This year’s awaited South Asian Film Festival will be a hybrid format inviting audiences into cinemas as well as online viewing of films, along with live Q&As from around the world. A platform for filmmakers of South Asian origin worldwide, the festival presents an eclectic choice of inspiring and thought-provoking films with a focus on the South Asian region and its diaspora. Almost every screening is subtitled in English and French. Film enthusiasts can look forward to 54 award-winning films from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Iran, South Korea, Canada and the USA, with short, long, documentary and feature selections. This 11th edition takes place Nov. 19-28. Most films are available for free, including opening night at Cineplex Forum.
Film themes are rich and wide-ranging, with newsworthy current topics highlighting life during Covid, immigration and displacement, LGBTQ+ issues, aging, gender parity, and the struggles of rural life. Divergent styles include documentary, animation, drama, and humour.
This year, special tribute to will be paid to renowned Bengali motion picture director, writer and illustrator Satyajit Ray on the 100th anniversary of his birth (1921-1992). Ray is a cultural icon in India and the recipient of the highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna. New to the festival is the annual presentation of films from a neighbouring South Asian country. The inaugural country is Iran, with an homage to Shahin Parhami, the late Montreal-based Iranian-Canadian filmmaker who passed away earlier this year.
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