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ravi srinivasan

Friends raise over $80K after tragic passing of Toronto film programmer

Ravi Srinivasan, senior manager of festival programming for TIFF and "champion" of the Canadian film community, has died suddenly at age 37. 

His passing on Saturday sent shock waves through Toronto's arts community who called the trailblazer a "bright spark" and "champion for filmmakers." 

Srinivasan was born and raised in Sarnia, Ont., and of Filipino and Indian heritage. He earned a bachelor's degree in film and English literature at Wilfrid Laurier University and studied film production at Sheridan College. 

Prior to working at TIFF, Srinivasan was an international programmer at Hot Docs, the founder and executive director of the South Western International Film Festival (SWIFF), and senior programmer of National Canadian Film Day

In 2016, he was named to the Sarnia Mayor's Honours list for launching SWIFF. 

Srinivasan worked at TIFF since 2013, and his last role was as senior manager for festival programming, where he focused on films from South Asia, the Phillipines, and Canada. 

A GoFundMe page organized by friend, Dave Hunter, on behalf of Srinivasan has raised over $80K in three days

"Ravi was a bright spark in this world and will be deeply missed. He touched the lives of so many and right now, it's our turn to give back to his family in their time of need," reads the campaign description. 

According to those who knew Srinivasan, his smile was "infectious" and his "laugh could fill any room." 

"We are saddened and shocked to learn of the sudden passing of our colleague and friend Ravi Srinivasan" Cameron Bailey, chief executive of TIFF, said in a statement on Sunday. "As a programmer, champion for filmmakers, and director of his own hometown film festival in Sarnia, Ravi was known to many for his passion, his generosity and the joy he brought to cinema." 

According to his TIFF bio, his favourite films were In a Year of 13 Moons, A Woman Under the Influence, and White Men Can't Jump.

"When he's not watching 300 films a year, Ravi spends his time rooting for the Toronto Raptors and Blue Jays, listening to Sharon Van Etten and Big Thief, and being a father to his Bernese Mountain dog, Joni," his bio reads. 

You can find the GoFundMe page dedicated to Srinivasan here

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