History on MISAFF
Founded by Arshad Mahmood and Asma Mahmood in 2006 as the film program of the TD Mosaic Festival, MISAFF evolved in 2012 with Arshad Khan and Anya Mckenzie at the forefront.
MISAFF now features the best of new South Asian and select Middle Eastern film titles for Mississauga and region as well as TO cinephiles. MISAFF features ground-breaking and award-winning films, carefully curated for their cinematic excellence and social consciousness, for an audience that loves cinema irrespective of language or culture.
MISAFF has also established itself as a landmark film festival showcasing South Asian Canadian talent. Canadian film artists Ali Kazimi, Sami Khan, Angad Bhalla, Amar Wala, Anita Majumdar, Raymond Ablack, Gabe Grey, Shireen Pasha and Richie Mehta along with international filmmakers like Rajat Kapoor and Mazhar Zaidi are some of the people who have been involved in the festival over the years.
For more information, please click HERE.
MISAFF15 Opening Gala is Chaitanya Tamhane’s award-winning directorial debut, COURT.
Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals, COURT is a quietly devastating, absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice, and venal politics in contemporary India.
It has stirred controversy in India where it was a box office hit, and has won both critical and audience acclaim. Director Chaitanya Tamhane will present the Ontario Premiere of COURT at MISAFF on Thursday, August 6 and be available after the screening for a Q+A.
“We are so excited that Court is the Opening Gala at MISAFF15,” said festival Director Arshad Khan. “It’s the perfect opening night film for MISAFF15 as it reflects the festival’s founding aspirations to bring to Mississauga and GTA audiences not only the best SA contemporary cinema but also the most intriguing and sometimes challenging work.” Adds Anya McKenzie MISAFF Co-Director. “We’re so proud to be able to showcase not only the best of South Asian and select Middle Eastern contemporary work, but to also introduce our audiences to Canadian cinema and talent, many who will be in attendance at MISAFF15.”
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Also on Opening Night: Actor Vipin Sharma will be in 2 films at MISAFF15: Gour Hari Dastaan and Dhanak
Also attending is UK director Atul Malhotra for Amar, Akbar and Tony and Indian director Nagesh Kukunoor for Dhanak. There will also be an opportunity for Q+A with directors Lalita Krishna (Listen to Me) and Hoda Elatawi (Muneeza In The Middle).
To check our trailers and purchase tickets, please click HERE.
This year, actress and CFC Actors Conservatory alum, Supinder Wraich will be recognized as the MISAFF15 Star.
Wraich has appeared in numerous productions including the Emmy Award winning web series Guidestones, the hit feature Textuality (starring Eric McCormack,) The Border, Degrassi TNG, Combat Hospital and holds recurring roles on BBC’s Copper and Syfy’s Haven. She also starred in Adam Azimov’s short film Silent Cargo.
The popular MISAFF Chats takes place this year on Saturday, August 8 with guests Vipin Sharma, and Supinder Wraich with more guests to be announced.
Notable films having premieres at MISAFF15
LABOUR OF LOVE (a co-presentation with Reel Asian).
The Award-winning film set in the crumbling environs of Kolkata , is a lyrical unfolding of two ordinary lives suspended in the duress of a spiraling recession.
Aditya Vikram Sengupta makes his directorial debut with Labour of Love. He won Best Debut Director at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and the Indira Ghandi Award for Best First Film of a Director and Best Audiography at the National Film Awards (India). In addition to picking up awards at the Marrakech, Abu Dhabi, BRI London, Bangalore and Jaipur film festivals, The Labour of Love recently swept the New York Indian Film Festival with Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay awards.
ONE CRAZY THING (Canadian Premiere)
This anticipated new film from BAFTA nominated and Berlin Festival alum UK director Amit Gupta follows Jay (Ray Panthaki) a former daytime TV star whose life has hit rock bottom until he meets his dream girl Hannah (Daisy Bevan). There’s just one problem. How do you tell the love of your life about the leaked sex tape that made you an internet sensation? One Crazy Thing is produced by Dean Fisher and “BAFTA Breakout Brit”, acting sensation Ray Panthaki.
AMAR, AKBAR AND TONY (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE).
UK director Atul Malhotra’s feature film debut is, in his own words “…filled with British humour and an Indian heart” and has been described as an Indian ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral”.
