L E   F I F A
L E   F I F A
Letter From Your Far-Off Country

Letter From Your Far-Off Country

Suneil Sanzgiri

United States, India | 2020 | 17 min
This film is part of Joyce Joumaas Carte Blanche, co-presented with MOMENTA Biennale de l’image and with the support of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Shot with 16mm film stock that expired in 2002 — the same year as the state-sponsored anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat — the filmmaker traces lines and lineages of protest, poetry, uprisings, songs, and ruins from his birth in 1989. A search for solidarity in the sounds and colors of the spontaneous Muslim women-led Shaheen Bagh movement in Delhi, in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali, the song of Iqbal Bano, the theater of Safdar Hashmi, and images of B. R. Ambedkar—the radical anti-caste Dalit intellectual and founder of the Indian constitution — all surrounding a letter addressed to the filmmaker’s distant relative Prabhakar Sanzgiri, who wrote biographies of Ambedkar and was a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader in Maharashtra.
Overview of some festivals:
International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands (2021)
BlackStar Film Festival, Best Experimental Film Award, United States (2021)
Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong (2021)
Sheffield Doc/​Fest, England (2021)
International Film Festival of South Asia, Canada (2021)
Director Suneil Sanzgiri
Music Amirtha Kidambi, Booker Stardrum

In Partnership with



Suneil Sanzgiri

Suneil Sanzgiri

Suneil Sanzgiri is an artist, researcher, and filmmaker. His work spans experimental video and film, animations, essays, and installations, and contends with questions of identity, heritage, culture and diaspora in relation to structural violence. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a Masters of Science in Art, Culture and Technology in 2017.

His film At Home But Not At Home made its World Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, in January 2020, with a nomination for the Found Footage Award. His follow-up film Letter From Your Far-Off Country made its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in the fall of 2020, and was entered into the Ammodo Tiger Shorts Competition at IFFR in 2021. Sanzgiri’s work has been screened extensively at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally, including Sheffield Doc/​Fest, IndieLisboa, Punto de Vista, Viennale, LA Film Forum, e‑Flux, 25 FPS festival, and has won awards at BlackStar Film Fest, Open City Documentary Festival, Images Festival, as well as Special Jury mentions at the European Media Arts Festival and Iowa City Docs. Sanzgiri was a 2016 resident of the SOMA program in Mexico City, a Flaherty NYC co-programmer in 2020 — 2021, a resident of the Pioneer Works Studio Residency in Spring 2021, an inaugural fellow of Sentient Art Film’s Line of Sight fellowship, and MacDowell Fellow in winter 2021. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from Creative Capital, the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, Wave Farm’s Media Arts Assistance Fund, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art. His work has been written about in publications such as Film Quarterly, Art in America, and he was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film” in Filmmaker Magazine’s Fall 2021 Issue.

Sanzgiri is currently working on his first feature-length work, focusing on the bonds of solidarity that developed out of resistance to the Portuguese empire between India and Africa.

Biographical notes provided by the film production team
At Home But Not At Home (2019)
Letter From Your Far-Off Country (2020)

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