TasVR: A Virtual Reality Visit to South Asia



TSAFF is pleased to present its first ever Virtual Reality segment, TasVR, a virtual reality experience that invites you to immerse yourself in stories from South Asia. We will have a immersive photo installation at the Northwest Film Forum. We will also be showing five VR films, which make use of cutting-edge VR technology like 360 video to bring the viewers out of their seats and into the films themselves.

During weekend TSAFF events at the Northwest Film Forum (October 7-9) and the Carco Theatre (October 14-15), the pop up VR demo space will provide visitors with the equipment required to enjoy these immersive films.

Yeh ballet
Yeh Ballet

14 mins || India || 2017

Dancing is a passion of the rich, believes Manish Chauhan, a 21-year-old son of a taxi driver in suburban Mumbai. After he and his friend, 15-year-old Amiruddin Shah, are discovered as ballet talents by Yehuda Maor, they dream of becoming principal ballet dancers in big American companies. Although scholarships to study at New York’s prestigious Joffrey Ballet School fail to materialize after the two are rejected for US visas, they eventually find global recognition.

Director's Bio

Sooni Taraporevala is an Indian screenwriter and photographer who is best known as the screenwriter of Mississippi Masala, The Namesake and the Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay, all directed by Mira Nair. In 2007, she directed her first feature film, Little Zizou, based on a screenplay of her own, as an ensemble piece set in Bombay. This film explores issues facing the Parsi community to which she belongs. She was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 2014.

Women observing the ritual to wash away the sins committed during mentruation at the annual Rishi Panchami festival, Kathmandu. Nepal.
Blood Speaks

12 mins || Nepal || 2017

Transmedia Artist Poulomi Basu’s Blood Speaks is an immersive installation, which includes her VR film and photo installation of her work focused on the ritual of Chaupadi in Nepal, which strikes at the roots of patriarchy.

Director's Bio

Poulomi Basu is a storyteller, transmedia artist and activist whose work documents the role of women in isolated communities and conflict zones and more generally for advocating for the rights of women.

Poulomi’s ongoing work, A Ritual Of Exile, won the Magnum Emergency Fund 2016, was a W.Eugene Smith Finalist, and was shortlisted for the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award. Her forthcoming book,Centralia , was shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award and was exhibited at Photo London 2017. Poulomi’s work has been widely exhibited and she has been a recipient of the many awards including the Magnum Human Rights Scholarship. She is co-founder and director of Just Another Photo Festival, a festival that democratizes visual media by taking photography and film to the people and forging new audiences.

image1 (1)
When Borders Move web poster
When Borders Move

6 mins || India || 2017

Hunderman, a village at the Indian border, has witnessed four wars. From 1949 to 1971, it belonged to Pakistan. During the 1965 war, it was disputed land for around three months. In 1971, the Indian Army captured Hunderman. Overnight, the people in the village became Indian and the ones left behind in Pakistan, refugees. Ghulam Hussein’s fate was among those caught in the fluid nationalities and shifting borders. Through all his years in exile, he longed for home. His family, in turn, memorialized him by transforming his home into a Museum of Memories.

Director's Bio

Writer. Journalist. Educationist. Daydreamer.

Shubhangi Swarup has worked in the fields of journalism, education, and recently, VR. She was the executive editor of ElseVR, India’s first platform for narrative non-fiction and journalism, created by Memesys Culture Lab. She recently completed her first work of fiction, Faultlines. She has won two national Laadli awards for gender sensitive writing in the past, and was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship for creative writing, in the University of East Anglia.


8 mins || India || 2017

Every year during the monsoons, the rivers flowing through Bihar submerge over 60 percent of the state under water. Since the construction of a spate of dams and barrages across the state in the past few decades, the rivers have started to silt and the spillover water washes away entire villages, in most cases without any warning. In July 2016, in the wake of rising water levels, panicking villagers cut away a portion of a mud dam, leading to a torrential burst of water that inundated hundreds of villages downstream and left houses and crops destroyed. These repeated disasters leave people here to live with lower incomes perennially. This film moves through the submerged landscape of the people affected by the most devastating flood in Bihar since 2008.

Director's Bio

Nishtha Jain is an Indian film director and producer, best known for her documentaries like Gulabi Gang. She is a graduate from AJK, Mass Communication Research Centre. She worked as an editor and correspondent for video news magazines Newstrack and Eyewitness before deciding to study at the Film and Television Institute of India, specializing in film direction. Together with Smriti Nevatia, Jain created the independent documentary outfit Raintree Films, based in Mumbai. Her films have received several international awards and have been extensively shown at international film festivals, broadcast on international TV networks, and regularly shown in schools and colleges in India and abroad.

Ground Beneath Her

6 mins || Nepal || 2017

Collaborators: By UNDP Asia-Pacific in partnership with UN SDG Action Campaign and Here Be Dragons
Co-creators: Gabo Arora & Ari Palitz
Director of Photography: Barry Pousman
Producers: Chris Milk, Cedric Monteiro, Kristin Gutekunst
On 25th April 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake damaged or destroyed more than half a million homes and buildings, claiming nearly 9,000 lives, and leaving about 22,000 injured. The devastation was so severe that experts believe it may take a decade for Nepal to recover. After surviving Nepal´s devastating earthquake, 14 year-old Sabita balances an arduous routine of school and housework, while trying to keep dreams for her future alive.
Show your support here.
Director's Bio

Gabo Arora is the first-ever Creative Director at the United Nations; Founder & President of LightShed, a virtual reality and social impact start-up; and an award-winning filmmaker represented by Here Be Dragons. His work focuses on new technologies that promote social causes and make decision-making processes more inclusive. Among these projects is a viral video campaign for the recent climate change summit in Paris, and various collaborations with internet influencers to promote accountability on global humanitarian aid assistance. He is also founder of UNVR.org, the United Nations’ virtual reality lab, and has directed and produced a series of pioneering, and widely acclaimed, virtual reality documentaries focusing on vulnerable populations in crisis.