The Okotoks Film Festival begins tonight (Wednesday, June 5), and the opening night film is a documentary about a group of refugees in the 1970s.

The documentary, Thrown into Canada, shows how in 1972, the President of Uganda, Idi Amin, announced that everyone of Asian descent had to leave Uganda within 90 days.

"In 1972, Idi Amin, who was the president of Uganda at the time, expelled about 50,000 South Asians from the country," explained the Thrown into Canada creator, Aleem Karmali. "And Canada at that time accepted close to 8,000 refugees coming from Uganda. So, it's kind of looking at that story of these refugees."

This was also the first major movement of non-European refugees in Canadian history.

"There had been small movements from different places before that, a few hundred here and there. But this is the first time that they took thousands. One of the things I look at is that it was seen as a very successful refugee resettlement. Because of that, it actually opened the door for Canada to take other, larger refugee movements," says Karmali.

For instance, the Indo-Chinese movement in the late 1970s, and more recently, the refugees from Afghanistan and Syria.

"So, the film looks at... it's like a two-pronged story, but in a lot of ways I saw it as a Canadian history flick. So, as much as it's about people in Uganda being expelled, people who had lived, sometimes for generations, in East Africa, and suddenly being thrown out. And looking into the reasons why, because this story has actually been retold a number of times over the years."

In the documentary, Karmeli interviews several of the residents who came to Canada as one of these refugees, including the current Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Salma Lakhani.

While stories of these refugees' experiences are often shared, Karmali says that what is often left out from these stories is the reasons why they were expelled from Uganda.

"The other question is, how did they end up in Canada? And why did Canada take them in? Canada had no real obligation to take them. So, I wanted to look into that and so, it's a much more in-depth analysis of that story. What was the backstory, what were the experiences of people during that time and leaving Uganda? How did people end up in Canada? And what were the reasons, even some of the policy decisions that Canada had made along the way," says Karmali.

Karmali decided to create the documentary because it was a story that fascinated him and was also similar to his family's history in Kenya.

This film has already been screened at film festivals around the world and actually won two awards at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival last year.

It won Best Director for a Canadian Feature Film and Best Editing for a Canadian Film.

Thrown into Canada has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the Okotoks Film Festival.

The film will be screened at 7 pm on Wednesday evening at Okotoks Cinemas, where it will be kicking off the festival.