1497 South Asian Lodge - At Sundance - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, January 15, 2024

1497 South Asian Lodge - At Sundance


1497 South Asian Lodge

​What I love about the South Asian community is how they show up.  And the 2024 Sundance Film Festival is another example of what that actually means to those that aspire to have a successful career, in Hollywood, and keep true to their South Asian roots. 

Enter 1497 and the 1497 South Asian Lodge will be open to the public for networking and chai starting at 10am each day, except during the events below.

The events below require an RSVP

Saturday, January 21

10:45am - 11:15am: IndieWire Screen Talk Live (Live Podcast)

Attend a live taping of IndieWire’s Screen Talk podcast! Each week on Screen Talk, IndieWire’s Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio debate the indie film world and beyond - from awards season to festivals, new releases, and the future of the business.

At Sundance 2024, Host Ryan Lattanzio is joined by guests and fellow IndieWire editors Kate Erbland and Marcus Jones to download on the buzziest films at the festival, what sales titles should expect to pop, and what early awards contenders are hiding out in this year’s sections.

11:30am - 12:30pm Varied Paths, Shared Goals (Panel)

Featuring panelists Nik Dodani (actor, writer, producer, Co-Founder of The Salon), Raj Raghavan (Head of Talent, Partner, and Manager at ColorCreative Management), and Priya Satriani (Partner at Entertainment 360).​

Join this distinguished group of South Asian professionals in the entertainment industry who have each carved unique trajectories towards a common goal: a commitment to fostering inclusivity and authenticity in representation in the entertainment landscape. They’ll discuss the different roles they’ve navigated - from actors to producers, writers to executives  - and reveal the stories behind their diverse journeys, the challenges they've overcome, and the shared vision that unites them in shaping a more inclusive and vibrant future for South Asian voices in the industry.

2:15pm - 3:15pm: Navigating Islamophobia and Perceptions of Muslims in Film and Beyond (Panel)

Sponsored by M Film Lab

Featuring panelists Karim Ahmad (creator of Muslim Futures and former Sundance Institute Outreach and Inclusion Director), Hiba Irshad (music executive), and Kashif Shaikh (Pillars Foundation Co-Founder and President), and moderated by Zeyba Rahman (Doris Duke Foundation)

As cinematic representations often contribute to shaping public perceptions, we’ll delve into the challenges faced by individuals perceived as Muslim, irrespective of their actual faiths. This panel will discuss dismantling stereotypes, fostering understanding, and promoting inclusivity. Together, we’ll examine the responsibility of the film industry to challenge preconceptions and promote authentic, accurate narratives that reflect the diverse richness of Muslim identities, and how the art of cinema can contribute to a more informed and compassionate society.

3:30pm - 4:30pm: The Collective Quest: Celebrating Unity in Black and Brown Creatives and Collaborators (Panel)

Sponsored by Culture House

Led by Culture House Co-Founders Raeshem Nijhon and Carri Twigg and featuring Reena Singh (Executive Vice President of Scripted Television at Macro)

This discussion delves into the dynamics of collaboration and challenges experienced by Black and Brown communities in their collective journey for representation and how these two groups have been working together toward their common goals. The panelists will participate in an open dialogue, bringing to the forefront shared experiences, successes, and longstanding barriers that have historically separated these communities. By exploring both the unifying forces that give rise to impactful narratives and the divisive factors hindering progress, this panel aims to contribute to a nuanced understanding of the complexities within the entertainment industry for Black and Brown creatives.

4:45pm - 6:30pm: Chat & Chai (Networking Event)

Culture House Co-Founders Raeshem Nijhon and Carri Twigg will introduce this special networking event for filmmakers and film enthusiasts to come together, connect, and celebrate the art of storytelling all over mugs of steaming chai, courtesy of Kola Goodies. Against the backdrop of cinematic creativity, this event provides a unique opportunity for passionate individuals to forge meaningful connections and share experiences. Whether you're a seasoned filmmaker or an avid film lover, this gathering promises a vibrant atmosphere where the love for cinema thrives.

6:45pm - 7:45pm: Mira Nair on " Mississippi Masala" (Fireside Chat)

Sponsored by The Mississippi Film Office

The Mississippi Film Office’s Nina Parikh introduces this special fireside chat with BAFTA Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Mira Nair.

Visionary storyteller Mira Nair joins us to share personal anecdotes and insights from her remarkable career while commemorating the new 4k restoration of her iconic film "Mississippi Masala.” Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry woven through her films, gaining an exclusive peek into the creative process behind some of cinema's most impactful stories. From the hurdles and triumphs of navigating the industry to the lasting legacy of her films, the evening promises an open exploration of Mira Nair's artistic vision, creating a unique space for reflection and inspiration.

8:30pm - 12:00am: Masala Moves Dance Party

DJ duo Sima&Sidu and DJ Jai Wolf will provide musical inspiration and energy as we celebrate YOU, our incredible community and supporters. Come as you are - just come ready to DANCE!

