The Indie Meme Film Festival returns to Austin this April, bringing 35+ acclaimed international films from South Asian artists.
For the first time, the program will be available to audiences in a hybrid model, with in-person screenings at the Austin Film Society Cinema from April 14-17th and Virtual screenings on the platform Eventive the following weekend, April 22nd-24th. 2022 marks the 7th Edition for IMFF, Austin’s Premiere South Asian Film Festival, which is known for bringing sharp, critically lauded works from South Asia.
The hybrid IMFF2022 showcases films representing over 9 countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Iran, and Afghanistan and 15 languages and dialects including Hindi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Farsi (Persian), Finnish, Tamil, English, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, Dari, Burmese, Pahari, Nepali, Oriya, and Dzongkha.
For their long-awaited in-person return, Indie Meme has curated a remarkable line-up of world premieres, Oscar entries, and multi-award winning titles, nearly 80% of which are screening in Texas theaters for the first time.
With U.S and Southwest Premieres of highly anticipated festival favorites from across the globe, the 7th Indie Meme Film Festival is an unmissable event for fans of world cinema.
“The 2022 line-up is exceptional and we are overjoyed to return to the theater after two years! At the same time, we’re committed to providing online options to accommodate audience preference, accessibility, and safety.
With both options available, there is no excuse to miss the festival this year!” adds Tripti Bhatnagar, Festival Co-Founder and Programming Chair.
Keeping in line with their mission of highlighting socially relevant cinema, the festival this year draws attention to topics of childhood opportunity, access to arts, science & film education, women’s empowerment, cultural traditions and shifts, human rights, disability, caste and racial tensions, climate change, class, immigration, mental health, abusive & loving relationships, LGBTQ + experiences and more.
A third of the festival titles are directed by women while 18% of the line-up features LGBTQ+ characters and stories.
Festival highlights include the IN-PERSON EXCLUSIVE OPENING & CLOSING NIGHT FILMS.
Last Film Show, a grand tribute to the love of movie-making from Angry Indian Goddesses & Samsara director Pan Nalin opens the 7th Indie Meme Film Festival on April 15th.
This partly autobiographical drama, set in Gujarat, India is an engaging, heart expanding story of a child discovering his own creative capacities.
Pan Nalin will be in attendance and audience members are invited to a post screening discussion as always.
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom is competing in the ‘Best International Film’ category at this year’s Oscars, becoming Bhutan’s first nominee and is IMFF2022’s CLOSING NIGHT FILM.
Lunana has been shot on location in the world’s most remote village school, using solar-powered equipment and collaboration with the local villagers in-front of and behind the camera to sustain the production.
IMFF2022 also brings the U.S Premiere of Cannes Debut and Asia Pacific Screen Awards Grand Jury Prize Winner, Rehana.
The film, a taut feminist drama, follows an assistant professor who witnesses an assault and wants to pursue action.
Bangladesh’s official 2021 Oscar Submission has Azmeri Haque Badhon playing the principled, confrontational role of Rehana and will be attending IMFF2022 representing the film.
The Tamil language film, Pebbles (Koozhangal), India’s official 2021 Oscar submission and the striking winner of the top prize at 2021’s International Film Festival of Rotterdam also makes it’s Texas debut at the festival, with it’s story of a boy following his father on an overheated road-trip to find his mother.
Filmmaker Vinothraj P S will be in attendance for a Q&A post screening.
Barah by Barah (12 x 12), a richly photographed tale of a death-photographer grappling with changes in his historic home city of Varanasi.
The film has a seemingly uncomplicated story against a backdrop of a complex socio-political changing Varanasi.
Producer Sunny Lahri and Director Gaurav Madan together wrote the script and have managed to give the Ghats another new perspective. They will be in attendance at IMFF2022.
Other Official Selections include the Burmese documentary film Midwives, A Night of Knowing Nothing, an experimental docu-drama on student protests at the Film & Television Institute of India, Any Day Now, following a tight-knit Iranian family awaiting an asylum decision in Finland.
The CENTERPIECE OF IMFF2022, RK/RKAY is a surreal comedy in which a director’s failing project is further destabilized when the lead character runs out of the edit and into real life.
Writer, Director, Star Rajat Kapoor takes the audience on an existential journey in this entertaining and witty narrative.
Rajat Kapoor is touted as one of the pioneers of New Age Indian Indie Cinema.
With his idiosyncratic character of Bauji in Ankhon Dekhi and now his baffling surreal character of RKay he certainly pushes the boundaries of conventional plots! Rajat Kapoor will be in attendance at IMFF2022.
Virtual Exclusive films include - I Am Belmaya (Nepal), Not Today (India- Hindi) and Biriyaani (India - Malayalam) along with other short films.
The festival’s short program also delivers an incredible range in genre and tone, with animated satire, futuristic horror, gentle ecological fables, stark explorations of social issues, and an abundance of coming of age and LGBTQ+ narratives.
Highlights include Moshari, Local Middle Schooler, Grasshoppers Sleep Here,Bambirak, Miniaturist of Junagadh Sheer Qorma, My Mother’s Girlfriend, Cycle, Turning Point (LOCAL AUSTIN FILM) and so many others.
Both the in-person and virtual editions can be found at indiememe.org. Badges for each edition sell for $85 to the general public & $65 for Indie Meme members.
Individual tickets for in-person screenings and streaming rentals are on sale.
The full in-person schedule including red carpet appearances & filmmakers attending, and ways to attend are all online at indiememe.org
Daman, HEB, Austin PBS & Cornerstone Architects are all supporting Indie Meme once again.
In addition, Waterloo Greenway, Soal Tech, The Austin Chronicle, Cosmo City Media, Austin Film Society are other local businesses who have extended support for the 7th Indie Meme Film Festival along with many generous donors.
As always IMFF@Austin is proud to add to the diverse cultural and cinematic landscape of Austin, TX.
“It takes a village to put up such a massive event.
Many, dedicated, smart people collectively put in 100s of hours of work, over many months to make IMFF@Austin possible.
Indie Meme is special and unique and has organically grown to be a beacon of South Asian representation in Austin.
We hope to see you there at some point over the 4 days!” Alka Bhanot, co-founder.