3rd i SF International South Asian Film Festival

First show: September 23

Celebrate with 3rd i for its 20th Annual SF International South Asian Film Festival – Bollywood and Beyond! This year’s festival showcases edgy narratives, fun Indie films, and unique music documentaries from South Asia and its Diaspora, including stories from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, France, UK, Canada and the USA. We peer back in time at the interwoven black and brown histories in America. Familial roots are examined in contemporary Queer communities. We look to the future, giving ear to young voices confronting the realities of our global environmental crisis and finding hope. And lightness abounds with comedic relief in 3rd i’s signature Shorts and the quirky escapades of a heist movie, while women filmmakers shine bright!

Four Samosas – California Premiere!

With Filmmaker / actor Ravi Kapoor and actor Venk Potula in person for Q&A following the screening

Plays Friday, September 23 7:15 pm

Centered in “Little India” in Artesia, California, this fun romantic comedy affectionately incorporates Indian cultural ideals into an American heist movie genre, creating a mixture or “masala” reviewed as the most unique film to come out of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Shot in vibrant, saturated color reminiscent of Wes Anderson, the narrative brims with scrappy, indie-spirit in which under achieving wanna-be rapper Vinny and his neighborhood pals plan to disrupt his ex-girlfriend’s wedding by stealing her family’s jewels from a super market safe. Through the film’s whimsical plot, the characters celebrate various aspects of South Asian American culture with their infectious spirit.

Directed by Ravi Kapoor. 2022. 80 min.

In Search of Bengali Harlem

With Filmmaker Vivek Bald in person for for Q&A following the screening

Plays Sunday, September 25 1:00 pm

As a teenager in 1980’s Harlem, Alaudin Ullah was swept up in the revolutionary energy of early hip-hop. He rejected his working-class Bangladeshi parents and turned his back on everything South Asian and Muslim until he became an adult. The film follows Ullah from the streets of New York City to the villages of Bangladesh to uncover the pasts of his father, Habib, and mother, Mohima. In Search of Bengali Harlem is a transformative journey about our understanding of the complex histories of South Asian Americans.

Directed by Vivek Bald and Alaudin Ullah. 2022. 85 min.


Plays Sunday, September 25 3:15 pm

Cyril Dion’s insightful and transformative documentary takes a fresh look at the world’s ecological crises of climate change and the sixth mass extinction of wildlife, through the eyes of two 16 year-old environmental activists, Vipulan Puvaneswaran and Bella Lack. Through their extraordinary investigative journey we learn from scientists and activists what is being done around the world to attempt to reverse mass extinction, revealing a quest for another way of living alongside other species, as co-habitants rather than predators.

Directed by Cyril Dion. 2021. 105 min.

Coast to Coast: Mumbai to The Mission

Plays Sunday, September 25 5:30 pm

3rd i’s signature shorts program brings filmmakers into conversation together from South Asia to California and throughout the Diaspora.

Tomorrow My Love : Gitanjali Rao (India, 2021, 4 min)

With artful simplicity, exquisite hand drawn animation and her signature warmth, 3rd i Festival alum Gitanjali Rao (Bombay Rose), pays homage to love in this exquisite ballad about touching the heart without being able to touch.

Umar Khalid : Gitanjali Rao (India, 2022, 3 min)

Through evocative animation and illustration, we get a glimpse into the mind of a young scholar and activist in jail because he dared to speak against injustice, oppression, and inequality.

The Return : Hena Ashraf (USA, 2021, 18 min)

A writer / director struggles with her profound sense of loss after the sudden death of her father, who dies while visiting his homeland of India. Hena wrestles with coming to terms with their strained relationship, by the only way she knows how: making a film.

Brown Elephant : Fawzia Mirza (Pakistan / Canada, 2022, 3 min)

Hilarity ensues when a young Muslim woman and her family discuss a peacekeeping solution for their overly aggressive “White Elephant” gift exchange.

Subscribe /Follow : Faroukh Virani (USA, 2022, 15 min)

A social media influencer code-switches his platform, but gets challenged by his peers when they find faults in his messaging.

Coffee Shop Names : Deepak Sethi (USA, 2020, 8 min)

In this smart and funny short feature about identity and cultural awareness, three Indian friends on their regular coffee break discuss what their “coffee shop names” are and their made-up  personas behind them.

Auntie : Fawzia Mirza (Pakistan / Canada, 2022, 7 min)

A day after meeting a crew of 20-somethings at a South Asian happy hour, 39 year-old Hena is thrown into their group text.

Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine : Naman Gupta (USA, 2021, 15 min)

When coming out to his traditional Indian parents, Sid uses his time machine to reset the day in an attempt to make sure everything goes perfectly.


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3rd i SF International South Asian Film Festival: Upcoming Showtimes