Happy 5th Anniversary!! Congratulations!

The fifth year is an exciting and celebratory year for ISAFF. As a grassroots, community-based organization, every year we wonder if we will have adequate resources to produce another ISAFF. We also wonder what sort of event will take shape with inspiration from the diverse and passionate members of the ISAFF team. This year we've triumphed in our efforts to bring you an extraordinary festival with more programs than ever before. We have several films, which will be premiering in Seattle such as the humorous feature films Donkey in Lahore and Kissing Cousins, along with re-screenings of striking films such as the international film festival favorites Before the Rains by Santosh Sivan and A Jihad for Love by Parvez Sharma. But ISAFF is not just about screening of films! It is about creating a safe, courageous and outspoken space for all types of people to come together and talk about the personal and the political. In addition to post-film discussions, we also have programs specifically designed for dialogue, such as the critical panel on gender and sexuality with independent filmmakers, and the famed presentation Queering Bollywood, which looks at alternative sexualities in popular Indian cinema.

All of us in Tasveer hope to grow our family by having more and more people join us in this quest: this journey of enriching experiences, exploration and discovery through the South Asian independent narrative and inclusive dialogue.

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Festival Highlights

Flying on One Engine
Joshua Z Weinstein, 2008, USA/India, 52 minutes, Digital

Wheelchair bound, without a larynx, and diagnosed with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm, Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet now lives only (and barely) so he can travel to India to perform free operations in marathon-like surgery sessions where up to 700 children receive treatment for their cleft lips... more
Bhusan Dahal, 2007, Nepal, 120 minutes, 35mm

Upon returning to his village after a long spell in Malaysia, Krishna travels to a neighboring village with his childhood friend Ramesh. On their journey they encounter a hermit who returns Krishna’s kindness with a strange gift — a monkey’s paw that will grant your wish. Unaware of its ominous... more
A Jihad for Love
Parvez Sharma, 2007, English

Fourteen centuries after the revelation of the holy Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islam today is the world's second largest and fastest growing religion. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma travels the many worlds of this dynamic faith discovering the stories of its most... more
Queering Bollywood
Gayatri Gopinath & Sandip Roy, English, A Clip Show and Presentation

What does queerness look like on the Bollywood screen? How has Bollywood – the biggest film industry in the world --traditionally encoded same-sex desire? How have these codes changed in the last decade, with the emergence of a more visible queer presence in South Asia? Join academic Gayatri... more
Comedy Improv Workshop
Veena Sood, 120 minutes, Workshop

This two-hour workshop invites students to learn the basics of improvisational skills. There is no pressure to be "funny" but rather, the focus is on narrative, storytelling skills & spontaneity. The exercises free the mind; actors get energized, and use their imagination to suddenly invent... more
Donkey in Lahore
Faramarz K-Rahber, 2007, Australia,Pakistan, Urdu/English, 117 minutes

Donkey in Lahore is an observational documentary that follows the quixotic courtship of Brian, an ex-goth puppeteer from Australia, and Amber, the traditional Muslim girl he met and fell in love with during a short trip to Pakistan in 2000. Upon his return to Australia, Brian decides to convert... more
Kissing Cousins
Amyn Kaderali, 2007, USA, English, 98 minutes

A "relatively" romantic comedy about a professional heartbreaker (and cynical bachelor) who teams up with his attractive cousin from the UK in order to fool his friends into believing he is capable of a relationship. Hijinks and laughs ensue with a hilarious cast! Visit the movie website: http... more
Before the Rains
Santosh Sivan, 2007, India, English, Malayalam, 98 minutes

Set in 1930s southern India against the backdrop of a growing nationalist movement, BEFORE THE RAINS is the English language debut of acclaimed Indian director Santosh Sivan (The Terrorist, Asoka). An idealistic young Indian man (Rahul Bose) finds himself torn between his ambitions for the future... more
The World Unseen
Shamim Sarif, 2007, South Africa, English, 94 minutes, 35mm

Seattle Premierre In the pressure cooker of apartheid South Africa, two women meet and their worlds are turned upside down. Miriam is a traditional Indian mother - hardworking and self-effacing. Amina breaks all the rules by driving a taxi and setting up a cafe with a local black man. In the face... more
Tasveer Youth Initiative

Following a brief post-film discussion of “Every Good Marriage...”, the group will present their own short personal video based on stories of arranged marriages from their communities in Seattle. This is the group’s first production. The Tasveer Youth Initiative is founded upon the idea that... more
Every Good Marriage Begins With Tears
Simon Chambers, 2007, UK, English, 62 minutes

East London Muslim girl Shahanara is changing from pink hotpants into a saree, to meet her husband at the airport. She has only met him once before, when she was married in a union arranged by her Bangladeshi family. Shahanara only agreed to the marriage to try and heal old wounds with her father... more
Santosh Sivan, 2007, India, Tamil with English subtitles, 14 minutes

Prarambha (The Beginning), directed by renowned cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan, features the South Indian Superstar Prabhudeva as a truck driver who discovers a little boy in the back of his van. The boy is on a journey to find his mother, who left him upon discovering that she was... more
Panelists: Gayatri Gopinath, Sonali Gulati, Pratibha Parmar, Veena Sood. Moderator: Sandip Roy

Panel discussion will focus on representations of LGBT South Asians in independent films with a comparative analysis to such representations in more popular forums such as Bollywood cinema. We chose the panelists particularly because of their unique experience with and immersion in films that... more
Mira Nair, 2007, India, Hindi with English subtitles, 18 minutes

Mira Nair's film, Migration, deals with AIDS as the great class leveler in society by following its transmission through interweaving stories linking urban and rural India. Shiney Ahuja plays a rural labourer who leaves his wife for work in Mumbai, where he gets mixed up in a dangerous triangle... more
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