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South Asian International Performing Arts Festival (SAIPAF) is the annual celebration of the diverse perspectives, ideas, and imaginations of artists from the South Asian subcontinent and/or who belong to the South Asian diaspora.


  1. Provide a platform to established and emerging artists and professionals involved in all aspects of performing arts (creative and technical)
  2. Encourage cultural exchange and dialogue
  3. Re-define the very definition of South Asian ‘artist’ by including a plethora of works, including but not limited to music, dance, theatre, stand up comedy, performance art, and slam poetry
  4. Provide mentorship, marketing know-how and financial support
  5. Move the conversation forward on issues concerning artists of South Asian origin and other pertinent cultural and political issues

The first annual South Asian International Performing Arts Festival was held from August 3 - August 9, 2015 at Urban Stages in Manhattan.

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Imad Chowdhury

Director of Operations

Founder of iMad iMaginations. He is a media/entertainment consultant, an accountant, and most importantly a mad scientist who isn’t afraid to try anything new. He has keen interest on showcasing South Asian Fashion to the western world and besides everything, he is passionately working with a charity called Human Chapter based in New York. Favorite quote- "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” - Albert Einstein

Aizzah Fatima

Director of Programming

Writer and performer of the comedy one woman play Dirty Paki Lingerie developed with Matt Hoverman and Wynn Handman.The play sold out and had rave reviews in The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, NYC (The Flea Theater, 59E59, Abington Theater),Toronto (Harbourfront Center), and a tour in Pakistan sponsored by the US Department of State in addition to a US College Tour. DPL is the first play to be invited to represent the US at the International Theater Festival of Turkmenistan. 

Samir Lal

Executive Producer

Samir just wants to do thought-provoking and meaningful plays in New York City and hopes to create awareness about the culturally rich South Asian Culture.When he is not working, he is either teaching a Hatha Yoga class or working on his upcoming online magazine. His favorite quote is "Growth as an actor and growth as a human being are synonymous" ~ Stella Adler

Arpita Mukherjee

Festival Chair

The Co-Founding Artistic Director of Hypokrit Theatre Company, Arpita is a writer, director, producer and choreographer with over a decade of experience in professional theatre.Regional credits include I AM SAAM, Smokin’ Cigarettes at Night, Aaja Nachle, Love Times Seven, My First Time. Her work was featured in the South Asian Literature and Theatre Arts Festival at the Smithsonian.

Shubhra Prakash

Festival Director

Writer, Producer and Performer lately served as a voiceover artist for Priya’s Shakti, an interactive media project supported by Tribeca New Media fund. For her play, For Our Own ( Planet Connections Theatre Festival 2014 ), she received the Activist Award. Shubhra is the Co-Founding Artistic Director and actor at Hypokrit Theatre Company. Her short film, Three Dates, was screened at New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) 13.  


SAIPAF is currently accepting applications for 2017. 
Productions as well as individual artists are welcome to submit.

Applications are below.

All performing arts mediums, including but not limited to theatre, music, dance, performance art, slam poetry, and stand up comedy are welcome.

We encourage experimental works that are high-concept and low-tech. Projects must include either one artist of South Asian origin and/or a thematic/plot element that explores issues concerning South Asia and/or the South Asian diaspora. Artists, upon acceptance to festival, will receive a portion of net profit.

The festival will take place in Manhattan. Out-of-town artists must make their own travel and lodging reservations.

Make sure to read the FAQ before you submit or e-mail with questions

Other questions can be directed to

Begin application process:








Thank you for choosing to support SAIPAF. Your contribution will go a long way in creating an invaluable platform for South Asian artists.


We value the support of the business community in helping us make SAIPAF a success and offer branding and marketing opportunities, including a personalized social media campaign.

To learn more about our sponsorship packages, please contact Sponsorship Coordinator by emailing


Please email us at to get in touch with us in regards to SAIPAF 2015.

Festival Stages

Access Theater

380 Broadway, New York, NY 10013

+1(212) 966-1047

get directıons

Urban Stages NYC

259 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001

+1(212) 421-1380

get directıons