Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

An announcement from our friends at Aurora Picture Show:

Aurora Picture Show Announces

11th Annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

Houston’s Asian American film festival, Slant: Bold Asian American Images, returns for the 11th year with an eclectic lineup that represents the best new works by Asian American filmmakers. From dramas about immigrant families to science fiction tales, the five short films selected for Slant tell diverse stories. Slant will screen for one night only on Thursday, August 11 at 7:30PM at River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. Filmmaker Soham Mehta and curator Melissa Hung will be in attendance.

Works by South Asian American filmmakers figure prominently in this year’s festival. Slant is proud to have the Houston premiere of FATAKRA by Houston-bred, New York-based filmmaker Soham Mehta, winner of a 2011 Student Academy Award. The film, about an immigrant family reuniting after years apart, screened earlier this year at South By Southwest (SXSW).

Soham is the founder of Shunya, a Houston-based theater troupe dedicated to providing a voice to the South Asian American experience, and received his MFA in film production from University of Texas at Austin. He also co-wrote the 2003 feature film WHERE’S THE PARTY, YAAR?, which starred Kal Penn.

Slant will also have the Texas premiere of Tanuj Chopra’s PIA, a science fiction film starring Pia Shah as a malfunctioning android. Tanuj is best known for directing the feature film PUNCHING AT THE SUN, which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The film told the story of a South Asian kid in Queens, NY dealing with anger and confusion in the aftermath of his older brother’s senseless death in a post-9/11 world. It was the first South Asian American narrative feature ever selected to the prestigious festival.

Other films screening at Slant include the animation JAIME LO, SMALL AND SHY, by Toronto-based Lillian Chan; the science fiction film DIGITAL ANTIQUITIES by J.P. Chan; and the mockumentary ASIAN AMERICAN JESUS, directed by Yasmine Gomez.

Slant was established in 2001 by Melissa Hung, the founding editor of Hyphen, a magazine about Asian American culture. In presenting this festival, Aurora Picture Show participates in exploring the power of moving images in crafting identity and community.


Fatakra by Soham Mehta

Naveen left India to chase his dreams in America. Three years and a recession later, his wife and son join him. Sparks fly as a family reunites.

PIA by Tanuj Chopra

In San Francisco, in the year 2063, much of human labor has been replaced with service androids called PIAs. One night, a mysterious and malfunctioning PIA appears at Syama Raval’s front door.

Jaime Lo, small and shy by Lillian Chan

Jaime Lo, a shy Chinese Canadian girl, observes the world around her through her drawings. When Jaime’s father is sent to Hong Kong for a year-long work assignment, Jaime must use her creativity to cope with his absence.

Digital Antiquities by J.P. Chan

In the year 2036, a woman in an antique electronics shop meets a desperate young man

seeking to recover data from an old CD.

Asian American Jesus by Yasmine Gomez

In this mockumentary, performer Samantha Chanse plays six different characters including Truth is Real, a self-professed ‘mad scientist of the spoken word,’ and the subject of college freshman Suzette Law’s final project for her ethnic studies class.


The 11th Annual Slant: Bold Asian American Images Festival

Thursday, August 11, 7:30 PM

Location: River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray


Tickets to the 11th Annual Slant Festival are $10 for non-members and free for Aurora Picture Show members. For tickets and information, visit or call 713-868-2101.

About Aurora Picture Show:

Founded in 1998, Aurora Picture Show is a non-profit micro-cinema that presents artist-made, non-commercial film and video. We are dedicated to expanding the cinematic experience and promoting the understanding and appreciation of moving image art. Aurora’s human scale promotes a meaningful and community-oriented exchange between artists and audiences, and strives to not only be a launching pad for emerging artists but to create not-to-be-missed events for Houston.

Aurora Picture Show is funded by its stellar membership, Houston Endowment, Inc, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Brown Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Alice Kleberg Reynolds, Susan Vaughan Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. Aurora Picture Show is a proud member of Fresh Arts Coalition

[mappress mapid=”12″]

Join us at the Chocolate Bar on Friday

A number of Shunya members will be meeting up casually at the Chocolate Bar in Rice Village (2521 University Boulevard, Houston) on Friday March 25th at about 7ish. If you’re interested in meeting some of us or finding out how to get involved with Houston’s premier South Asian theatre troupe, come join us!
[mappress mapid=”8″]

Soham Mehta’s film “Survivors” on iTunes

Soham Mehta, Shunya’s founder, has a short horror film released on iTunes in time for Halloween.

Dear Friends,

I just want to share some good news with you. My short horror film, Survivors, just went up on iTunes this week for Halloween!

This is the first film that I have directed to get distribution, so it’s extremely exciting. From what I hear, it will be available in the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Germany. The film has already played over 25 festivals, but this is definitely the easiest and most accessible it’s been for anyone and everyone to watch it.

It’s being distributed by Shorts International, a UK based company that specializes in short films. They’re the same company that’s distributing all of last year’s Oscar-nominated shorts, so we’re in good company. They’ve released a slate of horror films to iTunes for Halloween. Unfortunately, all of their publicity is focusing on the films that have stars in them. So the only way anyone will hear about Survivors is word of mouth.

So please download the film, put it on your ipods and phones and gadgets, write a review and rate it, and most importantly, tell your friends about it! I don’t really know if this is just a Halloween thing or a long term thing, so please check it out sooner rather than later.

Here is the link in iTunes:

Some press about the release (although they don’t mention Survivors)

In other news, my latest film, FATAKRA, is now complete and beginning it’s festival run. If you would like to keep up with it’s progress, please visit my website ( The site is pretty rudimentary for the time being, but there’s a blog that you can add to any RSS reader to get updates.

I hope you enjoy the film!

All the best,

Networking in Austin

A message for anyone who is going to be in Austin this weekend, from Sushma Khadepaun-Pamar:

Who should attend:

1. Local (Central Texas) and visiting filmmakers, actors, dancers, musicians, writers, designers, painters and anybody involved in the arts who would like to network with like minded people.

2. Up and coming creatives who would like to network with professionals in the industry.

3. Anyone who would like to meet South Asians involved in the arts.

What to expect:

A casual networking event, and the opportunity to view some videos/stills from upcoming projects. We will be glad to showcase demo reels, trailers, stills and videos (5 minutes and under). Email me at if you have anything you’d like to showcase.

Brunch/Lunch is available for those that would like to purchase at Opal Divine’s.

Look forward to seeing you all!


Sushma Khadepaun-Parmar
Producer, Director,