Sunday, January 21

8:30am - 10:00am: 1497 & Sundance Fellows Breakfast (PRIVATE EVENT)

Sundance and 1497 invite Fellows from prestigious programs, including Doris Duke, The Asian American Foundation, Pillars, Latinx, and Sundance, to an exclusive breakfast. The Fellows will network with curators and festival programmers, fostering valuable connections. This event promises a vibrant celebration of unity, innovation, and the shared journey of accomplished fellows against the backdrop of creativity and diversity while bridging the gap between upcoming talent from underrepresented communities. 

10:00am - 10:45am: A Gathering of Solidarity and Reflection 

We begin our second day with a plea for compassion and unity: join us in expressing solidarity with those affected by war right now in the Middle East. We will engage in guided meditation, creating a space for collective reflection. We will also share in the transformative power of poetry, allowing the spoken word to convey the depth of our shared emotions and experiences. Be together, stand together, and believe in a better future together.

11:00am - 12:00pm: Decolonization - Art, Mindsets, and Collective Transformation (Panel)

This timely panel is moderated by Jessica McEver (Director of Pop Culture + Media with IllumiNative) and features Peter Murami (director of “The Battle for Laikipia” premiering at Sundance), Monica Ramirez (activist, attorney, author, and Co-Founder of The Latinx House), and N. Bird Runningwater (producer and former Director of Artist Programs - Indigenous and DEI at the Sundance Institute).

What is Decolonization? This conversation will delve into the concept, exploring how a wide array of filmmakers are tackling the subject in their work. We’ll discuss the hurdles of not just altering storytelling, but also reshaping the way we as individuals think; the importance of changing our own mindsets - taking into account how history influences current issues; and the link between art and our collective perspective. This panel will address the challenges and triumphs of making art that is more inclusive and independent from colonial influences- art with a liberated mindset.

12:15pm - 1:15pm: The Next Wave of Documentary Talent From The Diaspora (Panel)

This discussion is moderated by Anurima Bhargava (producer and Founder and Director of Anthem of Us) and features documentarians Anirban Dutta (director/producer “Nocturnes” screening at Sundance), Khaula Malik (co-producer “Girls State" screening at Sundance), Nisha Pahuja (director "To Kill a Tiger"), and Anupama Srinivasan (director “Nocturnes" screening at Sundance).

These documentarians bring rich diversity, specificity, and unique perspectives to their groundbreaking storytelling. On this panel, they will share profound insights into their creative processes and glimpses behind the scenes of their latest films. This discussion will also offer a glimpse into the evolving landscape of nonfiction cinema and the cultural resonance and importance of these filmmakers’ works.

1:30pm - 2:30pm: Beyond Frames - Industry Leaders Discuss the Next Chapter (Panel)

This panel features Farhana Bhula (Head of Creative at Film4) and other guests to be announced.

These industry leaders will offer unique insights into navigating the ever-evolving landscape of content creation. From the intricacies of storytelling to the strategic nuances of streaming, the shaping of film narratives, and the fostering of emerging talent, this discussion promises a deep dive into challenges, opportunities, and shifting dynamics within the entertainment industry. Join us for a compelling dialogue that peels back the layers of creativity, strategy, and leadership, offering an insightful glimpse into the future of storytelling in film and media.  

2:45pm - 3:45pm: Expanding Canvases - South Asian Queer Artists Redefining Creative Frontiers (Panel)

Moderated by Rahi Hasan (The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) and Sundance Institute Fellow, formerly undocumented dancer, documentary filmmaker, cultural organizer, and impact strategist) and featuring Fatimah Asghar (poet, screenwriter, educator, performer, author of "When We Were Sisters"), Akbar Hamid (entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of The 5th Column creative consultancy), Seema Hari (software engineer, multi-hyphenate artist, activist against the caste system), and Fawzia Mirza (writer/director "The Queen of My Dreams," Co-Founder Baby Daal Productions).

In the wake of a long-overdue surge in LGBTQ+ representation, the exploration of narratives that remain untold becomes crucial. Focused on South Asian queer expression across artistic mediums, this panel imagines a world beyond limitations, systemic barriers and societal norms, one that values the strength of the collective. Join us for an enriching conversation with a diverse panel of South Asian queer artists, each contributing to the spectrum of creativity within their respective mediums. From visual artists to performers, poets to filmmakers, this discussion will spotlight the challenges and triumphs faced by South Asian queer creators as they endeavor to bring the richness of their art to a wider audience.

4:00pm - 5:00pm: Ritesh Batra on "The Lunchbox" (Fireside Chat)

Acclaimed filmmaker Ritesh Batra joins us to share insights and anecdotes from the making of his cinematic gem "The Lunchbox," as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the film screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Explore the creative process behind this beloved film and gain an intimate look into his unique storytelling prowess. This special evening marks a decade of cinematic brilliance, offering an insightful glimpse into the enduring impact of Ritesh Batra's artistry.

6:00pm - 9:00pm : IndieWire Chili Party Hosted By Alok V Menon (PRIVATE EVENT)

9:00pm - 12:00am: Big Brown Throwdown Dance Party

Click Here to RSVP!

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