The death of Maple Batalia in September of 2011 has been one of Surrey’s most heart-breaking stories in recent memory.
Batalia’s family finally received justice earlier this year when Maple’s ex-boyfriend was convicted of the crime and sentenced to serve to life in prison.
Throughout the years, Maple’s sister Roseleen stayed in contact with Mani Amar, a Surrey filmmaker known for with exploring issues and violence within the community.
Earlier this week, the two announced that Mani Amar will direct a new fictional-film that will focus on the life and death of Maple Batalia.
While the film will likely be classified under the crime-genre, it won’t contain a gang element, something different from Amar’s recent projects.
In an interview with 604 Now, Amar shared that Roseleen first contacted him shortly after Maple’s death and said “it feels like I’m living in one of your films”.
The pair remained in contact and decided to create a film with a mutual goal: to shine light on the issue of violence against women.
Mani Amar, who describes himself as an activist before a filmmaker, feels the story has a strong emotional connection.
While the idea of a film has been floating around for quite some time, Amar says he was in no rush to get the ball rolling.
“Justice for the family is the utmost importance. I didn’t want to pursue the project and hinder the sentencing or the on-going investigations”.
Amar quietly began working on the script earlier this summer and will fully produce the film. If things go according to plan, filming could potentially begin in September 2017.
Until then, Amar plans to research and dig further into the story by interviewing those closely involved. He also plans to reach out to Maple’s ex-boyfriend, Gurjinder Dhaliwal, with hopes of gaining additional context and enhancing the story.