Today I want to shout out a dope new film that’s generating buzz on the festival circuit. White Elephant, a coming-of-age drama from writer-director Andrew C is on a hot streak right now. The movie recently won over audiences and took home awards at the ReelWorld Film Festival, Canadian Film Fest, and CAAMFest.
White Elephant’s plot, setting, and themes speak right to me. Andrew C calls the movie a personal love/hate letter to his Scarborough/Markham upbringing. The story centres on a South Asian teenage girl (played by Zaarin Bushra) with a crush on a white boy. Andrew C uses the premise as a jumping-off point to examine the complexities of race, culture, representation, implicit bias, and the forces that shape how we self-identify. Check out the trailer below.
White Elephant trailer:
An introspective coming-of-age story set in Scarborough during the ‘90s? I’m all in on this one. You can follow Andrew C on Twitter @ThisIsAndrewC for the latest updates on when and where you can catch White Elephant.
White Elephant synopsis:
Set in 1996, “White Elephant” is about Pooja, an Indo-Canadian teenage girl with an innocent crush on Trevor, a local white boy – a white boy just like the teen heartthrobs she sees in all the movies and TV she’s obsessed with. A boy unlike all the other boys in her mostly Brown and Black neighbourhood. However, growing up in a majority-minority neighbourhood makes her efforts to pursue Trevor harrowing. As her attempts to spend time with him get bolder, the cultural divide between their groups of friends grows larger. The rift ultimately becomes more hostile than she could’ve imagined. But this isn’t your typical forbidden love story. It’s a self-love story.