Experiencing Interruptions?

Tigress

TIGRESS is a short, dramatic film that explores the phenomena of militant rebellions. It addresses the disparity between diaspora youth who rebel with drugs and partying, and the youth who rebel by arming themselves and going to war.

Trina, a stubborn and rebellious 20-something, has gone to the motherland as an aid-worker during the war. Once there, she finds herself overwhelmed by the traumas she witnesses and
turns to partying hard with her fellow volunteers as a way to cope. One night during a drunken foray, she encounters another version of herself as a paramilitary fighter for the notorious Tamil Tigers -- and her sense of western privilege collides with the reality of her ancestors.

“ A devastating portrayal of a lost generation...it moved me deeply.”
-Marcin Luczaj, New Europe Films

“Dreamy visuals, great performance and certainly relatable to a POV that many first and second generation struggle with”
- Ravi Srinavasan, TIFF

  • Maya Bastian
    Director
    Air Show, Arrival Archives
  • Maya Bastian
    Writer
    Air Show, The Taylor Files, How To Be Brown, BLK:History, Arrival Archives
  • Maya Bastian
    Producer
    Air Show, Arrival Archives, Housekeeping
  • Karl Janisse
    Producer
    Dead Rush, Stories We Tell Ourselves, Rowe
  • Alan McAlex
    Producer
    A Suitable Boy, Children of the Sun, The Elder One,
  • Anne Kasthury Saverimuthu
    Key Cast
    "Trina"
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 27, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    60,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, India
  • Language:
    English, Tamil
  • Shooting Format:
    ARRI Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Netflix/CFC Calling Card Accelerator
    Toronto
    Canada
    Participant
  • Cannes Court Metrage
    Cannes
    France
    July 12, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Northeast Filmmaker Lab
    Albany, NY
    United States
    Participant
  • Festival De Nouveau Cinema
    Montreal
    Canada
    October 11, 2021
    North American Premiere
  • Goa Short Film Festival
    Goa
    India
    November 1, 2021
    Indian Premiere
  • Reel Asian Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    November 10, 2021
    Toronto Premiere
  • Vancouver South Asian Film Festival
    Vancouver
    Canada
    November 11, 2021
  • Rising Sun Film Festival
    Kitakyushu
    Japan
    November 5, 2021
  • Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    December 1, 2021
  • Toronto Queer Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    March 31, 2022
  • CBC Canada
    Toronto
    Canada
    December 9, 2021
    North American Television premiere
  • Canadian Cinema Editor Award

    Canada
    Nominee
  • London Indian Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    June 29, 2022
    UK Premiere
    Satyajit Ray Short Film Competition
  • Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
    Seattle
    United States
    November 3, 2022
  • Calgary International Film Festival
    Calgary
    Canada
    September 22, 2022
  • Chicago South Asian Film Festival
    Chicago
    United States
    September 14, 2022
    US Premiere
  • Reykjavik International Film Festival
    Reykjavik
    Iceland
    October 4, 2022
    Icelandic Premiere
    Golden Egg Competition
  • South Asian International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    December 28, 2022
    Best Short Film
Director Biography - Maya Bastian

Maya Bastian is an award winning filmmaker and writer with roots in conflict journalism. Her work has been shown in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, UK, France, Asia and across Canada. Her short drama AIR SHOW received national press and is currently airing on CBC. Her most recent film TIGRESS was produced by BLACKOUT MEDIA and India’s JAR PICTURES and was recently nominated for a CEC AWARD. TIGRESS was supported by CBC, NETFLIX and the CANADIAN FILM CENTER, and recently participated in the CANNES COURT METRAGE 2021. It premiered at Festival de Nouveau Cinema 2021. She is in development on multiple features with BLACKOUT MEDIA and SUITABLE PICTURES and is currently show running a 1/2 hour comedy series on race & representation ‘HOW TO BE BROWN’ with CINEFAM as well as co-writing and directing a paranormal mystery series set in 1970's Southeast Asia with REFLECTOR ENTERTAINMENT. Her work frequently explores the trauma related to displacement and migration. She specializes in exploring untold stories from around the world, integrating the voices of each unique community through active engagement, research and open dialogue.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My ancestors’ memories are saturated with the bloody civil war that ravaged my homeland for 30 years. As a first generation Canadian and a member of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, some of my earliest memories are of stories being told in hushed whispers, of people escaping terror and of those who could not get out.

At 21, I visited my grandmother in the northern province of Sri Lanka. There were bullet holes in her walls and graveyards full of young men and women who had died for the Tamil Tigers. And
yet more willingly joined this local militia. I was a spoiled 21 year old in the midst of my own rebellion. The dichotomy of this experience and yet the glaring parallels are something that sought further exploration. It begged the question: What if my family had never left Sri Lanka? Who would I have become?

With ‘Tigress’, I explore my own history as a third-culture child and the questions that arise from having the narrative of war be singularly intertwined with my identity. I seek to uncover the nuances of war zones and to question the narratives we are given by mainstream media.