A Sikh, a Muslim and an Irish Catholic (Rez Kempton, Sam Vincent, Martin Delaney) take stock of their lives in contemporary London in this coming of age romantic comedy drama inspired by the 1970’s Bollywood comedy ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’. Featuring some of the coolest up and coming talent in the UK including comedy geniuses Nina Wadia and Meera Syal in guest appearances. The original soundtrack and score for the film is composed by prolific and ground breaking music producer Rishi Rich.
DUKHTAR (Daughter) (MISSISSUAGA PREMIERE)
The starkly beautiful and forbidding mountains of Pakistan provide the setting for the first feature from award-winning filmmaker Afia Nathaniel, a gripping drama about the power of maternal love in a land ruled by tribal honour.
Fleeing with her ten-year-old daughter after the girl is promised in marriage as part of a peace treaty, the wife of a tribal chieftain is pursued through the mountains by both her husband and the intended groom’s henchmen.
Director Afia Nathaniel was born in Quetta, Pakistan, grew up in Lahore, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Columbia University’s Film Directing program. She directed the short films Nadah, Toba Tek Singh and Long After. Dukhtar is her debut feature.
GOUR HARI DASTAAN (CANADIAN PREMIERE)
Gour Hari Das spent the best years of his teenage life fighting as Gandhi’s trusted “monkey man” to free India from the British. Little did he realise that the fight against the Indian government would be tougher, as he embarks on a journey to fight for identity and a freedom fighter’s citation.
Director Ananth Mahadevan has won the Indian National Award for I Am Sindhutai Hutai Sapkal , Director’s Vision Award for Red Alert —The War Within, Stuttgart Indian Film Festival , Winner Best Picture Rough Book, Houston Indian Film Festival  and is acclaimed for films like Staying Alive.
TELL SPRING NOT TO COME (ONTARIO PREMIERE)
This award winning documentary (Amnesty International Film Prize and Panorama Audience Award at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival) follows one unit of the Afghan National Army (ANA) over the course of their first year of fighting in Helmand without NATO support.
It is an intimate film about the human side of combat, told from a largely unheard and misrepresented perspective, that explores the deep personal motivations, desires and struggles of a band of fighting men on the frontline. Without a NATO soldier in sight, and no narrative but their own, this is the war in Afghanistan, through the eyes of the Afghans who live it.
Director Saeed Taji Farouky is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cinematographer specialising in humanist, conflict-based films for over ten years. Director Michael McEvoy served for 9 months in Helmand where he was employed as a Dari and Pashto-speaking Liaison Officer to the Afghan Army.
UMRIKA (America) (CANADIAN PREMIERE) MISAFF15’s Closing Night film
This film was directed by Prashant Nair, was the 2015 Sundance Audience Award winner.
Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma stars in this tale of two brothers from a small village who have dreams of making it big in Umrika (America). Udai (Pratiek Babbar) is the eldest and leaves for the US. Months go by but there is no word from Udai, family pride turns to concern. Younger son Rama (Suraj Sharma), shares the family’s increasing grief. Years go by and as soon as Rama is able to, he goes in search of his brother.
Director Prashant Nair was was born in India, raised in Europe, Africa and Asia before going on to live and work in New York, Paris, Prague, Berlin and now Mumbai. His first film, the micro-budget “Delhi In A Day” had a limited theatrical release in India in 2012. He was fortunate enough to follow that up with being part of the inaugural Sundance Mumbai Mantra Screenwriting Lab in India which helped him develop Umrika.
This year’s Canadian feature films line-up includes Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon, Listen to Me by Lalita Krishna, Hoda Elatawi’s Muneeza In The Middle, and Richie Mehta’s Siddharth. Cathy Stevulak’s documentary Threads will have its Ontario Premiere at MISAFF15.
Two shorts programmes at MISAFF15 include several award-winning films from around the world as well as Canadian films including Gavin Seal’s Case Claus’d, Randall Thorne’s Time Traveler and the World Premiere of Scott Paterson’s Pieces starring MISAFF14 Star Raymond Ablack. Shorts I features darker, more experimental films and Shorts II features comedies and lighter subject matter films.
MISAFF15 runs Thursday, August 6th – Sunday, August 9th, at Cineplex Mississauga (309 Rathburn Rd W) and The Living Arts Centre (4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga).
For more information, please click HERE.