San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival on Sept 23-25


The 20th annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond (SFISAFF) will be held at two prominent theatres in the Golden Gate City. Organised by 3rd i Films, the 2022 edition will be the first offline event after two years of Covid-driven online screenings.

Festival organizers Ivan Jaigirdar, Shilpa Mankikar, and Camille Ramani (the founders of 3rd i Films) said the festival will showcase edgy narratives, fun indie films, and unique music documentaries from South Asia and its Diaspora, including stories from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, France, UK, Canada and the USA.

According to a media release, the festival launches with a lively, entertaining and playful Four Samosas (USA, 2022). Written and directed by Ravi Kapoor (Miss India America), this fun romantic comedy affectionately incorporates Indian cultural ideals into an American heist movie genre, creating a mixture or “masala” reviewed as the most unique film to come out of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

The festival will also feature the 1990s legendary South Asian British music scene in director Vivek Bald’s Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (USA, 2003). The organizers said that Bald’s movie is a “thrilling and unique mix of live performances, candid interviews and rare archival footage… and charts the meteoric rise of South Asian music in 1990s Britain and the decades of cultural cross-pollination and political struggle that led up to that historic moment.”

Blockbuster Bollywood movie Dil Bole Hadippa will also be part of the screenings. Rani Mukherjee and Shahid Kapoor star in this drama accompanied by raucous Punjabi music. Another screening that is attracting pre-festival attention is Irfana Majumdar’s dramatic feature Shankar’s Fairies (India, 2021), a nostalgic and insightful period piece that portrays a privileged family in Lucknow, India in the 1960s. The narrative simultaneously delves into the close bond between the young daughter of a wealthy family and their servant who shares magical stories, and the postcolonial era in which India is newly independent but still remains bound by caste and class.