On September 28, 2011, the loss of Maple Batalia had ripple affects across British Columbia. The 19-year old aspiring model and SFU student was shot in at the Central City parkade in Surrey. Her former boyfriend has been ordered to stand trial for the murder.
Living in Penticton at the time, filmmaker Krystal Kiran learned about Maple’s personal interests in the arts and was drawn to her story.
“I felt like amidst this tragedy there was something positive that could come out of it by giving other young South Asian girls the opportunity to fill their creative and artistic dreams,” says the young filmmaker.
Completed in 2013, Kiran’s short film, “Thy Beauty’s Doom” showcases a cinematic dance narrative highlighting Maple’s art while telling a tragic tale. Krystal acts as the lead character in the film. As a singer, dancer and actor, Krystal has also been seen in Broadway shows, film, and television, and toured with award winning composer A.R. Rahman on his Jai Ho World Tour. The film debuted in May at the Punjabi International Film Festival to great industry reviews.
Through the creation of the film and learning more about Maple through her friends and family, Krystal established The Maple Batalia Bursary for the Arts in conjunction with the Batalia family. The goal is to raise $19,000 annually, commemorating Maple’s young age at her passing and to provide awards to young women of South Asian descent who are pursuing the arts. The #TeamMaple social media campaign is designed to help raise awareness for the bursary and brings together South Asian female artists from around the world to speak in support of the importance of her memory.
Funds are currently being raised for the bursary through the sale of the film soundtrack, entitled, “Forever Gone (Maple’s Song),” which is available on iTunes.
“We are very grateful that Maple’s artistic talents will be showcased for everyone to see and are very happy with how the film shows the audience an artistic beauty that is true to who Maple was,” says Rose Batalia, Maple’s older sister. “The film puts forth a genuine story that pays wonderful tribute to an amazing soul.” Learn more at www.houseofkiran.org
Photo Credit: Bob Gundu