We are delighted to announce the 13th South Asian Film Festival of Montreal (SAFFM) 2024, organized by Montreal's Kabir Centre for Arts and Culture (www.centrekabir.com). The goal of the hybrid (in-cinema and online) 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 with 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, Quebeckers, and Canadians from different provinces.
- Access to French subtitles created by Kabir Centre.
- Opportunities to network with seasoned filmmakers, directors, and producers.
- Connect with audiences through panel discussions and Q & A opportunities.

For our film festival, we have an important partnership with a local cinema house called Cinémathèque Québécoise who are a repository of Quebec's and Canadian cinema as well as international animated films. The festival will be hosted by Cinémathèque Québécoise, Montreal, and Saguenay in northern Quebec.

By submitting a film, the submitter is deemed to agree that the film can be shown both in on-site(s) and online formats.

1. Best Feature Fiction. (40 minutes and above)
2. Best Feature Documentary. (40 minutes and above)
3. Best Short Film -Fiction. (Less than 40 minutes)
4. Best Short Film-Documentary. (Less than 40 minutes)
5. Audience Choice awards in the above categories (subject to on-site screenings)

Terms & Conditions
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. Every year, we welcome films from one other Asian country. This year we invite films from Turkey and Iran.

2. As a Montreal-based film festival, we encourage films made on South Asian themes by Canadian filmmakers. They can request a waiver discount by emailing the festival director.

3. The submitter agrees to an On-site or On-Line screening of the film if it is selected. 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.

4. The films should have been produced on or after January 2020. The first public release of the film shall be considered as the 'produced on' date.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Films with audio recorded in a language other than English are required to provide English subtitles when submitting the films to FilmFreeway. By submitting your film for consideration, you agree to SAFFM sub-titling your film in any other language. Because of the particular demographics of Montreal and Quebec, all our selected entries have to be subtitled both in English and French. We will do the subtitling in French at our own cost and the corresponding .SRT file can be made available to the filmmakers after the festival.

9. If the movie is short-listed for screening, the filmmaker should be able and willing to send us a text-less copy of the movie file and the associated .SRT file of the dialogues in English. By submitting the film, the submitter agrees that these files can be made available readily and within a week of our request by file transfer protocol.

10. If your film is selected for the festival the subtitled film should be submitted as a high-resolution .mp4 or .mov file, to be followed subsequently and if requested, with a blank copy of the film along with .SRT file of the subtitles. In addition to the film, the following should also be submitted either through FilmFreeway portal if possible or separately through email to info@saffm.centrekabir.com:
- Synopsis of the movie
- Director’s statement
- Director’s bio
- Subtitled Trailer of the movie
- Poster in Vertical Format
- Still Images in Horizontal Format (1152 x 648 pixels)

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. All submission fees are non-refundable.

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

15. 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.

Syeda Nayab Bukhari,
Director, SAFFMontreal

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

Overall Rating
  • Kanika Verma

    We are honoured to be a part of this festival. Our film "The Ordinary People" was part of the online section and all the communication and process was easy. We were thrilled to be the "Runner Up" and were able to participate remotely through a Zoom call. Great going guys... A special thank you to Sukhpreet and Sayeeda.

    June 2024
  • Thank you for giving me an opportunity to expose my regional short film to global audience. The festival is well organised and the team is very punctual with the release dates and timings. The website is beautifully maintained. Hoping to come back soon next year with another film.

    June 2024
  • anand chouhan

    We are the winner in south Asian film festival of Montreal.. we win jury award in Best Short Fiction film category We are so happy and thankful to the jury for this honor and this is the one of the best festival for Asian Films my best wishes to all jury and festival family for upcoming years festivals.

    December 2021
  • Alex Sangha

    I am so honoured that Emergence: Out of the Shadows was the Closing Night Film at the SAFFM. The festival organizers are so amazing. They really work with the filmmakers to create an amazing event. I feel so blessed to have my debut feature documentary screened at SAFFM. Congratulations an a great festival and many more to come.

    December 2021
  • 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
    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!