Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is going to make a film on the story surrounding the voyage from India to Canada aboard the Komagata Maru, it was announced in Toronto on Monday, Nov. 14.
Salman Khan Films and Canadian film production house First Take Entertainment Ltd will jointly produce Lions of the Sea, a tragic story of a Japanese ship Komagata Maru and its 376 passengers — 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims and 12 Hindus — who arrived at Vancouver Harbour from India in 1914, but authorities didn’t allow passengers to disembark and denied them entry into Canada.
“SKF is delighted to join hands with First Take and participate in telling the story of the Komagata Maru incident,” said Khan. “Lions of the Sea is a film based on a true incident, which depicts heroism of all those who were on board and challenged the racial policies of the British Empire.”
The production of Lions of the Sea will commence next year as Canadians celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“It is imperative to tell this story as it mirrors the current global refugee crisis. “Lions of the Sea will allow us to embrace multiculturalism, diversity and bring humanity closer together,” said Khan.
Starring Irrfan Khan of Life of Pi, the epic story is likely to be filmed in India, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Canada. It is the first film to be announced and be produced under the India-Canada co-production treaty.
“Just as cinema today transcends borders, Lions of the Sea is a story reflective of challenging barriers and breaking them, irrespective of differences in language and race,” said Irrfan.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recognized the Komagata Maru tragedy and apologized in the House of Commons for the unjust treatment committed against the migrants.
“It’s an honour to a partner with Salman and SKF once again to ensure this historic story which has challenged many racial laws in the western world is finally being told. The issues of racial acceptance and due processes are at the heart of the story and continue to be relevant in today's world,” said Dr. Ajay Virmani of First Take Entertainment.