South Asian Film Festival of Montreal

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"When the power of love overcomes the love of power there will be peace." Sri Chinmoy Bonjour and Welcome! We are delighted to announce the 11th South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM) 2021, organized by Montreal's Kabir Centre for Arts and Culture ( The goal of the festival is to promote, foster, and enhance cultural harmony between a diverse South Asian community and present a unique opportunity for cross-cultural interactions between two major geographical regions- South Asia and Quebec, along with the larger Canadian society. While the festival acts as a platform to connect the South Asian diaspora and acquaint the western audiences of the rich heritage of cultural diversity in South Asia; it is also committed to combating stereotypes, prejudice, and bias of any kind, particularly in relation to South Asia. The festival aims to break stereotypical understandings of South Asia and its people by showcasing films that highlight stories of the common everyday lives of people in the region, capturing their struggles, resilience, and indomitable spirit through documentaries, short films, and fiction features. These efforts of promoting cultural awareness do not stop as the film screenings end but are carried forward through stimulating discussions with our panelists after the screening. The panels include filmmakers, actors, academics, writers, activists, community workers along with film critics. By submitting to SAFFM, filmmakers can take advantage of the following: - Exposure to a diverse and wide audience consisting of the South Asian diaspora, Quebecois, and Canadians from different provinces. - Access to French subtitles. - Opportunities to network with seasoned filmmakers, directors, and producers. - Connect with audiences through panel discussions and Q & A opportunities with filmmakers and other experts. Along with new submissions, this year we are going to pay special tribute to the great Bengali motion-picture director, writer, and illustrator Satyajit Ray as it is his 100-birthday anniversary in 2021. We are also adding a new section of films from one neighboring country to the South Asian countries every year. This year we will be showcasing films of the late Iranian-Canadian writer, director, and filmmaker Shahin Parhami. Satyajit Ray (1921-1992), one of the most renowned filmmakers that the world has seen, is a cultural icon in India and is a recipient of the highest civilian honour 'Bharat Ratna'. He has won awards at many international film festivals such as the 11th Moscow International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, etc. to name just a few. In 2007, Total Film magazine included Ray in its 100 Greatest Film Directors Ever. Shahin Parhami was born in 1967 in Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran. After his arrival in Canada in 1988, he quickly became an active writer of poetry and essays for local Iranian-Canadian publications on arts and culture. His insatiable appetite for cinema later inspired him to pursue film studies and production first at Ottawa's Carleton University, and later at Concordia University in Montréal. Between 1997 and 2021, he made quite a few remarkable films. Parhami passed away prematurely in March 2021. The festival will be mostly online this year, but we might have a few limited on-site screenings depending on the Covid19 situations and SOPs set by the government.




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