B.C. sexual-abuse documentary Because We Are Girls pulled from VIFF due to legal case

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      A B.C. film that was about to have its world premiere at the 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival lineup has had to be withdrawn due to ongoing litigation.

      Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra's latest documentary Because We Are Girls was slated to debut at VIFF on September 30, with a second screening on October 3.

      However, on September 16, VIFF announced that the screenings had been cancelled, along with other changes to the schedule.

      The 83-minute film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), takes a look at the story of three sisters in a conservative Indo-Canadian family from smalltown northern B.C. who speak out about sexual abuse by a cousin 25 years ago, as they suspect he is still abusing other family members.

      NFB executive producer Shirley Vercruysse at the B.C. and Yukon Centre in Vancouver confirmed to the Georgia Straight by phone that they removed it from the festival.

      "We had thought that the legal proceedings were completed but they're not," she said.

      Vercruysse said that the NFB is not involved in the legal case, and as such, she could not disclose any details about the case.

      However, she added that they're "100 percent behind the film" and that "it needs a little bit more time".

      The film won't screen at VIFF this year but the NFB is hoping to release it once the legal case is over.

      Sangra's other documentaries include Many Rivers Home, which focuses on her mother to address family relationships, aging, and end-of-life issues; and Warrior Boys, about gang violence and the South Asian community in the Lower Mainland.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook