Indie Meme Film Festival Brings Powerful South Asian And Iranian Stories To Austin
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Representing 13 countries, the festival covers over 30 films, in 17 different languages (with subtitles) which touches on global issues such as mental health and wellness, challenges of an aging mind & body, indigenous rights, women empowerment, poverty, freedom of speech, coming of age, family life, among others.
These stories remind us that, despite our geographic and cultural differences, we all face similar challenges, and viewers will see the varied approaches taken by communities to solve these.
One unique aspect of this festival is that audience members get to candidly engage with the filmmakers after each screening, to exchange different perspectives, and explore the premise further!
The festival offers a hybrid experience for patrons outside Austin to tune into a virtual festival programme scheduled on April 28 - May 1.
Indie Meme 2023 Film Lineup
ALL THAT BREATHES
Contender for the Best International Documentary at the 95th Academy Awards - “All That Breathes”. The story focuses on two brothers who work to save black kite birds, which are essential to the ecosystem of New Delhi. They are falling from the sky due to environmental toxins. It is the first film to win the The Best Documentary Prize at both Sundance and Cannes.
The Festival opens with “Goldfish”. Directed by Pushan Kripalani and starring award-winning actor Kalki Koechlin, and veteran actor Deepti Naval the film tells the story of a young woman who returns home to care for her mother with dementia and confront the painful memories of her childhood. With its sensitive portrayal of mental health and complex family relationships, “Goldfish” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that is sure to captivate audiences at IMFF 2023.
TELL IT LIKE A WOMAN
Filmmaker Leena Yadav will be at the screening of her Oscar nominated “Tell it Like a Woman.” This film is an anthology of short films, made by women, about women. In 7 different female protagonists navigate challenges in their life. The movie features Academy Award winning actresses Jennifer Hudson and Marcia Gay Harden. Additionally, the film’s song “Applause” written by Diane Warren, was nominated at the Academy Awards this year. Leena Yadhav’s Sharing a Ride starring Jacqueline Fernandez, emphasizes the value of being seen for who you truly are.
The Iranian film “Leila’s Brothers” will have its Texas premiere at IMFF2023. The film was awarded the International Critics’ Prize in 2022 for best film in Cannes main competition. Boasting a tour de force ensemble, Leila’s Brothers is a masterful family drama that echoes Greek tragedies.
This year, the festival scored two international premieres – “Dhabari Quruvi” and “Eikhoigi Yum.”
“Dhabari Quruvi” (meaning: Sparrow, Its Father Is Unknown) is the world’s first film starring and with vocals by tribals! This film by veteran filmmaker Priyanandanan is exquisite and features a completely indigenous cast from Attappadi, Kerala.
The story centers on a young girl who decides to rebel against tribal norms and claim her body and the decisions surrounding it. Spoken only in ‘Irula’ language, Director Priyanandanan says that if language is a barrier to understanding the film, the emotion in the story will answer it.
“Eikhoigi Yum” (Our Home) is a Manipuri film directed by Romi Meitei, who will be present at the IMFF2023. It is the tale of an 11-year-old boy, from an isolated fishing community, who has an undaunting spirit to excel at school, despite personal and financial challenges.
The whole film paddles around the Loktak Pat Lake and its dependents. Through astounding cinematography, the film depicts the lives of those who live in homes built over a floating biomass!
IN SEARCH OF BENGALI HARLEM
See the Texas Premiere of the documentary “In Search of Bengali Harlem” from author, historian Vivek Bald & stand-up artist, actor and comedian Alaudin Ullah. Both creators will be in attendance.
In the documentary, Alaudin investigates the pasts of his Bangladeshi immigrant parents, unearthing a lost history in which South Asian Muslims, African Americans, and Puerto Ricans forged an extraordinary multiracial community in the tenements of mid-20th century Harlem.
This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
WHILE WE WATCHED
Indie Meme alum filmmaker Vinay Shukla’s 2nd documentary, “While We Watched” focuses on the journey of India’s NDTV reporter Ravish Kumar as he navigates the restrictions on journalism, his career, and threats in his personal life.
IMFF 2023’s closing night film will be “Polite Society,” where a martial artist-in-training believes she must save her older sister from her impending marriage. After enlisting the help of her friends, she tries to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood. A dynamic comedy!
Indie Meme’s Focus
From its inception in 2013, Indie Meme has addressed global issues through shorts, feature films and documentaries, showcasing a spectrum of diverse stories from the most talented filmmakers from South Asia and Iran, addressing topics that need to be dissected but often aren’t.
Films covering climate change, access to clean water and basic nutrition, the impact of poverty, and access to education, reproductive rights, democracy, internal displacement, extremism, migrant laborers, child marriages, caste-based discrimination, poverty, indigenous rights, LGBTQ rights and many more.
Indie Meme is particularly honored to continue to bring these meaningful productions in its 10th year making Austin THE destination for debate, discussions, dialogue, and change!Badges for the Indie Meme Film Festival, IMFF2023, are available at Indiememe.org/IMFF2023.
The festival was dubbed “the best international passport” by The Austin Chronicle in 2016, solidifying Austin’s spot on the world map of film.IMFF 2023 is also supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin, Economic Development Department, and its Sponsors.
About Indie Meme Org:
Indie Meme is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent cinema and filmmakers from South Asia & Iran. Our focus is on promoting diversity and cultural exchange. Over the past 10 years, and 8-years of the film festival, Indie Meme is thrilled to provide a platform for the best in independent South Asian cinema, and brings the work of these talented filmmakers to audiences in Austin, and across the United States.