Canada more multicultural than the USA? Perhaps many people could argue that they generally have a “melting pot” culture. However, although Canada may be multicultural in the sense that there are people here of many different races and cultures, there are those who can argue that this does not prevent us from being disconnected from the other cultures that are not our own. Can one really say that by occasionally eating Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Portuguese, or French food that would make you a multicultural person? Let’s be honest with ourselves.

            It is not to say that there aren’t multitudes of people of different races and ethnicities that co-exist in Canada, because indeed there are. However, there is a disconnect between cultures. What is truly practiced here is selective multiculturalism. For example, one may find a number of restaurants that provide different ethnic foods, but one would rarely find other forms of cultural representations such as dress, language, and rituals in the same cities.

            Take a moment to think about the Aboriginals – or more specifically, think about them keeping in mind the historical relationship between the Natives and the European immigrants in Canada. The immigrants, who put the Aboriginals in reserves, did little to facilitate a harmonious existence between them. The foundation of this relationship is still evident today, when you think about the fact that the Aboriginals practice their rituals geographically separate from their Canadian counterparts. This historical and continuing cultural separation in itself, to a certain extent, reflects the kind of multiculturalism we have today. The alienation of Natives have not been effectively addressed, since the cultural divide is continuously increasing, and efforts to promote integration have been inadequate. As a result, it’s difficult to understand how multiculturalism can be said to exist when this crucial relationship with the peoples of Canada depicts so many flaws.

            In many ways, Canada has fallen short in this description of being a multicultural country. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Canada is on its way to achieving an ideal multicultural society – because it certainly hasn’t reached this status yet. The reality at the end of the day is that Canada is young, and we have to give our country a break. Maybe Canada is still trying to find its identity. Do we want Canada to be known as a truly multicultural country? Then it is up to us Canadian citizens to work towards that admirable goal and make it happen.


Going Public – Writing Goals 2013

As writers, it’s important to set ourselves some realistic, reasonable, and achievable goals and deadlines. It’s also really important for us to go public with our goals. To find out why I’m doing this, check out Scott Myer’s blog here:

“Why go public?

Because if we just think about our goals, they are nothing more than illusions, hazy, half-baked phantasms in our heads, here and potentially gone like all the other zillion thoughts that spurt through our consciousness each day.

Because if you don’t formalize your writing goals, you may forget them.

Because having some sort of tangible, physical list gives you a touchstone to remind you what you need be focusing on throughout the year.

Because by proclaiming your goals to the Universe, they become real.

And the biggest reason of all: That simple act of courage — declaring your goals publicly — engenders positive energy, recalling the line by the Rev. Basil King who said, “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”” – Scott Myers

So, what are my writing goals for 2013?

I have plenty.

I want to continue writing short stories, insights, thoughts, opinion pieces, poems, and picture prompts on my Insights and Thoughts writing blog. It’s the best way I have of expressing myself, and through this blog I am able to better myself as a writer and better my world view.

I will continue writing film reviews on my film blog ( I always seem to have something to say on a whole bunch of different films, and I just simply find complete enjoyment writing about movies. And someone once told me, “You’re doing it right by being on twitter and with your movie review blog thing. Shows you have a passion and expertise. Some tangible evidence you know your stuff… You’re pretty mature in terms of your social media approach to all this. That’s impressive.”

I plan on continuing what I’m doing with this whole social networking thing… Twitter has helped me a WHOLE lot this year. I don’t think anyone can really understand just how much except for me. Finding other aspiring and successful screenwriters in the world has really boosted my confidence in being able to make it. I’ve created a great writing support system on twitter. Strangers have been messaging, emailing, and tweeting screenwriting advice, tips, and have honestly been a great help in finding a practical approach to following my dreams and getting shit DONE. This little blurb just does NOT do justice to the amazing group of people I’ve found online who have helped me through a lot (For instance, some people literally send me paragraphs upon paragraphs of screenwriting advice sometimes, and it just makes me so happy to be part of such a strong writing support system). Plus, networking is key for writers in terms of getting their stuff out there.

Last but DEFINITELY not least…

I plan on completing at least one script, with revisions and all. In other words, have my first FINAL draft manuscript printed out and binded by the end of this year. (I even have a set date to finish my first draft – May 10, the day before my birthday. Kind of like a birthday gift to myself I guess). I really have to push myself to get some scripts written down if I’m going to apply to Vancouver Film School for their Screenwriting program in a couple of years.

To make sure I actually achieve my goals this year, I’ve already started writing down on a calendar my weekly writing deadlines. For example, for the month of January, I plan on writing at least 10 pages of my script each week. For next month, seeing as things might get busier with school and midterms and all, I will probably only aim for 5 pages a week.

I’m also printing out the pages of my first draft as I go along, and I’m posting it up on my “movie board” so whenever I see it, it will not only remind me to keep going, but also it will get me excited to get it finished and keep on writing.

Photo on 13-01-10 at 2.13 PM

I also have future plans on submitting my scripts to, and maybe even to some film festivals such as Sundance Film Festival. It’s a long shot, but eh, at least I can say I tried and am putting myself out there. How else am I supposed to get my work noticed?

“The Black List is where moviemakers find great scripts to make and scripts find moviemakers to make them.”