10th Annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival begins October 15

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Fri, 09/18/2015 - 11:28 -- Nick Dager

Tasveer will present the 10th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival from October 15-25. SSAFF 2015 includes 59 films from 9 countries, with dozens of directors, producers, and acting talent expected to attend the 12-day event.

SSAFF has grown to become the largest, longest, and most diverse South Asian film festival in the United States, presenting conversations about human rights, social justice, women’s issues, immigration, and globalization engaged through the art of film from across the South Asian sub-continent. Films from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka will appear at SSAFF 2015.

Sri Lanka is in the spotlight at SSAFF 2015 with an exceptional program of dramas, documentaries, and shorts and the attendance of veteran Sri Lankan filmmaker and recipient of the 2014 Tasveer Emerald Award Prasanna Vithanage. A retrospective of Vithanage’s work will take place over the first weekend of the Festival and the filmmaker himself will appear at Q&As following each of the four films included in the retrospective, at a symposium titled Human Rights and the Politics of Filmmaking in South Asia, and at a reception to be held in his honor.

Seattle's South Asian Film Festival begins October 15.The theme for SSAFF 2015 is Coming Home, an evocative topic reflected among the selected films in ways as diverse as the South Asian diaspora itself, as varied as answers to the question, “What is Home?”

Opening Night kicks off the Festival on Thursday, October 15 at AMC Pacific Place in Seattle with the dramatic comedy FOR HERE OR TO GO? and special guests associated with the film. The humorous look at personal battles faced by immigrants living in America will be followed by a gala featuring VIP guests, food, wine, music, and much more.

Pakistani-American comedian Fawzia Mirza will grace the Festival’s Centerpiece Gala on Thursday, October 22 at Seattle Asian Art Museum to present her short film THE FIRST SESSION and perform her one-woman play, Me, My Mom, and Sharmila. Mirza is known for her web series Kam Kardashian and sketch comedy series Brown Girl Problems and was named to Indiewire's Top 10 Creatives of 2014.

SSAFF 2015 closes on Sunday, October 25 at the Carco Theatre in Renton with a star-studded evening featuring THE SPECTACULAR JIHAD OF TAZ RAHIM. Director Raghav Murali and actor Rahsaan Islam are expected to attend and the screening will be followed by a reception and announcement of the SSAFF 2015 audience and jury awards.

Local films featured at SSAFF 2015 include DRAWING THE TIGER by Amy Benson and Scott Squire, FLYING KISS by Tarun Seth,THREADS by Cathy Stevulak, SONGS OF THE BARDS OF BENGAL- THE BAULS AND FAKIRS by Monalisa Dasgupta, and THE DECISIONby Joydeep Das. Many of these projects are the first fruits of efforts by Tasveer and SSAFF to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and exhibit the efforts of the northwest South Asian filmmaking community that continues to grow each year.

Further highlights include a new documentary AMONG THE BELIEVERS, a timely look into radical Islam in Pakistan and the conditions that led to its rise. Filmmakers Hemal Trivedi and Mo Naqvi are expected to attend the Sunday, October 18 screening at SIFF Film Center. A double-feature presentation on partition includes A THIN WALL by director Mara Ahmad and PEACE, DAAL, AND PARTITION by director Paisley Smith on Sunday, October 25 at Carco Theatre in Renton. Both filmmakers are expected to attend.

A full schedule of screenings and special events is available online at www.tasveer.org. Single tickets are $12 general admission; various discounts available. Special event ticket prices vary. Passes cost $50-$150 with full-fest, first weekend, and second weekend passes available. All proceeds support Tasveer.