World News

Creative duo vying for “Surrey” web series funding

12 August 2016 at 04:02 | 1717 views

Culled from SFU News, Vancouver, Canada.

An SFU alumni-duo who conceived an initiative, called Creative Surrey, three years ago, are hoping a project spun out of it will wind up as a web series this fall.

Kashif Pasta and Shyam Valera started a film production company, Dunya Media, while they were student filmmakers in 2013. This past year their venture became a full-time creative agency, dedicated to telling stories that reflect cultural diversity in all of their projects.

Among them is a web series pilot for Telus called Welcome to Surrey . The potential series is now the subject of an online vote that ends at noon on August 12 (vote at . Pasta and Valera are one of 30 teams in the running to secure funding for a full season.

The series is a comedy about five students (from SFU) in their early twenties becoming adults in a world where culture, identity, life and love are constantly in flux. Suneet, a law student in Toronto, comes home to Surrey to look after her father and reconnects with old friends, and re-ignites a romantic relationship that forces her to makes choices between her old life and an aminous new one. Pasta says the series is about “coming of age in a city that’s not built for it,” and being “from” one culture and born and raised in another.

Another project is called Dunya Health, which Pasta describes as a “Bill Nye-meets-Buzzfeed” show for South Asian seniors. Drawing on their SFU backgrounds, Valera’s in health sciences and Pasta’s in communication, they address health issues in the South Asian community in a “fun, engaging and relate-able way.” A teaser and first episode can be found on Facebook.

The two are high school friends, recent SFU graduates (Pasta in 2013, Valera in 2015) continue to maintain a deep interest in growing the arts in their community. Their goal is to share “uplifting” stories about their community with positive messages and promote Surrey and its potential to be “an arts hub” for the region.