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CINEMA:
Desi Cinema: South Asian Film Festival


From art-house classics to documentary films, innovative and experimental visions to next-level Bollywood, the South Asian Film Festival had it all. A Siliconeer report.


Nandita Das in "Ramchand Pakistani."

The 2008 San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival opened Nov. 13 at the Brava Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District, according to press release from organizers 3rd I.

“From art-house classics to documentary films, innovative and experimental visions to next-level Bollywood, 3rd I is committed to promoting diverse images of South Asians through independent film,” said the press release. “This year the festival will showcase films from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and from the South Asian diaspora in South Africa, UK and the USA.”

This year the festival expanded to four days and two venues: Brava Theater, Thursday & Friday, Nov. 13 & 14; and at the Castro Theater, Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 15 & 16.



A scene from “Slumdog Millionaire.”

The opening night featured two California-based filmmakers: local filmmaker Saqib Mausoof brings his film Kala Pul (Black Bridge); and Kissing Cousins by Amyn Kaderali (Bay Area-born, now Los Angeles based).

Other highlights included: Ramchand Pakistani by Mehreen Jabbar which screened to acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is based on a true event, about a Pakistani Hindu boy and his father who accidentally cross the border into India from their village in Pakistan and spent five years in an Indian prison. The filmmaker lives in New York, and is available for phone interviews.

Bombay-based documentarian Nishtha Jain returned to the festival with her latest offering, Lakshmi and Me, a candid look at class issues in a rapidly modernizing India. Jain will be present for a Q & A at the festival. Also screening is Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool, a masterful reworking of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the Bombay underworld, starring Irrfan Khan.


A scene from "Maqbool."

In addition, the festival had several co-productions with the US, Denmark, France & Germany, including a screening of the stunningly restored print (by the BFI) of the 1929 film A Throw of Dice (Pranpancha Pash) with a remarkable new score by Nitin Sawhney.

3rd I is a non-profit, national organization committed to promoting diverse images of South Asians through independent film. We represent filmmakers and audiences from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, The Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and the South Asian Diaspora. We support our mission by providing film screenings, filmmaking courses, networking resources, and a distribution channel for the South Asian-American film community and our audiences.


The festival Web site (www.thirdi.org/festival) has the full festival lineup and information. For more information about the festival, readers can email ivan@atasite.org or call (415) 835-4738.

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COVER STORY
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TRIBUTE
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Ras H. Siddiqui bids an affectionate, sad farewell to the greatest living Urdu poet Ahmed Faraz.



ENTERTAINMENT
IIFA Awards 2008
A Siliconeer Exclusive Photo Essay


OTHER STORIES
EDITORIAL: India’s Moon Mission
NEWS DIARY: October
CONCERT: Habib Wahid
CONCERT: Music for Polio
DIASPORA: GOPIO in New Zealand
SUBCONTINENT: India’s IT Woes
IMMIGRATION LAW: Changing Jobs: USCIS
MUSIC: Pandit Jasraj Live
REAL ESTATE: Relief for Homeowners
GAY RIGHTS: Love and Acceptance
CINEMA: South Asian Film Festival
TRAVEL: Point Richmond, Calif.
AUTO REVIEW: 2009 Acura RDX Tech
RECIPE: Gujarati Patra
HINDI FILM REVIEW: Rock On!!
TAMIL CINEMA: Kadhalil Vizhundaen
BUSINESS: News Briefs
BOLLYWOOD: Guftugu
FESTIVAL: Diwali in Cupertino
FESTIVAL: Diwali in Sunnyvale
COMMUNITY: News in Brief
INFOTECH INDIA: Tech Briefs
HOROSCOPE: November

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