Safal 2018 was a success considering the pouring rain


Above: Pallavi subhash with fans at events Top Ryde at the screening of ‘Yashodhara’

Middle: Yogesh Powar, Ash Gholkar and Rekha Rajvanshi

Bottom: Pallavi Subhash at the Gala night with Nim Gholkar

Australian South Asia Forum Inc. (ASAF) ”˜s South Asian Film, Arts & Literature Festival (SAFAL Fest) ran for the second year on October 5th to the 7th for three days. Attended by close to a thousand people the festival drew crowds from Sydney art lovers who support literature, film, paintings and art for arts sake.

SAFAL is an annual event that celebrates the rich and diverse arts and culture of the South Asian region comprising the nations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

This year Safal had invited as guests from India Bollywood actress Pallavi Subhash, DNA and Zee journalist Yogesh Powar, local politicians Ryde MP Victor Dominello and Federal MP from the division of Benelong, John Alexander. Select members and supporters of Safal came in full force to support and attend the three day event which honoured members of the local community for all the worthwhile work they are doing on its Gala night that was held on the 5th of October.

Entertainment on the night had dancers from Mayura Dance Academy, Maathra Dance Studio, a Bollywood solo by Gauri Pandit Pai and Farah Baluch giving a solo Afghani Qatagani dance performance.

Award winners on the night were: Medha Pathak for her distinguished achievement in Performing Arts; Prisila Godahewa for distinguished achievement in Literature; Pallavi Subhash for distinguished achievement in Performing Arts (Film & TV); Yogesh Powar for distinguished achievement in Media (Journalism); Kithsiri Karunaratne for distinguished achievement in Media (Entertainment); Dr. Rajesh Dinakar for distinguished achievement for Performing Arts (Music); Shahid Malik for distinguished achievement in Visual Arts and finally Neena Badhwar for Lifetime achievement award in Media (Journalism).

The Gala night was a night of entertainment as well with Vikas Kolar, Kedarnath Pagaddinnimath, Shobha Ingleshwar, Indu Prematilake and Team Bangladesh singers who sang famous numbers. Master of Ceremonies Aprana Vats, Kedar and his pretty daughter Priya kept the pace of the evening to a tempo that everyone enjoyed as nibbles, entre, salads, food and sweets were served in succession as the night progressed. There was a colourful fashion show by the Afghani community who had come dressed up in beautiful Afghani costumes. Vikas Kolar’s ”˜Tum Hi Ho’ Ashiqui song was thoroughly enjoyed by all with Kedar and Sriyani’s fusion song of ”˜Isharon Isharon Mein ’ and ”˜Dili Dili’ Sri Lankan rendition by Indu Prematilake were equally enjoyed by the audience.


Day two was devoted to poetry slam by ten poets adjudged by Bhupen Thakkar, Rekha Rajvanshi and Saba Abdi with two judges asked to join in from the audience. Winners at poetry slam were First – Virat Nehru, Second – Abhishek Tongia and Third – Manya Narain. Other sessions were on literature with writers Kersi Meher-Homji, Sukhmani Khurana and Nim Gholkar moderated by poet Bhupen Thakkar. Media segment was moderated by Kush Badhwar with participants Yogesh Powar of Zee News; Pawan Luthra of Indian Link Newspaper and Jane Jeffes from ABC.   All the sessions were informative and thoroughly enjoyed by all. There was drama workshop conducted by Saba Abdi on her play ‘Sri 420’. The festival also invited artists Lalit Mittal, Shahid Malik, Aayesha Gilani, Pooja Kaul and Shipra Shah to display their art works.

And Day three was the screening of Sri Lankan movie ”˜Yashodhara’ at Top Ryde Events Cinemas followed by Q & A with actress Pallavi Subhash.

The day ended with audience expressing keenness in next years’ Safal Fest which is still a fledgling concept the brain child of Kedar, Ash and Nim Gholkar. It needs support from the community as it is one of its kind trying to bring together an art platform of representing people from countries of the Indian sub continent to as far as including Iran and Afghanistan.



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