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Sundance Sets Festival’s First South Asian Lodge With Nonprofit 1497 (Exclusive)



Sundance in 2023 will feature the festival’s first-ever South Asian Lodge, thanks to the nonprofit organization 1497.

The group is collaborating with filmmakers Shruti Ganguly and Tanya Selvaratnam to develop the lodge, which will be housed at Park City yoga studio The Shop on Jan. 21 and 22. The two days of programming will include a 20th anniversary celebration of Bend It Like Beckham, as the movie’s 2003 premiere at Sundance marked a watershed event for South Asian representation in film. The lodge will also present a panel called Black and Brown Unity and Division, On and Off Screen featuring producer Lisa Cortes, director Geeta Gandhbir, Oscar-winning producer Joseph Patel (Summer of Soul) and Hillman Grad CEO Rishi Rajani, with more events — all by invitation only — to be announced. Those interested in attending can email [email protected].

“We have been a part of the Sundance community for a long time and in many ways — premiering our films, speaking on panels and participating in fellowship programs,” Ganguly and Selvaratnam said in a joint statement. “Also, as organizers and activists within the South Asian diaspora, we have been dreaming of creating a South Asian space at Sundance for a while. We are honored to partner with 1497 on the South Asian Lodge — the first of many, we hope!”

1497 was founded two years ago by producer Adeel Ahmed, actor Lipica Shah and filmmaker and attorney Kamran Khan to support South Asian representation in the entertainment industry (the name comes from the final year before colonizers invaded the nations that comprise South Asia). “As our organization grows, we are thrilled to partner with Sundance to continue to support our South Asian filmmaker community, and elevate their perspectives and stories,” the co-founders said in a joint statement. “The South Asian population in America has increased nearly 40% over the last ten years, resulting in a hunger for authentic representation and visibility on and behind the screen. It is wonderful to work with allies like Sundance to recognize the growing footprint of South Asian talent and celebrate them at the forefront of the industry.”

The South Asian Lodge will coincide with and co-exist alongside Sunrise Collective, Sundance’s pan-Asian American Pacific Islander house that will host programming Jan. 20 through 22. The two houses confirmed to The News84Media that they are in discussions to possibly jointly hold events while at the festival.

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