Tag Archives: Film Festival

Born in the Aftermath of 9/11, Tasveer Festival Centers South Asian Stories

by Beverly Aarons


On Sept. 11, 2001, the twin towers fell, and the face of terrorism became Muslim, Sikh, and South Asians of all religious persuasions. Xenophobia burned through the American landscape, unmasking deep-rooted racism hidden just beneath a thin foliage of inclusivity. Many people who were perceived as foreign were harassed. Rita Meher, the cofounder of Tasveer, was told “go back to your country” only weeks after she became a citizen. The experience shook her. She began to doubt her decision to immigrate. Was America really the land of inclusivity and opportunity she had imagined it to be? But out of the embers of her disillusionment the seeds of a new vision began to sprout — Tasveer, an arts organization, festival, and platform to showcase South Asian film, literature, and storytelling.  

“It’s never so straightforward that this happens and then we do this,” said Meher during an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. Her journey to cofounding Tasveer with Farah Nousheen in March 2002 was filled with many twists, turns, and surprise destinations. But if one had to highlight an important waypoint, it might be Meher’s first film, Citizenship 101, an autobiographical account of what life was like for South Asians in the shadow of 9/11. Nousheen, who Meher said is an activist and a friend, encouraged her to make the film and helped cultivate Tasveer into a social-justice-centered organization. 

“Our existence hasn’t been weaved into the community yet,” Meher said of the South Asian community, “but as you see in Seattle or greater Seattle, our population is huge.” She wants South Asian characters to go from sidekick to center stage. Tasveer has begun achieving that goal by funding films like Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine, which opened the Tasveer Festival Oct. 1, 2021, and introducing audiences to filmmakers like Aizzah Fatima and Iman Zawahry, the producers of Americanish, a romantic comedy about Muslim immigrant women navigating love, career, and family. Americanish will screen at the festival’s closing night on Oct. 24, 2021. 

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All-BIPOC Music Festival, BAZZOOKAFEST, Cranks Up the Volume in Jefferson Park

by Mark Van Streefkerk


This Saturday, Aug. 28, BAZZOOKAFEST will transform Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park into a free music and film festival featuring a packed all-BIPOC lineup. Musicians include indie folk headliner Kimya Dawson, pop punk artist Haley Graves, alternative rockers King Youngblood, pop singer-songwriter CarLarans, five-piece femme band Razor Clam, dance pop trio Mirrorgloss, and soulful rock band Stereo Sauna. POC members of drag collective BeautyBoiz will perform, and once the music’s over, a screening of short films submitted by BIPOC filmmakers will take place. As if you needed another reason to attend, the event will also feature a pop-up market featuring all Black and POC vendors. 

BAZZOOKAFEST is all-ages and open to all. The festival starts at 3 p.m. and goes till about 10 p.m. Masks are required. 

The first-ever BAZZOOKAFEST takes place this Saturday, Aug. 28, at Beacon Hill’s Jefferson Park. (BAZZOOKA promo designed by Vivian Hua)
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26th Annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival Brings Audiences ‘Virtually Together Again’

by Mark Van Streefkerk


The Seattle Jewish Film Festival (SJFF) kicked off Thursday, March 4, featuring 19 films from around the world that celebrate Jewish and Israeli culture. Streaming online March 4 through March 18, the 26th SJFF focuses on themes of levity, laughter, and intercultural sharing, as well as complex topics that are sure to spark conversation. Including at least seven Zoom conversations with filmmakers and guests, as well as several culinary partnerships, this year’s festival is curated to inspire togetherness, even though it’s through a screen.

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9th Annual Seattle Asian American Film Festival Will Be the Biggest Yet

by Mark Van Streefkerk


This year’s Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) will take place online, and feature more short- and feature-length films, documentaries, and animated films than ever before in the festival’s history. Streaming with the help of partner Northwest Film Forum from March 4 to 14, SAAFF will virtually screen 123 films by or about Asian Americans in the U.S., grouped into 15 programs, and will hold one drive-in movie event.

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Seattle Latino Film Festival Celebrates Latina Women in Film

by Emerald Staff


The Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF) is kicking off the first annual showcase of the “Ibero & Latino Women in Film” on Dec. 10, 2020. “Ibero and Latino Women in Film” will be an annual showcase of the SLFF in an online cinematic program. This cinematic program will showcase 20 titles including feature films, documentaries, and short films that are directed or produced by women from Iberian and Latin American Countries.

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