This year’s San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (SFISAFF) from 3rd i Films is the fourteenth annual program of its kind dedicated to showcasing narrative, documentary, and short films by independent filmmakers from South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. The five-day festival is going on now and brings these stories to Bay Area venues in San Francisco (Nov. 10-13), and Cupertino (Nov. 19).
This year’s program has a carefully curated roster of films, including selections which spotlight Pakistan — Lala Begum, Gardaab (The Whirpool), showcase indie narratives — Kaul (A Calling), Gaalibeeja (Windseed), and share voices from the diaspora — Khoya (Lost), United Red Army, One Crazy Thing. The festival continues to highlight women’s voices by featuring women’s stories on-screen and behind the lens with Parched and post-screening filmmaker Q&As for Between the Lines and The World of Goopi and Bagha. Visit the festival’s web site for tickets and more details on all film events.
Here’s today’s lineup followed by a quick preview of the festival’s short films program Coast to Coast: Mumbai to the Mission.
TODAY’S LINE-UP at NEW PEOPLE Cinema
12:00 p.m. Aligarh
2:30 p.m. United Red Army (The Young Man Was, Part 1)
4:45 p.m. Gardaab (Whirlpool)
7:15 p.m. Coast to Coast: Mumbai to the Mission (Shorts)
Coast to Coast: Mumbai to the Mission
With an eclectic selection of local and international films, the festival’s shorts program this year engages themes of sex, sexuality, sexual politics and women’s empowerment. Go for the thought-provoking combination of short film screenings, stay for the Q&A with local filmmakers.
Will SF’s Sexy Circus Be Priced Out Of Town?
(Abhi Singh, 2016, USA, 4 mins, English)
Abhi Singh’s film looks at Vau de Vire Society’s performing troupe, born of San Francisco’s dance and circus subcultures. Check out the filmmaker’s post at KQED Arts for more on this unique community’s performances, inspirations, and challenges.
It’s Not Always Sunny
(Kimberly Hwang, 2015, USA, 8 mins, English)
In Kimberly Hwang’s It’s Not Always Sunny, Sunny (Omi Vaidya) attempts to talk to the girl of his dreams, but his plans are interrupte
(Payal Sethi, 2015, India, 27 mins, Urdu/Dakhani)
Set in Hyderabad, Leeches examines the situation of one-day brides and contract marriages through the story of sisters Raisa and Zainab. Check out this interview with the filmmaker and watch the teaser.
An Old Dog’s Diary
(Shumona Goel and Shai Heredia, 2015, India, 12 mins, English)
This film portrait of artist Francis Newton Souza, inspired by his life, personal writings, letters, drawings and possessions, looks at one of India’s prominent 20th-century artists. View some of his work on art critic Srimati Lal’s website including “Six Gentlemen of Our Times.”
Why should art be pretty pictures? Art isn’t derivative. It’s what lies deep within.
— FrancisNewtonSouza (@francisNsouza) September 19, 2014
Prema Lekha (Love Letter)
(Neelu Bhuman, 2016, USA/UK, 5 mins, Telugu and English) An abstract film exploring gender and race through the power of erotics and love, by filmmaker Neelu Bhuman (Family in Frame, FU377).
(Kareem Khubchandani and Sarah Hill, 2016, USA, 4 mins, English)
Queer desi scholar and activist Kareem Khubchandani performs “Sari” as LaWhore Vagistan, an exquisite send-up of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”. Read Rohin Guha’s post on why this desi drag queen should be on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
(Pallavi Somusetty, 2016, USA/India, 23 mins, English)
Wrestling with themes of family support, gender & sexual orientation, Indian and western cultures, PTSD and young love, Pallavi Somusetty’s documentary Escaping Agra shares the story of Naveen, who is gender non-binary and trapped in India after their parents find out about their gender and sexual orientation.
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