| Seventh Annual International South Asian Film Festival -- November 5 to 8
By Tom Mayer Oct 26, 2009
3rd i Film group proudly presents the 7th Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival at the Roxie and Castro Theaters. The festival screens November 5-8, 2009, with opening night at the Roxie Theater on Thursday, November 5, continuing there on Friday, November 6, and then moving to the Castro Theater for the weekend of November 7-8.
From art-house classics to documentary films to cutting-edge Bollywood, 3rd i promotes diverse images of South Asians through independent film. The 2009 festival includes films from South Asia and the South Asian diaspora including: India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the USA.
The opening night film is the riotous documentary Supermen of Malegaon, directed by Faiza Ahmed Khan (India, 2008) which tells the tale of making of an ultra-low-budget Superman in the dusty textile town of Malegaon. Also on opening night, 3rd i features local talent in a program of shorts, along with a performance twist provided by the local neo-benshi poet/writers Neela Banerjee and Summi Kaipa.
Closing night film is the award-winning documentary Yes Madam, Sir, directed by Megan Donegan (Australia/India, 2008) is already being talked about as an Aca rdemy Award winner. Yes Madam, Sir chronicles the trials and ultimate transcendence of India's first female police officer Kiran Bedi, a tireless reformer. The film is narrated by Helen Mirren, and director Megan Donegan (from Australia) and Kiran Bedi, will attend the closing night screening.
Sunday, Nov. 8 at the Castro Theater showcases El Cerrito filmmaker Tariq Tapa's debut feature Zero Bridge (USA/India, 2008), about a thief who dreams of escaping his life in Kashmir. This neorealist film was a runaway success at both the Venice Film Festival in 2008 and the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2009.
This year's festival features a variety of styles and themes, like Love in India, directed by Kaushik Mukherjee aka Q, (India/Germany, 2009), a film that explores the contradictions of India's sometimes "old-fashioned" sexual attitudes versus the sensual overtones of the Radha/Krishna mythology. Cinema-verité is represented by Children of the Pyre, directed by Rajesh S. Jala (India, 2008), the story of seven extraordinary children who make their living at the busiest cremation ground in India, and Iron Eaters (Lohakhor/ Eisenfresser), (2008, Bangladesh/Germany), a documentary by Germany-based filmmaker Shaheen Dill-Riaz about migrant workers who risk their lives dismantling massive ships in Bangladesh.
Other doc selections include Warrior Boyz (Baljit Sangra, Canada, 2008) about gang violence in Vancouver's South Asian community and the lesbian love-story Searching for Sandeep (Australia, 2007), directed by Poppy Stockwell, about the filmmaker's internet love affair with UK-based Sandeep Virdi. Other independent narrative features besides Tapa's Zero Bridge include New York-based filmmaker Joseph Matthew's sensuous story of love and betrayal Bombay Summer (USA/India, 2009). UK-based Punjabi filmmaker Avie Luthra presents his first feature Mad, Sad and Bad (UK, 2009), a comedy about three siblings in London struggling to find direction. Other films include the late night favorite Quick Gun Murugun (2009, India) directed by Shashank Ghosh, an outrageous film about a vegetarian cowboy whose mission is to save cows from the beef-eating public.
The festival also focuses on the Sikh community with Warrior Boyz, set in Canada; Location/Situatedness in Memory, a meditative short about Sikh identity by San Francisco-born filmmaker Kamalpreet Kaur, and our Bollywood extravanganza My Heart Goes Hooray! (Dil Bole Hadippa!), about a feisty Sikh woman who dons a mustache and turban so she can play on her local cricket team. Leading lady Rani Mukherjee steals the show in this gender-bending film of music, camp, and romance.
The festival looks into the past to see where Bollywood glamour began, presenting the Guru Dutt B&W classic Full Moon (Chaudhvin Ka Chand, India, 1960). Full Moon, renowned for its exquisite attention to sets and costumes, captures the sophistication and richness of the Muslim, literary upper-class in Lucknow. The film, combines comedy and drama, and centers around a case of mistaken identities in a love triangle. This is a rare opportunity to see this masterpiece on the Castro Theater screen by a filmmaker who is slowly being discovered by the West.
For more info and tickets, call (415) 835-4783 or go to www.thirdi.org/festival
1 of 1
This article has been placed in the category(s) below: