Tag Archives: film festival

Pioneering Grant For South Asian Filmmakers

Tasveer Film Fund is the first of its kind grant dedicated to South Asian storytellers in the U.S. creating short films – submissions accepted through July 31, 2020 

Tasveer, the non-profit that operates the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF), the largest South Asian film festival in the United States, is currently accepting submissions from South Asian filmmakers in the US to make their scripts come to life. Submissions are accepted now through July 31, 2020 and the grantee will be announced at the Tasveer Arts Festival in October 2020, which is the new iteration of the festival this year. 

“Tasveer was founded to combine a passion for social justice and awareness, with powerful, inclusive storytelling by and about South Asians,” said Rita Meher, Executive Director of Tasveer. “With this new fund, we can make this possible all around.” 

In its inaugural year, the Tasveer Film Fund (TFF) will award one grant of $5,000 to a South Asian filmmaker residing in the U.S. to make a short film. Filmmakers should submit scripts between five to 20 pages in length and incorporate a social justice issue or theme. Scripts can be submitted through FilmFreeway and the submission deadline is July 31, 2020. The final grantee will be announced during Tasveer Arts Festival in October 2020, and must complete their film in time for a premiere at the festival in fall 2021. 

“Funding is one of the greatest barriers to entry for South Asian filmmakers, and at this critical moment for artists and representation, we’re proud to be able to offer this support towards getting films made and out into the world,” added Pulkit Datta, Artistic Director of the film festival. 

Tasveer Film Fund is funded by Tasveer, Archana Soy Fund, and donations by local community members. Tasveer produces three festivals yearly including Tasveer South Asian Literature Festival (TSAL), Yoni ki Baat (YKB), and its signature Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF), now in its 15th year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will combine its festivals into one, now titled Tasveer Arts Festival (TAF). TAF will feature South Asian films, literature, and performance arts to empower, transform, heal, and entertain audiences. In a healthy and safe way, the diverse programs will encourage people to start and hold space for dialogues focused on South Asian stories that represent equity, climate change, LGBTQ+ issues, women’s rights, and much more. TAF is scheduled for early October. The format of the festival and dates will be announced soon. 


Tasveer is a social justice non-profit arts organization that inspires social change through film, arts, and storytelling. More information can be found on their website tasveer.org

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

The 17th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles runs April 11th to 14th in Los Angeles with an impressive lineup of films and shorts at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles. This is the festival’s third year in the state-of-the-art, world-class cinema in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown district. Opening and Closing Gala presentations will take place at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills with dinner receptions to follow hosted by Indian restaurant Spice Affair. Click here for the entire schedule.

Writer Arijit Basu has written a review of a short film, a film which captures a human angle to the strife in the Kashmir Valley. Join the lines outside the theater!

NOOREH: A film by Ashish Pandey (18 minutes)

A cherubic and bubbly young girl in a Kashmir border village tries hard to sleep to the sounds of nocturnal crossfire. She is lively, mischievous and is up to the usual antics a girl of her age does at school with her two equally charming friends, which includes skipping carefree through fields strewn with land mines as if it were the most normal thing for children to do.

Director Ashish Pandey captures the idyllic beauty of the valley with sweeping panoramic shots. However, this “Heaven on Earth” is punctuated with the incessant sounds of firing late into the night. Nooreh tries hard to sleep and is determined to live a normal life in such a scenario.

While studying for her exams, she stumbles upon the idea that the firing ceases if she stays up as late as possible. Soon, the rumor spreads like wildfire among the village folk that Nooreh’s late night vigil to remain sleepless results in the cessation of gunfire. One by one, the sleepy town wakes up. With a poignant night shot of lightbulbs coming on at night like glowing fireflies, the film ends with hope.

The short contrasts day and night, where day represents a sense of promise of what’s to come and night brings about unnerving foreboding. Paced quickly, you get a feature length feel in the short. Using locals as actors speaking the native dialect of Shima, one gets a first hand account of what the tension in the valley must be like for a child. Nooreh’s ‘life is beautiful’-esque flight of fantasy is a story that we can all relate to.

And, it is also true that despite the ground realities of valley strife, hope is what everyone there aspires to attain.

Arijit is a restless traveler, academic, film and history enthusiast. He is from Mumbai originally, by way of Texas. Currently he is exploring all that California has to offer.