The South Asian talent coming out of Vancouver has been incredible. South Asian singers, dancers, independent film makers, actors, writers, producers, television hosts… you name it, and they’re making a name for themselves on the West Coast. So it was only a matter of time before Vancouver played homage to the film industry with the very first Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival, or VISAFF for short.


Vancouver based actress Agam Darshi and actor/writer Patricia Isaac are the brainchilds behind VISAFF.  Their vision is to “bridge the gap” between South Asian talent and mainstream audiences and serve as a launching pad for integration through celebration and education.  Not only will the festival incorporate feature films, shorts and documentaries, but it will also include music videos reflecting the growing independent movement of South Asian musicians from around the world representing genres of pop, rock, hip-hop, dance and more.

Here is a must-see, straight from the insiders.


Kavi is the 2010 Oscar nominated short film about a boy in India who wants to play cricket and go to school, but instead he’s forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave. Unsatisfied with his fate, Kavi must choose to either accept what he’s been told, or fight for a different life – even if he’s unsure of the ultimate outcome.

Student Academy Award Winner, Gregg Helvey wrote, directed and produced “Kavi,” winning the 2009 Academy Award gold medal in the narrative category. Helvey was so rattled by the thought of modern-day slavery, he created the 17 minute film to help raise awareness about the issue. From awareness to action, Kavi is one film you won't want miss at VISAFF.

The festival runs on June 26 at Vancity Theatre.  Order tickets and see schedules at


Story By: Sukhi Ghuman