|AfroToronto: Give us a brief synopsis of what the film is about…
Lalita Krishna: The film is about a wrestler, called Tiger who came to Canada when he was 15 years old and decided to pick up wrestling. He started in Vancouver then came to Toronto. He then moved on to Japan and became a huge cult figure in Japan. So what I do in the film is I follow him to Japan as he’s getting ready for a big fight. So while we follow him, we keep flashing back to his early days as an immigrant in Canada.
AfroToronto: So why this particular wrestler and why now?
Lalita Krishna: Now because he’s very successful. He’s a cult figure in Japan. People worship the ground he walks on. He’s also very well known in Canada within the wrestling crowd. The other reason is that in the South-Asian community he’s also known as a very successful businessman. He’s a multi-millionaire. So I decided to follow the story. He was also having a big fight in 2004 when he turned 60. So it was also a bit of a comeback for him. And he was planning on going back to Japan for a big fight. So it was very timely for me to follow him.
AfroToronto: So what do you hope to accomplish with the film, beyond the fact that Tiger Jeet Singh will have a significant amount of recognition as a wrestler and a successful business person?
Lalita Krishna: I don’t hope to accomplish any of the things you just mentioned.
AfroToronto: You’ve already done it.
Lalita Krishna: My job as a documentary filmmaker is to tell the story. I was hoping simply to tell the story and have people go and watch and enjoy and hopefully be inspired. It’s a human story; a story of a man who came to Canada with nothing and went on to become a millionaire; a story of a man who has a very successful home life and is very family oriented. His wife went through a lot of hardship while he fought in Japan. So a lot of family values there. I learned a lot while filming this. First I learned about wrestling which I knew nothing about.
AfroToronto: You mentioned earlier (in pre-interview conversations) that the movie will be screened in Toronto in May 2005. Do you have any dates yet?
Lalita Krishna: No, not yet. I am still trying to set up where to have it.
AfroToronto: Thank you for your time Lalita.