It is a proud moment for the local film fraternity that Pakistan is the focus country for the upcoming Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF) 2018 that will commence from September 28. Now in its 13th year, it is the largest South Asian film festival in the United States. Each year, TSAFF selects a focus country that comprises at least 30 per cent of the festival programming and this year the spotlight is on Pakistan, with no entry fee for Pakistani filmmakers. The theme, #KnowMe, asks filmmakers and audience members alike to challenge narratives and assumptions about South Asia.
Academy award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will be speaking at the launch of the festival on September 13 after the screening of her Oscar-winning documentary A Girl In The River. This will be followed by a preview of Sharmeen’s VR films.
On September 28, an opening night red carpet gala with Asim Abbasi’s directorial debut Cake will take place in Seattle which will be attended by the cast including Aamina Sheikh and Sanam Saeed aside from the director.
“Tasveer is thrilled to open the 13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival with one of the most anticipated feature films of the year! Presenting the Seattle premiere of Cake,” the official website for the upcoming festival states.
Besides Cake, Mehreen Jabbar’s Lala Begum that has been screened at multiple national and international festivals, will also be shown at the festival on September 29 with Mehreen Jabbar in attendance. Starring Sonia Rehman and Marina Khan, it follows the story of two estranged sisters who meet at their family home after 20 years and end up unearthing many skeletons in their closet.
Other Pakistani films including shorts that will be screened at the festival include Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Look But With Love, Sarmad Masud’s My Pure Land and Ali Osman Bajwa’s Gorakh Dhandha among others.
TSAFF 2018 will be a 10-day event (Sep 28 – Oct 7) that will take place in five cities including Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond and Renton with more than 60 films and 3000 festival attendees. It will feature thought-provoking films and forums on South Asia and its diaspora and aims to engage viewers to dialogue openly on issues concerning human rights and social/political/economic justice.