First-Ever South Asian House at SXSW attracts thousands


SAH Co-Founders Kirtana Banskota, Jitin Hingorani, Rohi Mirza Pandya, and Monika Samtani

First ever South Asian House at SXSW showcased activations and speakers from Film and TV, business and Tech, music and fashion sectors of the diaspora.

Our Bureau


The first-ever South Asian House (SAH) kicked off at Fourth & Co in downtown Austin during the first weekend of the 37th annual SXSW. Featured speakers at the two-day, cultural pop-up included industry professionals from business, tech, film, TV, theatre, music, and fashion. SAH also hosted a networking event with happy hour each day, as well as live music and a DJ set each night.

Local Bollywood dance company Sway With Pray organized flash mobs around the city, and to conclude the weekend, Tasveer presented a Red Carpet Awards Ceremony and a live Oscar Viewing Party. Several South Asian nominees and celebrities were cheered on by the House during the Academy Awards. 

The inaugural event opened with welcome remarks from the co-founders of the South Asian House and from SXSW’s Director of Sales, Neil Minocha, followed by a fireside chai and chat moderated by Ms Media CEO and SAH co-founder Monika Samtani and featured movie producer Rishi Rajani (CEO, Hillman Grad Productions), actor Reema Sampat (Orange is the New Black), and journalist and entrepreneur Snigdha Sur (Founder & CEO, The Juggernaut). The fireside was sponsored by Catalyst Media and Lalit Vadlamani and Shubha Iyengar. SAH’s programming also included two noteworthy panels on film and television Saturday. Warm SriLankan Chai was provided by Kola Goodies.

The first, ‘Creating South Asian Content for a Global Audience’, was an hour-long discussion with actor Rizwan Manji (“Schitt’s Creek,” “Peacemaker”), Executive Producer of VICE TV, Falguni Adams, and Apoorva Bakshi, Emmy award-winning producer of the hit TV series ‘Delhi Crime’, moderated by CEO of Jingo Media and co-founder of SAH, Jitin Hingorani. 

Panelists Apoorva Bakshi, Falguni Lakhani Adams, and Rizwan Manji 

 The second panel, “Investing in the Future of Our South Asian Stories,” was an important conversation that included CEO and Co-founder of URL Media S. Mitra Kalita, actor Kausar Mohammed (“4400,” “The Flash”), and Atit Shah, CEO of Create Entertainment, moderated by co-founder of Box Office Guru Media Gitesh Pandya. 

 Women in Film and Television, Austin presented the Pilot reading hour of Rehana Lew Mirza’s script ‘Don’t Hate’ with a full slate of talent cast by Ashley Guaragna Casting with this pilot to be produced by SAH co-founder Rohi Mirza Pandya under the sister’s joint production company banner. Earlier The Leadership Program took a deep dive into the successful leadership mindset followed by one-on-one mentorship sessions with industry leaders Pooja Kumar (Actress/Producer & former Miss India USA), Milan Chakraborty (Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks), Sid Shah (Founder of Trackmind), and James A. Mathew (CEO of The Outer Voice Company). The Leadership Program was facilitated by SAH co-founders, Rohi Mirza Pandya and Monika Samtani, as well as their production company Catalyst Media+ sponsors Lalit Vadlamani & Shubha Iyengar.

Photo Credit: South Asian House 

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