Favourite Local Achiever Under 30

Joey L.

1. Ian Bawa
2. David Schellenberg
3. Emma Stefanchuk

Ian Bawa knows a thing or two about success. 

For one, he tries to avoid putting a label on his career. 

“I’ve made a point to be everywhere,” Bawa explains humbly. “Putting my foot in every aspect of the industry has definitely benefitted me. I also try to help out as much as I can.”

From co-directing a music video nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award to landing a grant allowing him and his team of friends (Markus Henkel, Milos Mitrovic and Fabian Velasco) to create a short film about a boxer on death row, it’s been a busy year since Bawa last won the Young Achiever category. 

Despite his best efforts to stay under the radar, Bawa is beginning to make a name for himself in the film industry as a sought-out producer and director. 

Currently, Bawa is working as assistant director on the Manitoba-made travelling show Escape or Die, which has taken him to such places as Columbia, Iceland and the Bahamas.

“It’s been a crazy year,” Bawa says. One thing that’s aided in the growing workload is a solid support system. 

“It’s the arts and it’s going to destroy you,” Bawa explains. “Having a support system is key, you can’t do art alone.”

Initially intending to become a lawyer, Bawa holds a degree in Criminal Justice and Politics from the University of Winnipeg. His interests shifted after Bawa began imagining a bleak future in the field of law. 

Discovering his love of film after editing some randomly shot footage, Bawa promptly entered the U of W’s film program and fell into a field which has never held the burden of feeling like work. 

“Success is not money, that’s for sure,” Bawa muses. “It’s the idea of bettering yourself, of constantly improving and always moving one step closer.”

Part of the series: The Uniter 30

Published in Volume 69, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 7, 2015)

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