July 18, 2020
Important updates regarding SAFFMontreal 2020.
Bonjour. Greetings.
Because of the extraordinary Corona virus health crisis, we have had to make some important midcourse corrections. Two exciting new projects have emerged.
1) SAFFMontreal On-Line 2020. We have decided to forego the physical, cinema-hall festival that was originally slated for end October 2020. Instead SAFFMontreal will be an On-Line Festival which will be presented a month later.

SAFFMontreal On-Line festival is now scheduled from Nov 19-Nov 29.

Our aim is to seek a digital platform that addresses security and piracy concerns. It will provide an ease of participation for the viewer and a similitude of film screenings and
Q & A opportunities with filmmakers and other experts.
Most of our submitters have graciously given permission to screen their films, if selected, for SAFFM On-Line 2020. Although our extended deadline for film submissions closed on May 20th, we are accepting a few more films, on a case -by-case basis. The understanding is that the submitter agrees to an On-Line screening of the film if it is selected. A bonus of the On-Line format is that the filmmaker will have the opportunity to participate and answer questions in the post screening On-Line discussion, from their home base!

2) The Coalition of South Asian Film Festivals. CoSAFF On-Line festival
We are excited to collaborate with six other cities in North America to also present a separate combined On-Line festival from October 3-17, 2020.
Preparations are in high gear at present to bring this new combined On-Line festival to fruition. There is excitement and great synergy from bringing together talented people from each city festival’s organizing committee. CoSAFF’s newly created programming committee is hard at work selecting from interesting films suggested by each city. The aim is to select a cross-section of films from the different countries of the Indian sub-continent and its diaspora communities across the world.
We look forward to cinephiles registering and participating in both CoSAFF and SAFFMontreal On-Line festivals.
À bientôt. Sincerely,
Dushyant Yajnik,
Director, SAFFMontreal
The bulk of our initial announcement of February 17, 2020, when SAFFM opened for submissions on FilmFreeway, still applies.
So please read:

Feb 17 2020 Bonjour cinephiles !! Greetings filmmakers!!

Let us make this year live up to its name- a year of bold and clear eyed 20/20 vision. We are ready to receive films that celebrate the joys and triumphs of the people of the Indian subcontinent. But we also want films that do not flinch from an honest and compassionate look at the struggles and difficult issues faced by ordinary South Asians.
In 2019 SAFFMontreal was graced by the presence of legendary actress Shabana Azmi. In her role as a film producer, she and director Sumantra Ghosal launched our festival with a powerful and absorbing documentary on Shabana Azmi's father, Kaifi Azmi-the progressive Urdu poet, film lyricist and screenwriter. A lively discussion and Q & A followed the screening. It further elaborated Kaifi Azmi's contribution in the pre and post independence years of South Asia's cultural and political history.
The Diaspora Panel again provided an opportunity for South Asian diaspora filmmakers to showcase their films and discuss them with the audience.
The second weekend of the festival was highlighted by the screening of the searing documentary, ''Untying the knot'', in the presence of Bangladeshi-Canadian director, Zana Shammi . It tells the story of three women in abusive marriages. One of them, Rumana Monzur, is a blinded survivor of a domestic attack, who went on to a courageous and successful pursuit of a career in Canada.
So send us an eclectic mix of films that blend artistry with cinematographic merit, in a broad range of stories. Our film festival is presented by Montreal's Kabir Centre for Arts and Culture. (www.centrekabir.com) From the point of view of its social vision, the festival aims to promote harmony and intercultural understanding between the various sections of the South Asian community as well as build bridges with the larger Canadian society. While all themes relevant to the society we live in are welcome, the festival shall not encourage the screening of films which pit one country of South Asia against another.
Film-lovers, come to enjoy these films, be stimulated and discuss them with our panelists after the screening. The panels include filmmakers, actors, academics, writers, activists, community workers, film critics and film buffs.

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.

1. The films must primarily have content related to countries of the Indian sub continent (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) agree to participate in the post screening on-line Q&A discussion on the film.
The films should have been produced on or after January 2018. 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 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).
The initial submission of the film, in Apple ProRes 422 format in as high a resolution as possible, should be accompanied, among other things, by either a MSWord or an SRT. file of subtitles with timings. For films entirely in English or in French, a file of the script with timings in MSWord format is to be submitted.

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 back up to the digital file earlier received.

8. Any film that has not had a commercial theatrical release in Montreal before November 4, 2020 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 all of the Terms and Condition 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.

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

Overall Rating
  • Schokofeh Kamiz

    AWSOME festival hosted by really nice people all around! Love and kudos to the team!

    January 2020
  • I am honored that my film Shubhchintak was screened at this amazing festival. Thank you for inspiring me to make a new film and would love to screen it again and attend the event.

    Great job Team SAFFM

    November 2019
  • Sarah Menzies

    I was so proud to have my film Afghan Cycles included in the festival this past year. They team in Montreal was very communicative and supportive, and made me feel very special and honored. I wasn't able to attend the festival, but I followed along from afar and it looked amazing. I am eager to get another film into the fest so I can be there and experience it first hand. Thank you for all the support SAFFM!!!

    April 2019
  • Shazia Javed

    My documentary, '3 Seconds Divorce' was an official selection at this festival in 2018. I was invited to attend and got to watch some really great films by other South Asian Filmmakers. The festival also organised a panel discussion following the screenings. I really enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the audience. The organizers went out of their way to ensure that all the filmmakers were well taken care of and encouraged networking. I highly recommend this festival.

    April 2019
  • Daniela Pinto

    One of my short films had its world premiere at this festival. I also had the opportunity to speak on a panel with other South Asian filmmakers and discuss our experiences and chat with audience members after our screenings. It was a wonderful experience and a lot of great topics were brought up in the conversation. The organization of the festival in general was also exceptional, and the staff were very welcoming and friendly. I would highly recommend submitting to SAFFM if you create South Asian themed films!

    March 2019