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Asavari Kumar


Passage by Asavari Kumar is one of the short films that will be screened by this year’s Fort Myers Film Festival. It’s about and Indian woman who, finding herself in a state of limbo, revisits her immigration journey and voyages through the tempestuous emotional landscape of memory, identity, belonging and the illusion of the American dream.

Asavari Kumar is an Animation Director from New Delhi, India currently based in Los Angeles. She owns and operates the collective, Supernova Design, through which she creates commercial and personal projects while collaborating with POC and women artists.

Kumar’s client list includes Google, YouTube, Slack & Disney, among others.

Asavari’s films, installations and graphic narratives have been showcased at national and international film festivals and exhibition spaces including the Los Angeles Zine Fest, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Pune International Film Festival, La Gaîté Lyrique and Maison des Metallos. Her projects have also been featured in Kyoorius Design Magazine, Cartoon Brew, STASH and Animation Reporter Magazine.

Through her body of work, Asavari uses character-driven storytelling to parse cultural and political identity and generate a discourse surrounding ideas of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ and find where her own narrative intersects with those around her.

“After the presidential elections of 2016, like many others I felt an ominous paradigm shift,” states Kumar. “Rising anti-immigrant sentiment and white nationalism mixed in with the horrors brought to light by the MeToo movement created a perfect storm of fear, disillusionment and helplessness. Passage was created in response to these forces while exploring the intersecting narratives of varied immigrant experiences.”

Passage is based on Kumar’s own immigration experience. Although the film has something of an autobiographical aspect, Kumar hopes to steer the conversation away from divisive discourses within the immigrant community and shift focus towards more hopeful and inclusive narratives and discover overlapping experiences.

“I chose to be intentional not just about what I make but about who I worked with. In the creation of this project I sought out collaborators and artists that believed in the ethos of the film and were conscious of the lack of representation of women and POC artists in the entertainment and media Industry. The team is spread across Los Angeles, San Francisco, Copenhagen, New Delhi and Norwich, bringing a wealth of professional and cultural insight to this film.”

Asavari holds a BFA in Animation Film Design from the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), and an MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts.

Passage will be shown at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 22 during Shorts Block Two.

October 9, 2020.

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