North Carolina: 3 Film Festivals to Be Held Virtually May 22-31

Building Bridges Across Borders - three film festivals combine for virtual screenings. Gauri Singh
Building Bridges Across Borders - three film festivals combine for virtual screenings. Gauri Singh

Three film festivals will come together to bring the best ideas in Independent cinemas from all around the globe. Preparations are underway for “Building Bridges Across Borders” virtual film screenings May 22-31, 2021 as a conjunction of these film festivals:

  • 7th Annual North Carolina S & E Asian Pacific International Hollywood Film Fest (NCISAFF)
  • 6th Annual Franklin Flicks International Film Festival (FCIFF)
  • 7th Annual Rishikesh International Film Festival (RIFF)

In light of the pandemic, the festivals — two from North Carolina USA and one from India — are working together in a “collaboration to encourage Indie Filmmakers to continue this art in their own unique way and work through challenges in creative way to create cinema.” These film festivals have created a support system for filmmakers by continuing to provide a broader access to audience by the coming together opening doors to an international market via online media.

These three festivals share a love of Independent cinema and a devotion to filmmakers from Asian, Pacific, and World Cinema.

Since 2012, NCISAFF, a nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American, Asian, Pacific and international films to North Carolina making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential film art form for years to come.

FCIFF committee believes Film art has a power to heal, rejuvenate, entertain, educate and calm people during these unprecedented times.  The team of both the festivals have worked hard to make this event successful. The Support for the Franklin Flicks International Film Festival is provided by Official Partners, NCISAFF, Franklin Arts Council, North Carolina Arts Council, RVP Productions, and FCIFF Volunteer Board members.

Films to Watch Online

NCISAFF, FCIFF,  and RIFF have already announced the lineups, with 34 movies playing, some via zoom live events, and others via virtual access.  95% of the films provide a spiritual and Health related themes from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, while the remaining present totally unrelated concept.

Out of the 34 films presented this year, five of them are locally produced by North Carolina film Artists and these will be available to watch virtually via These local productions are:

  • Ayuree by Gauri Singh, Ketki Handa, Jyoti Singh, Ravi Relangi, Thanvi Anugu, Ajay and Sharadha Anugu Reddy, sponsored by Lazy Daze Art & Craft festival grant and RVP Productions (Premiere)
  • Crossing Borders, An American story by Gauri Singh & Joshua Pardington, supported by RVP productions, Franklin Arts and NC Arts Council (Premiere)
  • Karma’s Shadow by Rob Alan Underhill
  • Solace by the Sea by Jyoti Singh & Sangeeta Agrawal
  • Fire in the Forest by J D Mayo
  • Tapestry: Spiritual Music of Mill Village by Gauri Singh & Rob Alan Underhill supported by RVP productions, Franklin Arts and NC Arts Council (Premiere)

Several films will be presented via zoom live, followed by Q&A with the Directors, and available on the site for 10 days:

  • Agniyogana  by Emma Balances
  • Cup of Tea Makes a Difference by Samantha Velankar
  • Hare Krishna by Co-Director/Producer Lauren Ross
  • Here by Chandni Srivastava
  • Hug the Sky by Gabriela Franklin and William Roden
  • I, Human, We Divine by Naveed Mulki
  • Janna – The Silent Sage of Arunachal by Jean R Dedeiu
  • Keepers of the Song by Julianna Reynolds
  • Mantra – Sounds into Silence by George Wyss
  • Meditation, Creativity, Peace by David Lynch,
  • Naga by Krishna Agazzi and Fillipo Gastaldi
  • Om India – Animation by Michael Pakleppa
  • On Yoga – The Architecture of Peace by Heitor Dhalia
  • Prathyaar – Withdrawal of Sense by Malang
  • The Road to Dharma by Adam Schomer
  • The Last Rights by Aastha Verma
  • The Story of Tantra by Viliam Poltikovic
  • Wandering ..but not Lost by Paul MacGowan

Five Short films, Para, Water, Agni, Borders, and Divine Mother are presented by Marc Baraka, featured RIFF consciousness and creativity director.  Each of these films present an interesting view of the world in a unique way.

Road to Vrindavan by Ravinol Chambers presents a topic about challenges to raise awareness and money to work educating girls in India.

The Way of Miracles is a thought provoking documentary film where miracle recoveries and the underlying science is explored featuring holistic practitioners, Dr. Mark Mincolla, and celebrated luminaries in the field including Dr. Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton, and many others.

In the documentary Yoga Therapy for Life by Denna Schultz, respected yoga teacher Larry Payne, Ph.D., shows how yoga therapy helps and gives you the tools you need by linking up your body, breath, and mind.

Since this year’s theme 2021 focused on the same topic of spirituality and both festivals had  plenty of movies to showcase, and each festival has its own unique style and goals, they decided bring together all the ideas and blend it to make a wholesome indie film experience.

For more information, visit

The festival committee realizes that COVID-19 pandemic has caused devastation all over the world, and brought almost everything to a halt.   As supporters of global Independent cinema,  the three festivals worked together to reach a wide range of audience all over the globe, who could no longer gather in the fashion they had forever.


Source: Gauri Singh

Ed. Note: Originally published May 4, 2021. Updated May 11.

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