"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 (www.centrekabir.com). 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.

1. Best Feature Fiction.
2. Best Feature Documentary.
3. Best Short Film -Fiction.
4. Best Short Film-Documentary.
5. Audience Choice awards in the above categories (subject to on-site screenings).

Rules & Terms
1. The films must primarily have content related to countries of the Indian subcontinent (South Asia) and/or their diaspora communities around the globe. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet are included in our classification of “South Asian” countries.

2. The submitter agrees to an On-Line screening of the film if it is selected. Also, senior persons from the filmmaking team (e.g., director, screenwriter, actor, etc.) are requested to participate in the post-screening online Q&A discussion on the film.
The films should have been produced on or after January 2019. The first public release of the film shall be considered as the 'produced on' date.

3. Copyright infringement (even if accidental) will result in disqualification of an entry. By submitting a film, the filmmaker (and/or the person submitting the film on the filmmaker’s behalf) attests to being the copyright holder of the film and warrants that they have the full legal authority to submit the film to SAFFM.

4.Films will be disqualified if they contain material that incites gender-based violence, homophobia, racism, or cruelty to animals of any kind or where the content partly/wholly has material that is derogatory, humiliating, degrading, or directly/indirectly attacks any social group, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality or religion.

5. By submitting your film to SAFFM, you hereby grant permission and a license to SAFFM to screen the entire film, without any remuneration or "screening fee", for the event. and to use the video clips/stills for promotional and/or other publicity. The use of the film shall not be prejudicial to SAFFM or the Kabir Centre and no claims shall be made against SAFFM for the use of the film.
By submitting the film to the festival, it is understood that the film can be screened, free of charge, at its festival in Montreal and its extension at one or two other cities in the province of Quebec.

6. Films with audio recorded in a language other than English or French are required to provide English or French sub-titles.
By submitting your film for consideration, you agree to SAFFM sub-titling your film in any other language. We aim to sub-title several films in French this year and will need an editable version of your film to sub-title it.
The filmmaker should be prepared to provide subtitle files in SRT. form so that English subtitles can be translated into French subtitles and vice versa (by SAFFMontreal).

7.If your film is selected for the Festival the subtitled film should be submitted as a non-returnable DVD or BluRay disc to be used as a backup to a high-resolution digital file earlier received.

8. Any film that has not had a commercial theatrical release in Montreal before November 29, 2021, will be eligible for submission and final selection.

Films will be disqualified if they are publicly and freely available on the Internet, e.g., Youtube, Vimeo, etc. Films already available on commercial platforms like Netflix or Amazon will only be selected in exceptional cases as determined by the selection committee.

9. The submitter guarantees that all rights and releases have been legally secured, including music rights, songs, etc. and the submitter releases the SAFFM and the Kabir Centre for Arts and Culture and its entire member from any legal action whatsoever.

10. All submission fees are non-refundable.

11. All selection committees' and juries' decisions are final.

12. Upon selection and notification the withdrawal of the film is not permissible.
By submitting to our Festival, submitter/filmmakers:
- indicate that they have read, understand, agree with, and will comply with all of the Terms and Conditions above, and accept all of the terms and conditions herein, in their entirety, without modification.
- agree to indemnify us and hold us and our employees, owners, affiliates, and partners harmless from all claims and liability associated with your participation or entry to the Festival.

À bientôt. Sincerely,
Syeda Nayab Bukhari,
Director, SAFFMontreal

For questions, please contact the organizers:
Syeda Nayab Bukhari at syeda.bukhari@saffm.centrekabir.com
T. K. Raghunathan at tkraghu@hotmail.com
Dushyant Yajnik at dushyant.film@outlook.com
Raja Bhattacharya at bhattacharyaraja@gmail.com
or info@saffm.centrekabir.com

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Geetha J

    SAFFM 2020 was a great virtual experience! My film RUN KALYANI won the Best Feature Film Award. The screening went well and the online discussion was very thoughtful and engaging. This and the whole experience with the fantastic organisers more than made up for not being there in person to inhale the excitement, which was my only regret!

    July 2021
    Logo
    Response from festival:

    Many thanks Geetha, your film is beautiful and our discussions were enriching. We look forward to more films from you in the coming years!

  • It's a good initiative . Hope for better in future .

    December 2020
  • I feel proud that I film was selected in this event .Good luck for future.

    December 2020
  • Colin mackenzie

    This was a fantastic festival the coordinators were incredibly well organized and communicative. There was a Q&A after our film and it was such fun.. unfortunately, we were not able to all head out to a nearby pub afterward to continue the conversations.. but the virtual experience was touching, insightful, and fun.
    -CCM

    December 2020
  • Christopher Ballengee

    I was happy to have my film "Sweet Tassa: Music of the Indian Caribbean Diaspora" chosen for this festival. Despite the completely online format (necessary due to COVID-19), communication was excellent and the Q&A sessions were both insightful and relevant. Unlike other festivals I have been part of, it was clear that the organizers of SAFFM had actually watch my film! They had good questions about the content and production of the film, and invited experts on the topic to join the discussion. Overall, highly recommended. I only wish I could have attended the festival in Montreal rather than online, but that is certainly no fault of SSFFM. Given the circumstances, it was a wonderful experience.

    December 2020