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Maternal 350 482 Forest City Film Festival

Synopsis: As a young Canadian-born daughter waits for acceptance to her dream arts program, her excitement turns to despondence as time goes on. Her Caribbean mother must make a heart wrenching decision to make sure her daughter escapes the cycle of poverty the two are caught in.

Southwestern Ontario connection: Director Andrew Simpson lived in London, Ontario and Producer Sedina Fiati graduated from the University of Windsor. Both Andrew and writer Richard Young have had their previous films play at Forest City Film Festival.

Points of Interest: Film Inspiration, as told by Richard Young.

As a South Asian-Canadian artist with Caribbean roots, the premise of Maternal came from my own family discord when I decided to pursue my artistic passion a decade ago, a discord familiar to many diverse artists.

Giving up my previous stable career led to fights and strained relationships. I was hurt and angry with my immigrant parents for attacking my dreams when I needed their support, assuming they were ashamed of me for being true to myself.

Years later, I realized that underneath all their frustrations and anger was LOVE. My parents grew up poor, coming to Canada and sacrificing so their children could have a better life. And it broke their hearts to see their child now struggle in the unstable arts industry because they were powerless to help me. Like many marginalized people, they tried to protect me by dissuading me from my dream because we couldn’t afford the precarious nature of it. For first-generation children whose loving immigrant parents can’t lift them up high enough, aspirations are ironically a privilege.

Maternal is a distillation of my family’s struggle with the arts. Where the absolute love for one’s child and dream that s/he can be anything comes up against the reality of one’s lot in life. I’m honoured that three powerhouse female black artists, actors Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah & Millie Davis as well as producer Sedina Fiati, connected with the story and came on board with director Andrew Simpson to realize this project.