dfw saff

DFW South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) Celebrates Four-Year Milestone with Four Days of Programming


From February 8th to 11th in Dallas and Addison, the 4th annual DFW SAFF is proud to present ONE WORLD premiere, SIX INTERNATIONAL premieres, TWO U.S. premieres, NINE TEXAS premieres and ONE DALLAS premiere, for a total of 19 shorts, documentaries and feature films over a four-day period. “This is our most ambitious, comprehensive and well-balanced programming to date; it is also the most number of international premieres we have had at our festival,” said founder and festival director Jitin Hingorani. “Our major programming themes include: father/son and father/daughter stories, films with children as central characters and portraits of South Asian families living and working in Europe.”

“We are thrilled about our partnership with DFW SAFF,” said Ipsita Dasgupta, President, Hotstar International, the lead sponsor for the festival. “We think the Dallas/Fort Worth audience will truly engage with our content. Hotstar is a premium destination for Indian films, television serials, documentaries and sports. And we are proud to be screening our CinePlay DANCE LIKE A MAN, as part of the festival’s programming to give viewers a taste of the original content on our digital platform.”

Texas Premiere of documentary ASK THE SEXPERT
International Premiere of Gujarati children’s film DHH
International Premiere of feature film BHASMASUR
U.S. Premiere of Indo-Italian film BABYLON SISTERS

Our opening night film is the U.S. premiere of WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY, directed by Iram Haq and starring Adil Hussain and Maria Mozhdah.
Sixteen-year-old Nisha lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager. When her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide.
To set an example, Nisha’s parents decide to kidnap her and place her with relatives in Pakistan. Here, in a country she has never been to before, Nisha is forced to adapt to her parents’ culture. WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY is a moving drama about the complex relationship between a father and daughter.

Our centerpiece film is the Dallas Premiere of Arshad Khan’s personal documentary ABU, a journey to the center of a fragmented family while they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation and classic Bollywood films, gay-identifying Pakistani-Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism and modernity and familiarity.

Our closing night feature is the International Premiere of Marathi film CHUMBAK (THE LOTTERY), a coming-of-age story of Baalu, a 15-year-old, waiter-boy in Mumbai, who is on the crossroads of his aspirations and morals. Baalu dreams of escaping this wretched life with a small little business of his own, a little sugarcane juice stall near his village’s public Bus-Stand. Having exhausted all means, a desperate and broke Baalu, along with his street-smart friend Dhananjay (a.k.a Disco), make a plan to put together the money with the only way they can think of – the infamous ‘Nigerian SMS Scam.’ But, of the hundreds expected to respond to his text messages, no one but one man falls for it…a simple, poor, mentally-slow villager named Prasanna.
Caught between his guilt and conscience of fleecing such a man and the greed to fulfill his ambitions, Baalu will now have to make a choice. Chumbak is the story of these choices for Baalu that shall shape his life.

JINGO Media, a public relations and events management company based in New York City and Dallas, created this ‘first-ever South Asian film festival in North Texas’ in 2015. Since then, DFW SAFF has achieved significant milestones in the community, which include:

Recognition by Governor Greg Abbott as “The Most Innovative Small Business in Texas” in 2017
More than 1500 unique visitors attend film screenings, networking events and after-parties over a four-day-period in Dallas and Addison
More than 25% of the audience is typically NON-South Asian
Mainstream sponsors like Wells Fargo, Mercedes Benz and Parish Episcopal School, to name a few
Mainstream media coverage by The Huffington Post, NPR, Good Morning Texas, The Dallas Morning News, Theater Jones, to name a few

Complete Lineup (Feb. 8th to the 11th):

Thursday, February 8th: Highland Park Village Theater, Dallas
6 to 7 p.m. – Cocktail Reception/Pakistani Programming begins at 7:15 p.m.
MEHRAM (Short Film)
WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY (Opening Night Feature Film)
Red Carpet & After-Party at Bistro 31
Friday, February 9th: AMC Village on the Parkway, Addison
6:30 p.m.
Hotstar’s Cineplay: DANCE LIKE A MAN (Arts Programming)
Q&A with Actress Suchitra Pillai and Hotstar Spokesperson (TBD)
8:30 p.m.
LOVE AND SHUKLA (Valentine’s Day Love Programming – Feature Film)
Q&A with Director Siddartha Jatla
Valentine’s Day After-Party (TBD)
Saturday, February 10th: AMC Village on the Parkway, Addison
ASK THE SEXPERT (Documentary)
1:30 p.m.: LGBTQ Shorts Programming
Q&A with actress Priyanka Bose, actor Shawn Parikh and director Faraz Mariam Arif Ansari
3:15 p.m.: Indo-European Programming
LA LUNE FOLLE (French Short Film)
BABYLON SISTERS (Italian Feature Film)
5 p.m.: Indo-Western Programming
THE VALLEY (Feature Film)
Q&A with director Sangeeta Agrawal, director Saila Kariat & actress Suchitra Pillai
7:15 p.m.: Centerpiece Programming
ABU (Documentary)
Q&A with director Arshad Khan
After-Party at Saffron House
Sunday, February 11th: AMC Village on the Parkway, Addison
Noon: Education/Family Programming
MEDIUM (Short Film)
DHH (Feature Film)
2:45 p.m.
BHASMASUR (Feature Film)
Q&A with director Nishil Sheth
4:30 p.m.
CHUMBAK (Closing Night Feature Film)
Q&A with director Sandeep Modi, actor Swanand Kirkire and producer Naren Kumar
7 p.m. onwards – Closing Night Party (by invitation only)

Wells Fargo
Skypass Travel
Mercedes Benz of Plano
Town of Addison
Parish Episcopal School
World Affairs Council
UT Dallas – Naveen Jindal School of Management
Dallas Film Commission

Media Partners:
Asian Variety Show (AVS)
Radio Azad
Anokhi Media
Desiplaza TV
IAsia TV
TV Asia
Brown Girl Magazine

Community Partners:
Selig Polyscope Company
Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art
Top Pot Doughnuts
Marathi Mandal