Private Project

Bark (missing colour / sound design)

Seventeen-year-old AJ scrolls through social media when his girlfriend, Priya, asks him out to prom. Troubled by her message, he logs into a blank profile and scrolls through anonymous men asking him to hook up.

Meanwhile, a man and wife are preparing for their first night after marriage. Although the wife is eager to consummate their marriage, he seems reluctant.

Later, AJ is approached by James online, who convinces him to meet up, something AJ has never done before. Meanwhile, the wife’s attempt at intimacy gives the man a panic attack.

As AJ eagerly rides his bike to meet James, the man frantically drives his car somewhere. Finally, AJ arrives at the meeting spot, an old tree, and a handsome teenager approaches him. They exchange pleasantries, but immediately the happy meeting turns sour when James sexually assaults AJ.

Later, the man arrives at the same tree, but time has passed. He walks to the tree and falls to his knee in tears. He gets a call from his wife, Priya, but he doesn’t answer.

  • Ganesh Thava
    The Orchid & The Tree
  • Ganesh Thava
    The Orchid & The Tree
  • Moe Abbas
    The Horrible History of Harriet Jones
  • Tahirih Vejdani
    Key Cast
  • Ganesh Thava
    Key Cast
    "Older AJ"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    16,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ganesh Thava

Ganesh Thava is a Tamil-Canadian writer, director, and actor working in film and theatre. Trained at Toronto's George Brown Theatre School and New York's Neighborhood Playhouse Theatre, he fearlessly explores everyday moments from underrepresented perspectives. Inspired by his immigrant journey, he passionately investigates the intersectionalities of ethnicity, status, and sexuality. His ultimate goal is to create nurturing spaces where diverse voices can express their profound truths.

Ganesh's ventures span multiple mediums. Currently workshopping in Toronto, his play "KOLI KARI" delves into the intricate relationship between an immigrant son and his mother. His feature film "MAN ABROAD," a tale of unconventional romance, was shortlisted for the prestigious Whistler Film Festival's Screenwriters Lab.

In 2021, Ganesh directed the award-winning Toronto Fringe show "MY KOREAN CANADIAN FRIEND." His debut short film, "THE ORCHID & THE TREE," premiered at Reel Asian Film Festival and reached audiences worldwide. This year, he developed his second short film, "BARK.”

Ganesh's most personal project to date is the solo show "UNDER THE MANGO TREE," developed at Factory Theatre's Foundry Playwriting Program. Support from the Toronto Arts Council (TAC), Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) has further fueled his creative journey.

Explore more about Ganesh Thava and his captivating projects at

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Director Statement

In our lives, there exist moments that possess the power to transform us irrevocably. Within this realm of decision-making, our humanity reveals itself in astonishing and liberating ways. However, what transpires when this very freedom is unjustly snatched away?

BARK, a short film, delves into the profound journey of a queer South Asian boy on the precipice of self-discovery. As he confronts his sexuality, he wages a silent battle against the rigid expectations imposed upon him by family and society. In this fragile and crucial moment, he stands at the edge of taking a courageous leap toward his authentic self. BARK is a poignant exploration of this pivotal moment in young AJ's life. Yet, within this beautiful opportunity for self-awareness and growth, an unexpected turn changes his life forever.

Through evocative imagery and nuanced performances, BARK seeks to unearth the emotional depths and complexities of this young man's journey. It is a meditation on the resilience of the human spirit, the struggle for authenticity, and the profound consequences that arise when personal freedom is jeopardized.