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Tasveer Features More Female Filmmakers This Year

tasveer, rita meher, goltune, sara jamshidi
female filmmakers A Monsoon Date by Tanuja Chandra


Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, TSAFF, the largest South Asian film festival in the United States, will feature more than 27 female filmmakers this year.

After the “Me Too” movement, that inspired many groups and organizations to take stand in favor of women, TSAFF plans to pay special tribute to female empowerment, immigration, climate change under its larger theme of social justice.

Films will screen from September 26 – October 6, 2019, at various venues in the Puget Sound area. Tickets for special events, films, gala parties and more are now available at

“Each year we see hundreds of films through our submission process and it was exciting to see a surge in films created by women, and important stories representing the LGBTQ+ communities across the South Asian countries,” said Rita Meher, TSAFF Executive Director.

The 2019 TSAFF will present 22 feature films and 39 short films during its 11-day run this fall. Programming represents with over 25 filmmakers in attendance.

On September 26, TSAFF opens with the Seattle premiere of Danish Renzu’s The Illegal (Director of the award-winning short In Search of America, Inshallah, and feature film Half Widow) starring actor Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi). Both director and actor are scheduled to attend a post-film Q&A. Prior to the screening, TSAFF welcomes and celebrates legendary actress and activist Shabana Azmi, by presenting her with the prestigious Tasveer Emerald Award for her contributions to world cinema. The festivities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at SIFF Cinema Egyptian.

The TSAFF’s Centerpiece is The Sweet Requiem directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam and premiered to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. Both directors are scheduled to attend the screening on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Physics Auditorium on the University of Washington campus.

And lastly, closing the 2019 festival on Sunday, October 6th is the Pakistani crime/thriller Laal Kabootar, directed by Kamal Khan that offers Seattle audience a refreshing take of cinema from this region. The screening and gala is to be held at the Seattle Art Museum at 2:00 p.m. Following the closing night film, stay for the TSAFF 2019 Awards ceremony and party to celebrate South Asian films presented in Seattle.


Other film highlights include a short film by groundbreaking transgender Bollywood writer, Gazal Dhaliwal (scheduled to attend) A Monsoon Date, and the screening of The Price of Free, a documentary featuring Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi (scheduled to attend).

The following filmmakers are scheduled to attend the 2019 festival. Please contact the festival Press Office, [email protected] to schedule an interview.


The Illegal
September 26

Danish Renzu (Director), Suraj Sharma (Actor)

September 27
Sumantra Ghosal (Director), Shabana Azmi (Actor)


Aunty Sudha Aunty Radha

September 28
Tanuja Chandra (Director)

A Monsoon Date

September 28
Gazal Dhaliwal (Screenwriter), Tanuja Chandra (Director)

The Price of Free
September 28
Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Laureate)

September 28
Danish Renzu (Director)


September 28
Asavari Kumar (Director)

Pariah Dog
September 29
Jesse Alk (Director)


October 3
Anand Patwardhan (Director)

The Sweet Requiem

October 4
Ritu Sarin (Director), Tenzing Sonam (Director)

Because We Are Girls

October 5
Baljit Sangra (Director)

Laal Kabootar

October 6
Kamil Chima (Producer) *Pending

Vellai Pookal
(local film)
Sept 29
Vivek Elangovan (Director), Jerald Peters (Cinematographer)


Lucy and Tenzin (local film)
Sept 29
Khenrab Palden (Director)


The Concurrence (local film)
Sept 29
Esha More (Director)


The TSAFF educational programming for the 2019 festival includes the following opportunities. All are free and open to the public, however, pre-registration is required.


  • Workshops for aspiring local filmmakers with mentorship from visiting established industry professionals, presented by Tasveer in collaboration with Northwest Film Forum and visiting filmmakers from Bollywood, Hollywood and The Film School (Seattle).
    • Screenwriting Deconstructed
      Monday, September 30, 2019
      5:00 p.m.
      Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
    • Deep Dive Into Making Short Films
      Tuesday, October 1, 2019
      5:00 p.m.
      Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122


  • A forum focused on the global impact of major online streaming platforms on freedom of expression that has allowed many South Asian storytellers to bypass strict domestic censorship rules. Co-sponsored by South Asia Center, UW Seattle and Tasveer.
    • Symposium: South Asian Films and the Rise of Nationalism
      Friday, October 4, 2019
      3:30 p.m.
      Simpson Center, CMU, UW Seattle, 1410 NE Campus Pkwy, Seattle 98195



Full 2019 TSAFF Film Lineup

Please find high resolution images, trailers and assets here:


