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 Sweets And Spices,” Gaurav Madan’s drama “Barah By Barah,” and Ajitesh Sharma’s documentary “Womb (Women Of My Billion).”
The festivals boast of four world premieres, eight North American premieres, and eleven Texas/NYC premieres. Highlights over the three days include:
The world premiere of Rajaram Rajendran’s sci-fi thriller “Rani Rani Rani” starring independent cinema queen Tannishtha Chatterjee in the titular, triple role.
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.”
One of Mindy Kaling’s favorite films of the year is Sujata Day’s Indo-American, model minority satire “Definition Please” is having its Dallas and NYC premieres at the festivals.
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, is part of the festival’s LBGTQIA+ programming. Ansari and Dutta will be in attendance.
DFW SAFF is slated from October 15th to 17th at the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum in downtown. For the synopses, trailers, showtimes, and ticket information, please visit www.dfwsaff.com
NYC SAFF will take place the following weekend, October 22nd to 24th, 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 25th to 31st at www.virtualsaff.moviesaints.com. It will showcase all the films from the physical festivals, plus twelve additional titles that will have their world and North American premieres at this digital destination.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.