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IFFSA Announces Five South Asian Canadian Film Projects Win The $75000 Talent Fund 2021-22

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The fund is distributing up to $75000 in total to the five films that are 10 to 15 minutes in length with a focus on South Asian Canadian experiences.

IFFSA Announces Five South Asian Canadian Film Projects Win The $75000 Talent Fund 2021-22

IFFSA Toronto and the IFFSA Talent Fund are pleased to announce the 2021-22 projects selected under the Bright Lights Program, with a total of five films to be made from emerging South Asian Canadian filmmakers from across the country. In its first year, the fund is distributing up to $75000 in total to the five films that are 10 to 15 minutes in length with a focus on South Asian Canadian experiences.

Projects selected for 2021-22 are:

The Chase by Gurjeet Bassi, Indian Standard Travel Time by Kashif Pasta, Copeless by Jaskaran Singh, My Son Went Quiet by Ian Bawa, and Another Visit by Haaris Qadri.

As the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada, the International Film Festival of South Asia Toronto has launched the IFFSA Talent Fund initiative aimed at supporting South Asian Canadian filmmakers. Staying true to its mission of supporting the development, promotion, and celebration of South Asian Canadian talent and cinematic arts, and using cinema to build the South Asian Canadian narrative, the festival is using the fund as a catalyst to empower filmmakers to help them tell their stories.

Celebrated International and Canadian filmmakers, including Anup Singh, Ali Kazimi, Sami Khan, Supinder Wraich and Rup Magon, helped choose the winners and will be providing them with mentorship as well. On behalf of the jury, TIFF award-winning director Anup Singh said, "It was an honour and a great responsibility to choose 5 winners from among the 86 applicants. I look forward to IFFSA continuing to encourage, nurture and present to the world thrilling, new filmmakers."

IFFSA Toronto President Sunny Gill commented, "Despite having been a part of the Canadian story for over 120 years, South Asians are vastly underrepresented in cinema, even though they are the largest visible minority group in Canada. IFFSA believes it is time to provide a platform for South Asian Canadians to bring forward their stories and share their compelling experiences accurately and fairly."

Supported by Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, RBC and other private partners, the fund will allow filmmakers to overcome systemic barriers by providing them with the resources needed to bring their creative visions to life. IFFSA Talent Fund's initial focus is on short narrative films. As the initiative builds capacity and grows, the goal is to support feature projects and ultimately other streams of media including digital media.

The IFFSA Talent Fund is an independent initiative of IFFSA Toronto, the largest South Asian film festival in North America. The fund will make selections on an annual basis. Further details on the IFFSA Talent Fund program are available at talentfund.ca.


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