(Photo Credit: Tasveer Festival)

In its 16th year, Tasveer Festival will showcase the best in South Asian film, literature, and storytelling in a SXSW-style festival, permeating the month of October with arts and culture. Through this festival, Tasveer will provide a platform to amplify under-represented South Asian voices, place a spotlight on South Asian artists, and create a safe space for dialogue within our communities. For the first time, three beloved festivals have joined forces for one incredible event!


Tasveer Festival highlights three themes “Watch | Read | Talk” that combine the 16th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival (TSAFF)3rd Tasveer South Asian LitFest (TSAL), and a brand new and exciting platform that includes comedy workshops and South Asian pride narratives through the Desi Girl Comedy Project + Coming Out Stories.

“I’m so delighted to present not one but three unique ways for South Asian artists and creatives to share their stories in this year’s 2021 Tasveer Festival,” said Rita Meher, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Festival. “Despite the challenges our industry has faced in recent times, our incredible community of South Asian filmmakers, writers, and storytellers have come together to create a compelling and impactful event. Each of the Watch | Read | Talk segments are filled with entertaining and thought-provoking content that promises to challenge, engage, and inspire.”

The festival showcases 87 films and filmmakers, and more than 10 notable South Asian-American authors. Tasveer events attract 6000+ participants every year, and every festival sells out each year. This festival is replete with inspirational South Asian films, literature, and dialogue. The goal is to have a safe and inclusive space for everyone, where storytelling helps to empower, transform, heal, and entertain everyone. Diverse programs will encourage people to start and hold dialogues focused on South Asian stories regarding representation, equity, climate change, LGBTQ issues, women’s rights, and much more.


Some of the most exciting festival events and guest speakers include:

  • Swara Bhaskar scheduled to speak via Zoom on opening night.
  • Diaspora Films theme: opening films include Coming Out with the Help of a Time Machine & 7 Days and closing night film is Americanish, starring a great Muslim all-women cast based out of New York.
  • Two award-winning Afghani films: one is an Oscar entry for Afghanistan 2019; the other the filmmaker recently escaped the country. Hava Maryam Ayesha and Rona Azim’s Mother.
  • Riz Ahmed slated to attend as keynote speaker.
  • A script workshop with Shiwani Srivastava, whose film Wedding Season is in production with Netflix.
  • Tasveer Film Fund showcase: The participants of the inaugural Tasveer Film Fund program will premiere their film on Opening Night of the festival. Additionally, 9 finalists for this year’s program will pitch their projects to a panel of experts for the opportunity to receive $5,000 grants. This year’s program is supported by Netflix.
  • Desi Girls Comedy Project, a 4-week comedy workshop for South Asian women, culminating with a comedy presentation during Tasveer Festival and led by the amazing Zubi Ahmed of Kutti Gang, a queer South Asian women’s comedy troupe based out of New York.

All Access Passes for the 2021 Tasveer Festival are $100 and can be purchased online at https://tasveerfestival.org/ticket/. Each pass allows full access to all Tasveer Festival online programs including 80+ compelling independent South Asian films, dozens of literary readings and discussions, and brand new storytelling programs. Note: Members are entitled to a $25 discount. Individual tickets to screenings are also available for sale.

All Tasveer Festival events can be streamed on mobile devices, tablets, computers and will also be available to view on Roku and Fire TV apps. Guidelines for attending in-person events and COVID safety guidelines will be communicated on the Tasveer Website. Tasveer Festival online viewing FAQs available here.

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