Grad Day

Rokiya has just graduated from university and tries to make the occasion more exciting than she feels by having a picnic with her younger sister, Fatima, who wants to drop out of university to pursue her passion for acting.

Their struggle to find direction in their lives is a lot more complicated than seen at first glance.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Saira Rahman

Director’s statement

Saira Rahman says:

“I wrote Grad Day as part of my graduation project for the Digital Film Production program at Langara College in Vancouver. It takes place all in one location and all in one small area – on a picnic blanket.

Most of the film comprised of mid-shots and close-ups to create a sense of intimacy between the two sisters and to make way for the big reveal at the end.

What was my inspiration for the film? I have several dear friends who had lost one parent when they were young adults and I often wondered what the conversation is like when they visit them. It was very difficult emotionally when I wrote the script as I imagined myself in their shoes.

The process has made me all the more grateful for the opportunity to have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the friendship and love of my parents in my life.

I was extremely fortunate to discover such talented actors both of whom graduated from two prestigious institutions in Canada: Namrita Hayer from Langara College Studio 58 and Sahaj Malhotra from Vancouver Film School.

My crew and good friends were invaluable. I hope to work with all of them again in the near future!”

About Saira Rahman

Saira-Rahman

Before pursuing filmmaking, Saira was a teacher and school administrator after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor and Master of Education.

In 2003, she was approached to write a three-part documentary series and educator’s guide about Muslim Canadians called A New Life in a New Land, produced by friends Michael Milo and Flordeliza Dayrit of Milo Productions. A New Life aired on Vision TV and local television networks across Canada.

In 2009, Saira decided to seriously pursue filmmaking with her sister, Nilufer and completed a film production program at Langara College in Vancouver. Grad Day is her grad film project.

Leave a comment