Seven South Asian film festivals in the U.S. and Canada have decided to merge their efforts into one online event running Oct. 3-17.
According to a statement from the coalition, for 15 days the virtual festival will stream films and host Q&As with filmmakers, as well as other conversations on industry topics and relating to the South Asian community.
The festivals that are merging their efforts are: Tasveer South Asian Film Festival in Seattle; Chicago and Washington, D.C., and Vancouver fests; Mosaic Intl. festival in Toronto; Nepal America fest in Maryland; and the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal.
These festivals showcase films from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Tibet and Sri Lanka. The films that unspool are not mainstream Hindi films, otherwise known as Bollywood movies, but rather smaller indie movies.
In a statement the Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals said it is curating cutting-edge, critically acclaimed films and making them accessible to the public for free. The films will stream on Vimeo OTT, which allows them to set up their own streaming platform. While the lineup is still being set, the films will be from those released in 2019 and 2020, according to the organizers.
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“CoSAFF’s efforts will provide filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their hard work to the widest possible audience in a respectful and secure manner. And, in turn, for all our audiences to have a shared experience watching these films without the burden of having to pay for them,” according to the statement.
Pictured Aparna Sen, left, Shabana Azmi and Rajkummar Rao (in the hat) at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival.