Presented by Toyota Motor North America for the second time, the 7th annual Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (DFW SAFF) and the 3rd annual New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF), produced by Texas, New York and India-based media conglomerate, JINGO Ventures, will showcase an identical lineup of 23 finely-curated shorts, documentaries and feature films in downtown Dallas and Manhattan during consecutive weekends in October.
“Typically, we host our Dallas festival in the spring and our New York festival in the fall,” said Festivals Founder and Director Jitin Hingorani, “but because of the ongoing pandemic and the travel restrictions around it, we decided to host both festivals back-to-back in the fall, so that we can highlight the same set of films and fly in the same talent for both festivals. We’ve also added a virtual festival, after our two physical festivals, because our online programming during the 2020 lockdown was so successful and attracted an astounding number of cinephiles across North America.”
“After the incredible success of our partnership with DFW SAFF and NYC SAFF in 2019, we are excited to partner with Jitin and his team once again,” said Kelsey Charles, sponsorship integration, integrated marketing operations, Toyota Motor North America. “At Toyota, we celebrate cultural diversity in all that we do, and we look forward to growing our support of the South Asian community in Dallas and New York City.”
The opening, centerpiece and closing nights films at DFW SAFF & NYC SAFF are Geeta Malik’s comedy INDIA SWEET AND SPICES, Gaurav Madan’s drama BARAH BY BARAH and Ajitesh Sharma’s documentary WOMB (Women Of My Billion).
Tribeca Film Festival darling, INDIA SWEETS AND SPICES, celebrates a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against a lovingly-framed glimpse of the life of an Indian-American family. Directed by Geeta Malik and starring Sophia Ali, Manisha Koirala, Adil Hussain and Deepti Gupta.
Sooraj, the last remaining death photographer at the burning banks of Manikarnika, is going through troubled times like old Kashi. The ancient town is being demolished to build modern beautified pathways. The death photographer is out of work because of the fancy smartphones with exquisite cameras. He stands at the crossroads – either he continues seeking dummies to click or he looks for greener pastures beyond the singed banks of Varanasi to secure a better future for his family. Watch trailer HERE
WOMB is a heart-warming watch exploring the socio-political issues faced by women of today’s India. The documentary feature highlights the monumental journey through Srishti Bakshi’s lens, her interaction with over 85,000 women over more than 100 workshops she conducted in schools, villages and institutions on her walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
The festivals boast FOUR world premieres, EIGHT North American premieres and 11 Texas/NYC premieres. Highlights over the THREE days include:
World premiere of Rajaram Rajendran’s sci-fi thriller RANI RANI RANI, starring independent cinema queen Tannishtha Chatterjee in the titular, TRIPLE roles. Watch trailer HERE.
The grande dame of Indian cinema, Farrukh Jaffar (of GULABO SITABO and PEEPLI LIVE fame), takes on Bollywood’s patriarchy in the North American Premiere of Sandeep Kumar’s MEHRUNISA. Watch trailer HERE.
One of Mindy Kaling’s favorite films of the year is Sujata Day’s Indo-American, model minority satire DEFINITION PLEASE, having its Dallas and NYC premieres at our festivals. Watch trailer HERE.
International festival premiere of Abhiroop Basu’s short film, LAALI, starring Pankaj Tripathi as a lonely, Calcutta laundryman who finds solace in an unclaimed red dress left behind by a customer.
Faraz Arif Ansari’s lesbian short SHEER QORMA, starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar, as part of the festival’s LBGTQIA+ programming. Ansari and Dutta will be in attendance. Watch trailer HERE.
NYC SAFF will take place the following weekend, October 22 to 24, at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in Chelsea. For more information about this festival and the complete lineup, please visit www.nycsaff.com.
Virtual SAFF, powered by Movie Saints, will take place online from October 25 to 31 at www.virtualsaff.moviesaints.com. It will showcase all the films from the physical festivals, plus 12 additional titles that will have their world and North American premieres at this digital destination.