Tasveer South Asian Film Festival 2022
Over 100 films from the South Asian diaspora 🎞️
November 3 – 20
My grandfather introduced me to the colorful world of Bollywood via bootleg VHS, sourced from regular trips to a desi video store. Perusing this year’s Tasveer South Asian Film Festival lineup gives me that same sense of joyful discovery, all grown up. Over 100 unapologetic films featured at this 17th annual event capture the expansive, layered identities that make up the South Asian diaspora today.
Three major features headline the program, and the cast and crew will be present for Q&A sessions post-screening.
- For shenanigan-induced laughs, go to the Opening Night Party and see Four Samosas on November 3. Set in LA County’s “Little India,” an unmotivated rapper plans a heist on his ex-girlfriend’s father’s grocery store to thwart her upcoming nuptials. At 6 pm, enjoy a beer and samosa chaat by Spice Waala at Optimism Brewing, then join the dhol march to SIFF Cinema Egyptian at 7:30 pm.
- For poetic shots of urban (wild)life, see All That Breathes on November 4 at 7:30 pm. This film was the first to win Best Documentary at both Cannes and Sundance film festivals! In the film, two New Delhi-based Muslim brothers devote their lives to avian rescue—the carnivorous (and therefore shunned) black kite is essential to the local ecosystem, yet they are falling from the sky at alarming rates.
- For a cathartic mother-daughter experience, see Goldfish on November 10 at 6 pm. A British-Indian woman returns home after a decade away and finds her mother suffering from the onset of dementia. French actress Kalki Koechlin will be among the cast present.
Then these documentary projects about the Bengali diaspora caught my eye:
- Bangla Surf Girls, a coming-of-age story about three teenage girls on the cusp of making history as Bangladesh’s first female surfers in an international competition—a dream of escaping poverty and crushing cultural norms come to potential reality.
- In Search of Bengali Harlem follows playwright Alaudin Ullah’s discovery of his family ties to a rich, lost history of Bengalis dodging Asian Exclusion laws and marrying into NYC’S African American and Puerto Rican communities in the mid-20th century.
Purchase an all-access pass for $250, or a virtual pass for $50; single-screening tix are also available. Both options will get you into online-only industry panels and a library of short films. Attend Decolonizing Sexuality to hear LGBTQIA+ filmmakers discuss perception and depiction of queer identity, and watch 7 Star Dinosor Entertainment to meet two brothers who built a business on dressing as giant, Bollywood-dancing dinosaurs for hire.
📸: Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
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Meghna leads with her curiosity when writing about travel, food, and beverages. She previously wrote about cookbooks at Kitchen Arts & Letters, and has managed events & communications at Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and Cascade Bicycle Club. She is newly pescatarian and a Seattle native. Follow along at @wanderingthali.