I’ve got a game plan for your Friday night. Go check out the 3rd I Films Coast to Coast: Mumbai to the Mission shorts program at New People Cinema in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown. Then adjourn to Dosa to quiz your friends about the news events that might have inspired these sharp-witted critiques of craven politicians, alarmist homophobes, and oblivious cultural appropriators. Play the game of “which one (or two) of these films didn’t belong?” Shake off that inner critic. Then impress your pals by whipping out some trivia from the back story of the marvelous Jaya, like the casting choice that sets it apart from other films about India’s street children.
Several films in the shorts program will feel especially relevant in a time of anxiety over what India’s new administration portends for social progressives there. Outpost transports you to the Pakistan-India border to remind the audience of the hair-trigger precariousness that characterizes the detente between nuclear-armed neighbors. FU377 uses stop motion animation characters, intricately rendered sets, and archival news footage to examine the effects of Penal Code 377, which criminalizes homosexuality.
They’re shorts, so to avoid straying into spoiler territory, I encourage you to just show up Friday and find out more for yourself.
If the above game plan doesn’t sound like your steez, hang out at the theater after the program to hear from Coast to Coast cast and crew members, and then stay on to catch Kanu Behl’s Titli.