Love South Asian movies? Austin's Indie Meme Film Festival returns in 2021 for online event
Indie Meme Film Festival, Austin's annual celebration of South Asian independent cinema, will return this month for an online edition.
The sixth annual fest will be held over two weekends, April 16-18 and 23-25, via the Filmocracy.com platform. In addition to streaming films, viewers will find virtual Q&As with filmmakers.
This is the second virtual year for the fest. Indie Meme was founded by Alka Bhanot and Tripti Bhatnagar, who envisioned a film fest featuring countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran and Sri Lanka.
“When we started,” Bhanot told the American-Statesman in 2019, “a lot of people’s idea about South Asian cinema was Bollywood and nothing else.”
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All-access festival badges range from free for some festival members to $55 for non-members. Single film tickets are $5-$7.
Here are a few highlights from this year's program, along with official descriptions from the festival schedule. All films will stream with English subtitles. Find the full lineup and tickets at indiememe.org/imff-2021.
"Shut Up Sona" (India): "A tongue-in-cheek take on a feisty female singer's unrelenting fight for an equal space in modern day India, a country deeply uncomfortable with her emancipation." (Texas premiere at 7:30 p.m. on April 16)
"Trivedi Ji" (India): "This film tells the story of a woman stuck in her apartment during the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to survive on depleting food supplies and conversations with her aloe vera plant." (U.S. premiere as part of a short film showcase at noon on April 17)
"Hava Maryam Ayesha" (Afghanistan): "From filmmaker Sahraa Karimi comes the resonant story of three Afghani women from different generations and social backgrounds, each living in Kabul and facing a pivotal challenge." (Texas premiere at 4 p.m. on April 17)
"Rituals of Resistance" (Tibet/Nepal): Three generations of Tibetan refugees living in disparate parts of the world share their stories of resistance. (Texas premiere at noon on April 18)
"Veyilmarangal (Trees Under The Sun)" (India): "A Kerala family loses their home to catastrophic floods and must move to Himachal Pradesh, where they’re employed as guards of a Himalayan apple orchard." (U.S. premiere at 7:30 p.m. on April 23)
"Seven and a Half" (Iran): "The tale of 7 Iranian and Afghani girls, told in seven episodes. The stories deal with overlapping issues of marriage, violence and the loss of control over one’s own destiny." (Texas premiere at 7:30 p.m. on April 24)
"Zindagi Tamasha" (Pakistan): "A devout Muslim man's life is turned into a public circus when an exposé from his private life becomes an internet sensation, calling into question his piety, respect and sexuality." (U.S. premiere at 6:30 p.m. on April 25)
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