Kelowna-based Filmi Trivia changes the game for Bollywood lovers

The Bollywood-themed card game offers 250 questions across five categories

Halfway through my phone call with Sami Brar, I’m glad we’re not on video. She’s about to shoot some trivia questions at me, and though I grew up watching Bollywood, I’m not exactly up to date on the industry.

“What is the name of the purse in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara?” she asks. 

I definitely knew this… 12 years ago, when I watched the movie. “I don’t know,” I admit. 


In the movie (something like a Bollywood remake of Hangover), one of the lead characters names a €12,000 purse Bagwati (a twist on Bhagavati, an honorific title used for female deities in Hinduism) because he can’t comprehend why it would cost so much. It’s an iconic scene—one that unfortunately doesn’t come with subtitles on YouTube.  

Brar continues on to the movie stars category of her game. “Which actresses were crowned Miss World and Miss Universe in 1994?” she asks. 

“Aishwarya Rai!” I practically yell. (It’s my saving grace.) 

“And Sushmita Sen,” Brar adds with a laugh. 

Brar’s questions are from Filmi Trivia, a $25 card game she developed during the pandemic to spark joy and laughter among multi-generational families. She calls the business her passion project, one that’s driven by her love for bringing people together.  

When COVID lockdowns took effect, Brar, who works as a community and Indigenous initiatives manager for FortisBC, was looking to create fun ways of connecting with close friends and family over Zoom. “So I would host virtual trivia nights,” she says. “We used to call them Ladies’ Night, and it was my friends, their moms, my sister, my cousins. It was a diverse group. And every Friday night, we would get together on Zoom. I would spend the week preparing these questions, and then we would do a round of trivia. They all really looked forward to it.” 

Excited by all the positive feedback she was getting, Brar decided to share some questions on Instagram—and she was floored by the response: “I got so many comments like, ‘This has been so much fun during the pandemic,’ and, ‘I look forward to when you post.’

“Then I started doing some research, and there was no Bollywood-themed trivia game. It blew my mind because Bollywood’s a billion-dollar industry, and India produces the most films in the world—way more than Hollywood. I was like, How come something like this hasn’t existed?” 

Brar’s surprise is shared by the wider South Asian community. It’s not that there are no other Bollywood-themed games out there, but more so the lack of. That said, boardgame culture is still “very North American,” as she puts it, and we’re only now starting to see it gain traction in South Asia. 

Brar, who also runs South Asian arts festival OKGN Mela, spent a year perfecting questions and categories with her best friend. She carried out focus groups in her free time, “and if a question didn’t land well, we went back to the drawing board,” she says. In the end she was left with 250 questions across five categories, and her artist husband Gurpreeth Singh eventually brought them to life as a physical deck of cards. In 2022, Filmi Trivia launched on Kickstarter. 

“We wanted this game to be accessible,” says Brar, “and we wanted it to get into as many households as possible”—particularly because the competitiveness breeds hilarity. In 2023, she started hosting in-person trivia nights in Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton and Port Coquitlam. “We all grew up watching these films… I see parents come with their kids and people getting so into it. By the end of the night, everyone says, Thank you so much for hosting this. Just being able to do that, like, creating spaces and opportunities that have a cultural relevance, it’s really important to me.”