Seven South Asian Film Festivals collaborate, launch line-up for 15-day digital event
Come October, seven South Asian film festivals in the US and Canada under the banner of 'Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals' (CoSAFF) will join hands for a single online event. On Wednesday, the festival announced the program lineup scheduled for October 3-17.
Mee Raqsam (I Dance), a directorial debut by Baba Azmi, will kickstart the 15-day long virtual festival followed by films and documentaries themed around an array of subjects. The lineup will screen films produced in 2019 and 2020.
On the concluding night, the festival will feature Prateek Vats' Eeb Allay Ooo! , that will bring down the curtains on the event. The film is a comedy-drama about a professional 'monkey repeller' deployed outside the government offices of the Raisina Hills.
The full schedule is available here.
Rita Meher, executive director of Tasveer, a Seattle-based South Asian social justice arts non-profit organization says, "Ever since the pandemic started we've all been facing a lot of uncertainties, and the arts community has been very badly affected. We wanted to support our artists and show solidarity while also engaging and entertaining our South Asian community. That's when we thought it'd be great if all South Asian film festivals across North America could unite for this cause, and seven of us came together."
The one-of-its-kind virtual festival that was announced on July 15 this year will also feature short blocks to showcase films incorporating themes on diaspora, LGBTQI stories, films by South Asian animators, the recently ignited Black Lives Matter movement as well as films addressing racism, and those made by women.
Entirely free for all audiences, it has been powered by Vimeo's OTT platform. A majority of these films will be available for Viewing On Demand (VOD) on the platform for the entire duration of the festival.
"I truly believe arts have the power to heal and help all of us move forward, now more than ever. And we've made it possible for our audience to sit back and enjoy the best of South Asian cinema right at the comfort of their homes! We have a brilliant lineup of over 60 films and we also have a stellar industry lineup which will be announced soon. That will feature panels, workshops, and masterclasses from key players in the industry. Our audience has access to all this content for 15 days for free," Meher told The New Indian Express.
Audiences can register for the film on the official website of CoSAFF.
The festivals that are merging for the event are Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF), Seattle, Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) Chicago, DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF), Mississauga, Ontario, Nepal America International Film Festival (NAIFF), Maryland, South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM), Montreal, Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival (VISAFF), Vancouver.