2nd Annual South Asian Indie Meme Film Festival

By Sumaiya Malik
Indie Meme is all set to showcase its second film festival at the Arbor Cinema at 9828 Great Hills Trails in Austin, from Thursday, April 21 to Sunday, April 24.

The recipient of Austin Chronicle’s Best International Passport, Indie Meme plans to yet again live up to it’s name and bring out a collection of thoughtful cinema from India, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Four days of independent cinema, the festival promises travel into the minds of thoughtful people from South Asia, from an array of cultures similar in many ways to us in the US and alien in others.

The festival will be an intimate association and a rare insight one does not get when travelling as a tourist to Asia.

Founded by Alka Bhanot and Tripti Bhatnagar, the festival starts on a Thursday night with a member appreciation party.

Each member can bring one guest for free to see Shor Se Shuruaat, an anthology of 7 short films linked together by the idea of shows, made by young filmmakers (they will be present), preceded by a member mixer and announcements to thank the sponsors.

This show is only available to the first 100 memers who register on the festival website. We asked Alka Bhanot, which is her favorite film in the lineup.

Expecting the answer to be Lipstick Under my Burka, a much talked about controversial film banned in India, Bhanot surprised us with her answer. “Chronicles of Hari [my favorite] is like the nuggets you find in a festival.”

Friday is the opening night. Red Carpet, glitz and glamor, press, fanfare! All the filmmakers will be present to answer questions.

The festival will have total of nine full-length feature films and 5 short films. Bhanot is excited about all of them. Another film greatly anticipated is An Insignificant Man; a documentary based on 400 hours of live footage edited to 100 minutes about Arvind Kejriwal, a polarized man in India today.

The film follows Kejriwal and his new insurgent polital party called, The Common Man’s Party. The film follows the chaos of Indian politics and agendas of politicians.

Bhanot mentioned The New Machine, a short film directed by Sai Promod, the programming director of the festival. This film was shot entirely in the US and is about how people adapt to new technology when old machines become obsolete.

Mixers around the movie theater follow the festival and its films.

The opening night mixer is at Manuel’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant a minute away from the Arbor Theater.

Indie Meme has an impressive list of sponsors backing up the festival.

The festival is co-presented by MovieOK, Daman and KLRU are sponsors from last year continuing their support.

Star Gold, Sukha International, Arts in Context, Cultural Arts – City of Austin, HEB, Congnitive Scale, and the Austin South Asian.

Festival badges are currently at Early Bird Special price. Individual movie tickets are also available.
Please refer to website below for ticket information and trailers of films in the lineup.

Join the festival and travel to South Asia.


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