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Dear community member, sponsor, supporter, and fellow cultural worker,

So we did it. An annual festival intent on bridging the gap between South Asian talent and mainstream audiences. This year’s theme: Bollywood & Beyond will celebrate stories chosen to engage, educate and inspire audiences by promoting free expression, cross-cultural interactions and understanding, and combating intolerance and stereotypes. Specifically it promotes diverse stories of South Asians through films from Vancouver and the global South Asian Diaspora.

Through VISAFF we wanted to create a collective of artists and art lovers who are determined to change the face of Western media, so that the faces and stories from South Asian immigrants are celebrated alongside the dominant cultures of West.  We wanted to create a platform for South Asian stories and human experiences, not often seen on screen, to be shared and celebrated.

We are in an exciting time now.  Diverse faces grace screens, big and small, more than ever before.  However, there is still far to go in front of and behind the cameras.  The festival, since its 2008 conception, has had a profound and at times challenging journey, yet we continue to believe in the power of VISAFF – as a necessary platform that creates change and community. We are also incredibly excited to witness the future of VISAFF: as a leading organization, that is of great service, within Canada and across country borders.

We would like to recognize the enormous efforts and tremendous passion of Mannu Sandhu and Jessie Kaur Lehail. We thank them for the countless hours they put into co-producing VISAFF 2015. Their leadership and vision is moving this festival forward in dramatic ways.

We would also like to thank our board of directors and our sponsors – past and present, as well as everyone who has supported the festival with open arms ever since it was first conceived.

Let’s celebrate, discuss, and change the world…together.

Agam Darshi & Patricia Isaac

VISAFF founders