Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithana was awarded at the 9th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival Sunday evening with a screening of his film, “With You, Without You.”
Vithanage was also honored for his contribution to Sri Lankan cinema during the Festival’s Closing Night Reception, receiving the Tasveer Emerald Award. This occasional award is bestowed upon exceptional prolific and influential filmmakers and was first given in 2011 to actress Deepti Naval for her contribution to Indian cinema.
This year’s Festival welcomed eighteen visiting filmmakers. There were 27 screenings, two educational panels, co-presented with Washington Filmworks and The Film School.
A special award for Outstanding Film in a Social Category was awarded during the Festival to SSAFF 2014 selection “Fandry” by the Seattle chapter of Pratham, the largest education non-profit in India. Pratham is dedicated to improving the quality of education in India, ensuring access to all people regardless of caste – a subject addressed in “Fandry” through the story of a young lower-caste man in a small village.
The first SSAFF Jury Award was given to Indian director Kanu Behl’s feature-length debut “Titlli.” The jury, staffed with local film scholars, critics, and writers, was commissioned to select the film with the best storytelling and strongest alignment with the mission of Tasveer.
“TITLI not only embodies Tasveer’s mission to engage and empower the community through thought-provoking art and conversation; it also clearly demonstrates SSAFF 2014’s theme of Stories that dare . . . ,” according to a jury statement.
Founded in 2002 by Rita Meher and Farah Nousheen, Tasveer strives to curate thought-provoking artistic work of South Asians through films, forums, visual art, and performances that engage and empower the community.
Tasveer presents three keystone events each year: AAINA, a women-focused arts gathering (spring); South Asian International Documentary Festival (spring), and Seattle South Asian Film Festival (fall).
The purpose of Tasveer is to increase awareness of South Asian countries and cultures from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; to provide a platform for South Asian filmmakers and artists; to initiate dialogue that bridges communities; to provide an alternative to corporate media; and to employ independent South Asian film as a vehicle to give voice to marginalized communities. (end)
For more information, please visit www.tasveer.org.