The International South Asian Film Festival returns to Surrey from September 28 to October 1 with a celebration of storytelling and inspiration. The iSAFF was created in 2008 to “bridge the gap” between South Asian talent and mainstream audiences by connecting directors, actors, producers, community organizations, corporate brands and South Asian cinephiles, and in 2023 has rebranded from the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival to the International South Asian Film Festival. The festival celebrates stories not usually represented by mainstream cinema or contemporary Bollywood film formulas, and this year with a theme of ‘Pathbreakers’, the festival will celebrate the visionaries, pioneers, and game-changers in the world of South Asian cinema, with a “carefully curated selection of thought-provoking and entertaining narrative films, documentaries, episodic and shorts that span a wide range of genres.”
The films lined up for the festival will bring forth different voices and styles of storytelling and take you on a trip all the way from North America to the heart of South Asia.
Every year the iSAFF finds ways to support different themes and perspectives and provides a platform for new talent while ensuring the best films make the line-up. Viewing highlights this year include:
- “The Lunchbox” – a special retrospective screening celebrating 10 years of the BAFTA-nominated film by Ritesh Batra, who will be in attendance.
- “In Flames” – a Canadian-Pakistani supernatural thriller by Zarrar Kahn, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
- “COMPLEXion” – a documentary about stigmas and taboos surrounding skin colour, featuring former Miss America, Nina Davuluri.
The festival kicks off on the evening of Friday, September 29 with its Opening Gala and a sneak peek at some of the films being presented at the festival and special performances. This red-carpet event will be attended by filmmakers, members of the community and the media, and black tie, Indian or fusion dress is recommended.
For more information about the International South Asian Film Festival and schedule, and to purchase tickets, please visit the iSAFF website.