3rd i Films has announced its 11th Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond (SFISAFF) will take place at the New People (Nov. 6, 7, 8 and 10) and Castro Theaters (Nov. 9) in San Francisco this year. The festival's South Bay edition will unfold at Aquarius Theater in Palo Alto, a week following the SF festival.
This year, 3rd i Films celebrates 100 Years of Indian Cinema – the first Indian feature film, Raja Harishchandra by D. G. Phalke, was released in 1913 - and will commemorate South Asian cinema history at the festival with a screening of "Celluloid Man" – a portrait of P.K. Nair, the founder of the National Film Archive of India, and the guardian of Indian cinema.
The film recently won two awards at the 60th National Film Awards in India," according to 3rd i Films press statement.
While women were not allowed to appear on the Indian screen a century ago, this is the year of the Celluloid woman at 3rd i, proclaimed organizers for this year's festival stating that the centennial celebration will focus on gender at the festival, with the Opening Night, Closing Night and Centerpiece Galas, all showcasing women directors.
The festival opens with Emmy-nominated Bay Area filmmakers Maren Grainger-Monsen and Nicole Newnham's Independent Lens production "The Revolutionary Optimists," documentary about three young trail-blazing agents of change in Calcutta, which is also part of a spotlight on voices of South Asian youth. The film will play with Abhi Singh's short "Bhiwanji Junction" about a Sikh boy who dreams of competing in the Olympics as a boxer.
Pratibha Parmar's "Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth" will be the Closing Night film for the San Francisco edition of its festival. The documentary film offers a penetrating look at the life of author Alice Walker, who became the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel "The Color Purple" in 1983. Both Parmar and Alice Walker will attend the screening.
The Centerpiece Galas at the Castro Theater on Saturday, November 9, include filmmaker Sabiha Sumar's ("Silent Waters") North American premiere of "Good Morning Karachi" which follows a young girl's determination to rise beyond her humble origins and become a glamorous model in the city of Karachi.
In Sumar's deft hands, the film becomes the story of today's Pakistan, trying to reconcile the demands of tradition and the aspirations of modernity. The screening will be followed by an on-stage conversation between Sumar and Indian filmmaker Anusha Rizvi ("Peepli Live") on the changing role of women in South Asian cinema.
Bombay-based documentarian and very popular 3rd i alum, Nishtha Jain, will showcase her latest documentary "Gulabi Gang." A revolution is in the making among the poorest of the poor in Bundelkhand, India, as the fiery women of the Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption.
The film is described as a veritable documentary thriller, and received the Best Documentary Award at the Dubai Film Festival last year. The film will have a second screening in the South Bay on November 16, where it will be followed by a panel discussion on gender violence in South Asia. Also part of the focus on gender is Jeff Roy's Mohammed to Maya", where Mohammed, a Tamil, Muslim man journeys to Singapore in order to have his sexual reassignment surgery, and returns as Maya. This plays with Crescent Diamond's short "Performing Girl," a portrait of the acclaimed Sri Lankan transgender performance artist D'Lo.
Tickets and Passes, ranging from $10-$125, will be available on 3rd i Film's website beginning early October. More information about the festival, including expanded program and special guest information, will also be available on their website at: www.thirdi.org
SOURCE: Larsen Associates / 3rd i Films