Drawn to film for its ability to have an emotional impact, Bhalla chooses projects that highlight voices we rarely hear. After spending months with Indian villagers who had been resisting an alumina project backed by the Canadian company Alcan, he produced his first independent project U.A.I.L. Go Back. It was used widely as an organizing tool to pressure Alcan over its involvement.
He has since worked on videos for groups including Human Rights Watch and the Global March Against Child Labour. His short documentary on the lives of Indian street artists, Writings on the Wall garnered awards at Worldfest Houston and the Columbus Film and Video Festival. It was broadcast nationally on Canada’s Bravo! Network, Indias NDTV, and internationally on Al Jazeera English.
Herman’s House is Bhalla’s first feature documentary. The award-winning film was selected for selected for broadcast in 2013 by the prestigious PBS series POV, received the support of the Ford Foundation and Sundance Institute, and played at True/False, Full Frame and Hot Docs. He is currently a Soros Justice Fellow, working to get Herman’s House out into the world, and is in production with the National Film Board of Canada on a companion interactive documentary Inside Herman’s House. He also works part-time as a community organizer for immigrant rights.
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