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Welcome to VISAFF 2015 – Bollywood & beyond 

Devising a programme to mark VISAFF’s fifth year was a tough proposition. There was also a challenge to make the festival a more appealing celebration of film and build upon last year.

For 2015, VISAFF’s programming revisits one of its key aims – to bring to Vancouver the very best of South Asian cinema and create a bridge with mainstream film. This is a film festival for audiences, and so whether the programme completely achieves this aim is up to you to decide, but hopefully at the very least, the programme will spark conversation, even debate and learning something new about South Asian cinema and its many facets.

And to start things off, this year’s theme: Bollywood & Beyond celebrates movies from Bollywood and a new wave of independent cinema. Films were 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, The festival includes features, shorts, documentaries, special events that connect directors, actors, producers, community organizations, sponsorship partners and South Asian cinephiles. Outside of the festival, VISAFF is looking forwarding to engaging with our audiences  in year-round film programming and cultural interactions that align with our mission.

The selection of new films at VISAFF 2015 includes several Canadian film premieres. These films have already created the sort of lingering excitement that can only be found at film festivals. The festival programme has changed in subtle ways to harness the attendance of special guests, and more themed strands than before. We hope that this adjustment provides fresh chances to see films that you may have overlooked in the past, or to see familiar films in a new light. We also hope to engage in more dialogue.

This year’s programme highlights seven feature films. On the other hand, the selection of short segments and festival events provides a greater opportunity for the festival’s audiences to enjoy new films, in exciting ways. As such, it’s an invitation to view fresh perspectives at the cutting edge of cinema.

Welcome to VISAFF 2015.

Mannu Sandhu & Jessie Lehail

VISAFF 2015 Co-Producers