ON September 28, 2011, the Vancouver community was rocked by senseless actions that ultimately took Maple Batalia, a beloved daughter, sister and friend, from them. The ripple affect of this story was being felt across the world, including with British Columbian native Krystal Kiran.
Living in Penticton at the time, Krystal continued to watch the news unfold and learned about Maple’s personal interests in the arts including acting, painting and modelling. The tragedy resonated with her on a deep level and it was then that she realized that Maple’s story was the one she had been waiting to tell.
Only a few years earlier Krystal had been reading William Shakespeare’s Sonnets as alternative therapy to help her overcome her stutter. She found inspiration in Sonnets 14 and 66 and dreamed of creating a short film that interpreted their vivid imagery through song and dance. This dream only became plausible when Krystal received a letter letting her know she was the honoured recipient of BravoFACT funding. Yet something didn’t feel right, the story she wanted to tell was incomplete. She felt that there was a bigger reason for her receiving the green-light for this project; she had a bigger story to tell.
That perfect story was to encapsulate and celebrate the amazing artistic expression of a beautiful young woman, Maple Batalia. Completed in 2013, Krystal’s short film called Thy Beauty’s Doom showcases a cinematic dance narrative highlighting Maple’s art while telling a tragic tale. The film debuted in May at the Punjabi International Film Festival to great industry reviews.
“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.”
Krystal herself acts as the lead character in the film. With a dance background including everything from ballet, jazz and tap, to hip hop, modern and Indian classical, this was her way of bringing another piece of herself to the project. As a singer, dancer and actor, Krystal has also been seen in Broadway shows, film, television and has toured with Academy and Grammy Award Winning Composer A.R. Rahman on his Jai Ho World Tour. Her passion and experiences as a performer were another connection she felt to Maple.
Through the creation of the film and learning more about Maple through her friends and family, Krystal also 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, 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 speaking of in support of the importance of The Maple Batalia Bursary for the Arts.
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. For the soundtrack, Krystal reached out to friends from her A.R. Rahman tour including Christine Wu who composed and produced the song, Naveen Kumar who lent his skills on the flute and Satnam Ramgotra who is featured on tabla.
Theatrical Trailer: http://youtu.be/qyn_yvwS7uY
Forever Gone iTunes Download: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/forever-gone-maples-song-feat./id818524066
(Photo of Krystal Kiran by Alberto Espinal)