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South Asian links at SXSW Sydney 2023

There’s films, TV premieres, music and technology at SXSW Sydney 2023

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For the first time ever, South by Southwest (SXSW) is being organised outside the United States and in the heart of Sydney Harbour.

A coming together of creative types from across film, TV, music, technology and gaming this event has grown in stature ever since it began in 1987 as a music showcase.

Launched by a promotion company South by Southwest Inc, it was intended to present the eclectic music scene in Austin, Texas, to music industry professionals. Today it has grown to include events and creative industries from across genres and from across the world.

It’s week-long Sydney edition, taking place from 15-22 October at the International Convention Centre, around Darling Harbour, and multiple other venues in the city is full with more than 1,000 creative events and networking sessions across films, music, technology and gaming.

It also includes an impressive South Asian flavour. Here’s our list of the South Asian led events to watch during the festival:

TV Premieres

Series: The Pink Shirt

SXSW Sydney
(Source: Twitter)

The Pink Shirt is the only South Asian streaming series selected for SXSW Sydney, a love triangle drama starring Pakistani heartthrobs Sajal Aly and Wahaj Ali. A Q+A with director Kashir Nisar, writer Beegul, and stars Sajal Aly and Wahaj Ali will follow the screening.

The Disposables

(Source: IMDB)

ABC’s social media interactive conspiracy series was curated to speak to Generation Z where they are most active – on social media platforms like TikTok.

Screen

“It’s been my honour to help curate the Indian screen program for the first-ever SXSW Sydney,” said Jitin Hingorani, Co-founder of South Asian House at SXSW and Tribeca, told Indian Link. “The films we’ve selected deal with everything from patriarchy and coming out to class privilege, modern-day relationships, and religious rituals – all themes that will resonate not only with the South Asian diaspora in Sydney, but also with the mainstream cinephiles who enjoy a dose of world cinema.”

Agra

(Source: HOYTS)

Directed and written by Kanu Behl, Agra is a provocative, multilayered probe into the darker facets of Indian society.

Coming straight from the Director’s Fortnight section at Cannes, the film stars Mohit Agarwal, Rahul Roy and Priyanka Bose in lead roles.

Stolen

SXSW Sydney
(Source: IMDB)

This action thriller was the only Indian project selected for the prestigious Venice Film Festival this year. Directed by Karan Tejpal, the plot revolves around two urbane brothers that witness a baby being kidnapped from the clutches of a broken mother at a railway station in rural India.

Sahela

(Source: Twitter)

Sahela captures the poignant journey of a young married Indian/Australian couple residing in Parramatta, Western Sydney. Directed and written by first-timer Raghuvir Joshi and Atika Chohan, this film is executive produced by Dev Patel.

Eid Mubarak

SXSW Sydney
(Source: IMDB)

Iman, a privileged six-year-old Pakistani girl, goes to buy a goat with her family, unaware they plan to sacrifice it for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Azha.

In Flames

(Source:IMDB)

In this Pakistani Canadian horror film, a young woman endures the horrors of a patriarchal society.

Music

Ashwarya

(Source: Facebook)

Indian-Australian singer and songwriter Ashwarya, known for her invigorating deep dance pop beats and eclectic vocal presence will perform at the TikTok’s House of Music Discovery.

Anjali Bhimani

SXSW Sydney
(Source: IMDB)

Actress and musical performer Anjali Bhimini is set to explore her multifaceted career and the future of the gaming industry at the opening night where gaming and music will collide.

Check out the full schedule of SXSW Sydney here.

Read More: Melbourne musician Ashwarya is making her own rules

Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja is a freelance films and arts writer with 20 years of experience. Specialising in Bollywood celebrity interviews, she has also covered music concerts, comedy shows, plays and interviewed artists for the Sydney Film festival, the Indian Film festival in Melbourne, WOMADelaide, AACTA and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

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