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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 7, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 36
Tasveer reveals poster art and announces 13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival Sept. 28 - Oct. 7
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Tasveer reveals poster art and announces 13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival Sept. 28 - Oct. 7

Colorful kites fly up into a night sky sprinkled with diamonds, and delicate rolls of film buoy them to the ground. Every minute detail, every letter and every curved dome of the Lahore Fort that graces Tasveer's TSAFF 2018 poster has been meticulously hand cut by local South Asian artist Mita Mahato. Her work is a feat of patience, accuracy, and a keen eye that rethinks the use of handmade and recycled paper materials.

Mahato uses collage and multi layering techniques to create textured pieces where color and form interact in different ways. Instead of deciding on a specific image, she experiments, playing around with color, shape, and layering to see how the various elements interact. 'With cut paper, you don't have a concrete idea of what the final piece will look like; it's during the construction - when you're moving around elements and seeing how they relate to each other - that the image as a whole starts to come together,' she wrote in an e-mail.

This year's poster exudes warmth and color, with tones of saffron, pale rose and burnt orange that bring to mind the earth of Pakistan. Mahato spent almost six weeks crafting the piece, taking time to think through the specific connection each of the motifs featured on the poster have to Pakistan's art and culture. 'The kites (inspired by the Basant kite festival) became an obvious visual intersection in my mind - a canvas for typical truck art or mehndi design. And then making the kite strings resemble film strips that lead the eye down to the image of the Lahore Fort brought it all together,' wrote Mahato.

When she was approached to create the poster for Tasveer's 13h South Asian Film Festival, the first thing that captured Mahato's attention was the Tasveer logo, a girl holding a microphone. According to Mahato, 'I wanted to make [her] a central part of the action. I wanted to suggest that it's her vision that is bringing together and directing the kites, the architecture, and everything else (including the festival!).'

The final product is not only a poster that will be seen around the community, but also stands as its own frame-worthy masterpiece that showcases the spirit of Pakistani and the unique work of local South Asian artists who dare to experiment with form and method.

The 13th annual Tasveer South Asian Film Festival will take place September 28th through October 7th, with a spotlight on Pakistan. This year's theme, #KnowMe, invites filmmakers and audiences to challenge stereotyped representations of Pakistan and the greater South Asian region.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS Nineteen of the sixty-three films - about a third - are from this year's focus country Pakistan. The films were all thoughtfully chosen by Programming Director Laila Kazmi and Festival Director Rita Meher in collaboration with a selection committee.

'We are bringing you some of the best, most unique films to come out of South Asia in the last year, particularly from Pakistan,' said Kazmi. 'And you won't see them anywhere else in Seattle except at the Tasveer festival.'

This year's film list promises an exciting lineup, beginning with highly acclaimed Pakistani film Cake. Director Asim Abbasi along with many visiting filmmakers, including stars Sanam Saeed and Amina Sheikh, will walk the red carpet at the opening night gala, along with other filmmakers.

'I am extremely honored that Cake has been selected as the opening night film for Tasveer this year,' said Abbasi. 'During our general release in the US this year, we did not get a chance to open the film in the State of Washington, so I am really excited that people in Seattle will finally get a chance to see it now.'

The following days are filled with meaningful films and panel discussions. The films in this lineup are strong and bold, exploring important political and social issues in South Asia and the diaspora. Some highlights:



In A Better Man, director director Atiya Khan goes back to confront an abusive ex and reveals a surprising healing process.

Do We Belong? explores the contested question of who is American, and whether South Asians belong here through the experience of Sunayana Duamala, whose husband was killed in a hate crime in Kansas in 2017.

Drawn Together, a film and panel discussion questions what a superhero looks like in order to explore representation in the media.

Honeygiver Among the Dogs from Bhutan, a country with a small film industry and an even smaller pool of women directors.

My Pure Land, UK's entry for the Oscars in the foreign language category.

Pataakha, the Seattle premiere of critically acclaimed director Vishal Bhardhwaj's upcoming film.

In addition to shorts and feature films, the program also includes Virtual Reality films, shown on multiple days during the festival as free screenings. For complete information on the 13th Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, visit tasveer.org.

ABOUT TASVEER
Co-founders Rita Meher and Farah Nousheen formed Tasveer after witnessing the prejudice and hate that targeted Muslims and South Asians following 9/11. Since their first film screening in 2002, Tasveer has become a beacon, illuminating South Asian voices from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the diaspora. With its year-round programming, Tasveer harnesses the power of art through film and storytelling to engage in dialogue, debunk stereotypes, and to celebrate culture.

Courtesy of Tasveer

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