South Asian Film Festival slated

A collection of 40 films from eight countries will be shown during a five-day celebration in Abbotsford, Vancouver and Surrey.

The South Asian Film Festival, to celebrate cinema and showcase filmmakers from around the world, will run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

Whether it’s a dramatic tale from India or a romantic musical from Pakistan, a collection of internationally recognized films will be shown and celebrated at the inaugural event taking place in  Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford.

During the five-day celebration, 40 films from eight countries will be screened in theatres in the three cities before a diverse audience.

Countries with submissions this year include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and the Maldives.

Pat Bayes, executive director of SAFF Canada, says the festival will be a wonderful celebration, showcasing the latest documentaries, dramas, shorts, features and animation from the South Asian family of nations.

“Our goal is to share stories, build social and cultural bridges between the South Asian community and all who love cinema and share an interest in the world-at-large.

“The festival provides a platform for superbcinematic programs from South Asia and offers opportunities for professional networking between Canadian and South Asian film artists.”

There will be daily screenings in multiple locations in Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford, as well as master classes and public forums with South Asian artists and their Canadian counterparts aimed at encouraging dialogue, discussions and debate.

The festival will also see a long list of well-known actors, actresses, dignitaries and filmmakers attend. Indian actress and honorary SAFF patron, Jaya Bachchan will be on hand Oct. 31 to introduce the Opening Night Gala film Adwait Sangeet,  Two Voices One Soul – a story about world-renowned classical music singers and brothers Padmbhushan Pandit Rajan and Padmbhushan Pandit Sajan Mishra. The two brothers will be performing live after the film debut.

Opening and closing night gala ticket packages are on sale,  and can be purchased at or

Updates on screenings and events can also be found on the SAFF Canada Facebook page  and through Twitter @SAFFCanada