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Alumni Profiles

Sunil Kalia

Sunil Kalia

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Year of Graduation: 2005
Program: Advanced Television and Film

Success in Any Language

Sunil Kalia’s production company, Cloud 9 Communications Inc., produces television commercials, corporate films and radio spots for the ethnic and mainstream market. In collaboration with prominent advertising agencies, the company has handled various campaigns for Rogers Communications, Toyota Canada, Home Depot, Garnier and Chrysler to name a few. 

In particular, Cloud 9 specializes in adapting existing commercials for the South and East Asian broadcast market. Asian language television offerings have exploded since they were introduced about seven years ago. Canada now offers more than 30 South Asian language channels and over a dozen Chinese language channels alone. 

It’s not unusual, then, for Cloud 9 to produce a commercial in up to four languages, using actors from a variety of age groups and backgrounds. Included among the languages he works in are Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin and even accented English. The South Asian market covers a large number of languages, explains Sunil. “English is their common language so we adapt commercials by using accented English or “Hinglish”, which many people from South Asia are comfortable with.” 

Lately, though Cloud 9 is tackling projects in Polish and Russian, quite a stretch for a Sunil, who worked in the film business in his native India before moving to Toronto in 2002. 

With little formal media arts education, Sunil broke into the TV business from the bottom, as a production assistant for a prominent Indian filmmaker. Soon, he was learning the filmmaking craft and forging connections for the future. It was then time for Sunil to expand his reach. 

“The ATVF course was exactly what I was looking for. It added to my previous experience and gave me the edge,” he says. “Sheridan provided me with the knowledge and experience to enter the Canadian film market and create a niche for myself.” 

Clearly, there are no clouds on the horizon for Sunil, so does the name Cloud 9 refer to the limitless opportunities of dreaming sky high? Not quite, he says. It comes from the Bryan Adams hit song Sunil heard on the radio after his accountant told him to finalize a name for his new company. “It seemed to fit perfectly,” he recalls.