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SXSW® Hosts First-Ever SOUTH ASIAN HOUSE In Festival’s 37-Year-History

For the first time in South by Southwest® (SXSW®) history, an innovative initiative to highlight, recognize, and appreciate South Asians from the seven countries – India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Maldives – as well as accomplished members of the diaspora, will be unveiled at the FIRST-EVER SOUTH ASIAN HOUSE (SAH) at SXSW in March 2023.

Brainchild of veteran producers, curators, and programmers Rohi Mirza Pandya (Box Office Guru Media & Desipina), Monika Samtani (Ms. Media & The Fem Word), Jitin Hingorani (Jingo Media & DFW South Asian Film Festival), and Kirtana Banskota (Banskota Productions & Nepal America Film Society), SAH will showcase programming around film/television, dance/music, technology, business, fashion, comedy, and climate change from a South Asian world view. The two days of plenaries, sessions, panel discussions, workshops, art exhibits, book launches, music concerts, and more will take place during the first weekend of SXSW, March 11 and 12, in the iconic 4th Street neighborhood of downtown Austin, just blocks from the Austin Convention Center event headquarters. 

“We are thrilled to be commissioned to curate the first-ever South Asian House in the 37-year-history of this iconic film, tech, and music festival that is now in the global spotlight,” proclaimed the curatorial team of Mirza Pandya, Samtani, Hingorani, and Banskota. “Our subcontinent is rich in history, art, culture, and science, and we want the thousands of expected attendees at SXSW to experience our contributions to the world first-hand. Never has South Asia been represented on such a massive scale at an A-list festival.” 

From L to R: Rohi Mirza Pandya, Monika Samtani,
Jitin Hingorani, and Kirtana Banskota
One of the highlights will include a red carpet and awards ceremony on Oscar® Sunday to recognize South Asian talent and filmmakers who have been featured at past SXSW festivals, as well as those nominated for the 2023 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Academy) Awards®. All the curated events at the SAH will require an official SXSW badge OR attendees will be required to RSVP to each event on a first-come, first-served basis. 

“During the weekend-long experience, hosted at The Pub on 4th Street, co-influencers, celebrities, icons, and enthusiasts of South Asian academia, film, music, culture, design, fashion, business, tech, and climate change will exchange ideas and synergies in this inclusive and thought-provoking environment that has put Austin on the international map,” said Niles Patel, owner of The Pub and long-time Austinite. 

“South Asians are one of the most accomplished minority groups living and working in the United States,” said SXSW Director of Global Sales Neil Minocha. “As a proud South Asian, I have been working towards this kind of programming for years. I look forward to paying tribute to the vast contributions the diaspora has made in almost every major industry through the establishment of the South Asian House.”


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