MISAFF spotlights Bengali cinema

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Now in its seventh year, Canada’s leading South Asian film festival, the Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF) is back once again this August 2019 with cutting-edge programming putting a spotlight on Bengali language cinema. Running from August 1 to 4 at the Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga (309 Rathburn Rd W), the festival will showcase eight fiction films, three documentaries, and seven shorts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Italy, the UK and Canada.

Women’s and familial struggle stories lead the way with themes of love, comedies on complex relationships, explorations of art and ancestry, and a closer investigative look at domestic/intimate partner violence. “MISAFF takes the liberty of showcasing courageous and ground-breaking films. We welcome audiences from Mississauga and the GTA, and while it is a South Asian film festival, the stories and movies are for everyone irrespective of ethnicity or background.” said Festival Director Arshad Khan.

“MISAFF creates community, connects audiences and celebrates the power of cinema to transform us as it continues to evolve here in Canada and around the world.” said Festival Advisory Anya McKenzie.

At this year’s festival, a jury of film professionals including musician and actor Rup Magnon, Pakistani Canadian film director Omar Majeed, TIFF programmer Liane Cunje and actor Huse Madhavji among others, will be deciding who receives this year’s cash prizes. Prizes will include Best First Feature Award, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

For 2019, MISAFF has programed select films to bring a focus to Canadian filmmakers, specifically films helmed by Canadian-South Asian women such as Eisha Marjara (Venus), Zana Shammi, (Untying The Knot), 15-year old filmmaker Aniyah Faisal (Our Reality Is Happy), and Fawzia Mirza and Anam Abbas (Saaya), and many more.

The festival will also bring the multiple award-winning Italian-Bangladeshi comedy ‘Bangla’ for its North American premiere on opening night of the festival followed by a talk back with the filmmaker. . The closing night red carpet film “Kaamyaab” will be presented by award-winning director Hardik Mehta.

For a full list of films and the schedule, please visit: www.MISAFF.com.

Also back this year is the well-received MISAFF Chat, an industry event that brings filmmakers directly in contact with the Mississauga, Oakville, Brampton, Etobicoke, and Toronto film communities. This year, filmmakers will speak about making and rolling out their first feature film. Speakers include Eisha Marjara, Akash Sherman, Saqib Malik, and Hardik Mehta. -CINEWS

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