Feature Films


  • Jhalki (2019), India, Brahmanand S Siingh
  • Baggage 2019, India, Roopa Rao
  • Dunkey Following European Dreams 2019, Pakistan, Syed Muhammad Hassan Zaidi (docu)
  • Gadhvi 2019, India, Gaurav Bakshi
  • Kattumaran (Catamaran) 2019, India, Swarnavel Eswaran
  • KD, 2019 , India, Madhumita Sundararaman
  • Laal Kabootar 2019, Pakistan, Kamal Khan
  • Namdev Bhau in Search of Silence 2019, India, Dar Gai
  • Soundless Dance 2019, France, Pradeepan Raveendran
  • The Illegal 2019, United States, Danish Renzu
  • The Last Color 2019, India, Vikas Khanna
  • The Price is Free 2018, United States, Derek Doneen
  • The Sweet Requiem 2019, Tibet, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam
  • Turtle 2018, India, Dinesh S. Yadav
  • Vellai Pookal 2019, India/United States, Vivek Elangovan


Documentary Films


  • Aunty Audha Aunty Radha, 2019, Tanuja Chandra
  • Because We Are Girls 2019, Canada, Baljit Sangra
  • Pariah Dog 2019, United States, Jesse Alk
  • Coral Woman 2019, India, Priya Thuvassery
  • Kaifinama 2019, India, Sumantra Ghosal
  • Reason 2018, India, Anand Patwardhan
  • What We Left Unfinished 2019, United States, Mariam Ghani


Short Films


  • A for Apple 2019, Canada, Sarah Aminuddin
  • A Monsoon Date 2019, India, Tanuja Chandra
  • A Sari for Pallavi 2019, United States, Kate Chamuris
  • Aguan-Sun Behind the Horizon 2019, Bangladesh, Novera Hasan Nikkon, (documentary)
  • All the Perishes at the Edge of Land 2019, Pakistan, Hira Nabi, (documentary)
  • Babu 2019, Nepal, Eelum Dixit
  • Before I Go 2019, United States, Dennis Tran
  • Brunch Wars 2019, United States, Kamran Khan
  • Closet Supes 2019, United States, Kesav Wable
  • Cul-De-Sac 2019, United States, Cara Lawson
  • Daughters of The Polo God 2019, India, Roopa Barua, (documentary)
  • Elephantbird 2019, Afghanistan, Masoud Soheili
  • Gaash: Light 2019, India, Danish Renzu
  • Forbidden 2019, United States, Vibha Gulati
  • Hargun 2019, Canada, Gurleen Kaur
  • If I Have to Go 2019, India, Gaurav Boruah and Prajnyan Ballav Goswami
  • Kamali 2019, United Kingdom, Sasha Rainbow (Documentary)
  • Kayantar (Metamorphosis) 2019, India, Rajdeep Paul, Sarmistha Maiti
  • Living with Snow Leopards: Tashi’s Story 2018, United States, Gayle Podrabsky (documentary)
  • Look at the Sky 2019, India, Ashok Veilou
  • Lucy and Tenzin 2019, United States, Khenrab Palden
  • Maya 2019, India, Vikas Chandra
  • Meal 2019, India, Abhiroop Basu
  • Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (Do not Look Back) 2019, India, Mujeer Pasha and Veena Kulkarni
  • Nooreh 2019, India, Ashish Pandey
  • Passage 2019, United States, Asavari Kumar
  • Settled 2019, Pakistan, Marya Javed
  • Shadow 2019, Pakistan, Fawzia Mirza and Anam Abbas
  • Shit One Carries 2019, India, Shuchi Kothari
  • Soch 2019, Canada, Varundeep Singh Chawla
  • Tattini – The Moon is Bright Tonight 2019, Nepal, Abinash Bikram Shah
  • The Booth 2018, India, Rohin Raveendran
  • The Concurrence 2019, United States, Esha More
  • The Death of an Audience 2019, India, Ajit Giri
  • The Seal 2019, United States, Richa Rudola
  • The Stitch 2019, India, Asiya Zahor
  • Tina 2019, United States, Gayatri Bahl
  • U For Usha 2019, India, Rohan Parashuram Kanawade
  • Unkept 2019, Canada, Michael P. Vidler




Tasveer’s mission is to inspire social change through film, arts and storytelling. The festival exemplifies this through curated programming focused on addressing social justice issues such as islamophobia in India, queer and transgender issues, children’s rights by way of Nobel Peace Price winner Kailash Satyarthi, as well as building a community together through lots of Bollywood parties with chai and samosa!