Indie Meme Film Festival Showcases Social & Political Issues From South Asia And Iran

Indie Meme, a non-profit organization, is holding its 8th Film Festival (IMFF2023) from April 12-16 in Austin, TX at the AFS Cinema. The festival provides a platform for filmmakers from South Asia and Iran to showcase their unique stories, with award-winning actors and filmmakers attending every year. This year, Kalki Koechlin and Pushan Kripalani, lead actor and director of the festival’s opening night film “Goldfish”, and Leena Yadav, director of “Tell it like a Woman”, will be in attendance.

Picture : TheUNN

The festival features over 30 films in 17 languages, representing 13 countries, touching on global issues such as mental health, women empowerment, poverty, freedom of speech, and more. Audience members have the opportunity to engage with the filmmakers after each screening, exchange perspectives and explore the premise further. Additionally, a virtual festival program is scheduled from April 28 to May 1, offering a hybrid experience for those outside Austin.

Indie Meme 2023 Film Lineup


The film “All That Breathes” is in the running for the Best International Documentary award at the 95th Academy Awards. The movie centers around two brothers who are trying to rescue black kite birds, which are crucial to New Delhi’s ecosystem but are dying due to environmental pollution. This documentary is unique in that it is the first film to have won the Best Documentary Prize at both the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.


“Goldfish,” directed by Pushan Kriplani and starring Kalki Koechlin, will premiere at the South Asian Film Festival in the US. The film follows Janaki, a young woman with bipolar disorder and addiction, as she searches for a missing father with a young boy. “Goldfish” explores mental health, trauma, and human connection and has received critical acclaim. Its premiere at the festival is significant for Indian cinema and a testament to the power of storytelling.


“Tell It Like A Woman,” a new Indian documentary film directed by Leena Yadav, will premiere at the South Asian Film Festival in the US. The film features interviews with influential and inspiring women from a range of backgrounds, exploring gender, identity, and the role of women in society in India. Through their stories, the film offers a window into the experiences and struggles of women in India.


The Iranian film “Leila’s Brothers” will have its Texas premiere at IMFF2023. The film was awarded the International Critics’ Prize in 2022 for best film in Cannes main competition. Boasting a tour de force ensemble, Leila’s Brothers is a masterful family drama that echoes Greek tragedies.

This year, the festival scored two international premieres – “Dhabari Quruvi” and “Eikhoigi Yum.”


The movie “Dhabari Quruvi” is the first of its kind in the world to have tribals both as actors and singers. It is a beautiful film directed by Priyanandanan with a cast entirely made up of indigenous people from Attappadi, Kerala. The plot revolves around a young girl who challenges the traditional customs of her tribe and takes control of her own body and life choices. The dialogue in the movie is exclusively in the “Irula” language, but according to the director, the emotions conveyed in the story will overcome any language barrier for the viewers.


The IMFF2023 will feature “Eikhoigi Yum” (Our Home), a Manipuri film directed by Romi Meitei. The film tells the story of an 11-year-old boy from an isolated fishing community who is determined to succeed in school despite personal and financial difficulties. The film takes place around the Loktak Pat Lake, and its stunning cinematography portrays the lives of those living in homes built on a floating biomass.


Don’t miss the Texas premiere of “In Search of Bengali Harlem,” a documentary created by historian and author Vivek Bald and stand-up comedian and actor Alaudin Ullah. The film follows Alaudin as he investigates the history of his immigrant parents from Bangladesh and uncovers a forgotten past where South Asian Muslims, African Americans, and Puerto Ricans created a unique and diverse community in the mid-20th century tenements of Harlem. Both creators of the documentary will be present at the event, which was supported by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The second documentary of filmmaker Vinay Shukla, who is an Indie Meme alumnus, is called “While We Watched.” The film centers on the experiences of Ravish Kumar, a reporter for NDTV in India, as he confronts limitations on journalism, navigates his career, and faces personal threats.


The final movie for IMFF 2023 will be “Polite Society,” a comedy about a young woman training in martial arts who thinks she needs to rescue her sister from an arranged marriage. Together with her friends, they attempt to execute a daring wedding heist to promote sisterhood and independence.

Indie Meme’s Focus

Indie Meme has been featuring a diverse range of films, shorts, and documentaries from talented filmmakers in South Asia and Iran since 2013. The films address important global issues that are often neglected, including climate change, poverty, access to education and healthcare, and discrimination based on caste, gender, and sexual orientation.

Indie Meme is particularly honored to continue to bring these meaningful productions in its 10th year making Austin THE destination for debate, discussions, dialogue, and change!

Badges for the Indie Meme Film Festival, IMFF2023, are available at The festival was dubbed “the best international passport” by The Austin Chronicle in 2016, solidifying Austin’s spot on the world map of film. IMFF 2023 is also supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin, Economic Development Department, and its Sponsors.

Indie Meme is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent cinema and filmmakers from South Asia & Iran. Our focus is on promoting diversity and cultural exchange. Over the past 10 years, and 8 years of the film festival, Indie Meme is thrilled to provide a platform for the best in independent South Asian cinema, and brings the work of these talented filmmakers to audiences in Austin, and across the United States.

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