Tomorrow marks the start of the eleventh annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival presented by 3rd i Films. The festival showcases films from throughout South Asia and the global South Asian diaspora, with this year’s driving themes and priorities including representation of women, Pakistani cinema and youth-related films. Here at The Aerogram, we’ve had the opportunity to preview some of the rich variety of the festival’s cinematic offerings, and we’ve come up with a list of eight films you should see if you’re heading out to the festival this week. We’ve added trailers and screening dates for your convenience. For more details, visit 3rd i’s website.
1. Beyond All Boundaries
The Big Bang Theory‘s Kunal Nayyar produced and narrated director Sushrut Jain’s cricket documentary about three Indians for whom the sport is a religion. It’s showing this Saturday, November 9, when Nayyar, who helped to fund the film via Kickstarter, is expected to make an appearance.
2. These Birds Walk
Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq’s film, a portrait of youth and street-life in Karachi, Pakistan, is scheduled for Thursday, November 7, and sold out online. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Produced by the Sundance Film Institute, the film has been compared to François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows.
3. Basketball Meri Jaan (My Love)
4. Simple Superstar
5. Performing Girl
This short film released in 2012 is also part of the Coast to Coast shorts selections for November 10 at the festival, and it looks at the journey of discarded clothes from the West and the reflections of the women in Panipat, India, who work to recycle them back into yarn.
7. Gulabi Gang
Director Nishtha Jain was born in Bundelkhand, India, where the Gulabi Gang is based. The vigilante women’s group headed by Sampat Pal is the focus of her documentary. It screens November 9 and offers an intense look at the laathi-wielding pink sari-clad ladies and their fight against gender violence, caste oppression and widespread corruption.
8. Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth
UK filmmaker Pratibha Parmar came across a bunch of DVDs on American icons in 2008, and not one of them was a woman or a woman of color. She believed that Alice Walker’s story would make a fascinating film and decided to make one. You can view it on November 10 at the festival.