DCSAFF opening night film will be “Kaifinama”; the closing night will feature “The Last Color, “starring Neena Gupta and directed by celebrity chef Vikas Khanna.
September is here, and fall is upon us, and you all know what that means? It is time for the DC South Asian Film Festival 2019, to be held at the Montgomery College Rockville Campus’ Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center from September 20 to 22!
This annual celebration of excellent independent South Asian cinema brings together actors, filmmakers, cine enthusiasts, technicians, and writers to discuss and view cinema made by South Asians or produced in South Asian countries depicting a myriad of fascinating topics. These are also typically films which have not yet seen a commercial release.
This year in particular will resonate with audiences because it will celebrate not only the high quality of the films made in the USA, India and Pakistan, but the sense of community the festival brings to DC.
“Lately the environment in the US and India has become very divisive,” said Manoj Singh, Executive Director of the festival. “DCSAFF 2019 provides an opportunity for all South Asians to come together and celebrate our heritage and culture. We have so much in common and we hope for a peaceful and prosperous future.”
The festival will open on Friday, September 20th at 6:30 pm with a red carpet and dinner reception followed by a short film and the opening night feature at 8 pm. The short is entitled Jalebi and the opening night film will be Kaifinama, a celebration of the work and life of legendary poet Kaifi Azmi, father of Shabana Azmi. Audiences will be delighted to know that Shabana will be in attendance at the festival and there will be a post-screening discussion with Azmi and filmmaker Sumantra Ghosal.
The second day of the festival will begin with a acting workshop hosted by Ken Yetta Rogers, a faculty member of Montgomery College and Danish Renzu, director of one of the films being shown at the festival, The Illegal. The Illegal features actor Suraj Sharma, who most recently featured in Happy Death Day 2U and starred in Life of Pi. A discussion with Sharma and director Renzu will follow the film.
The centerpiece film of the festival will be Jhalki, directed by Brahmanand Singh, and two films from Pakistan, Baaji and Laal Kabootar will also be screened on this day. Films such as Yours Truly, Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy, Abode and Bulbul Can Sing will also be screened.
On the final day of the festival, the films Smash, Ask the Sexpert and Daughters of the Polo God will be screened. There will also be a workshop on the history and genre of films by Professor David Rothman of Montgomery College. The closing night will feature The Last Color, starring Neena Gupta and directed by celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, followed by a post-screening discussion with the talents, awards, dinner and entertainment. All in all, 18 short films and 3 documentaries are also in the mix.
What is particularly enjoyable about the festival is that it showcases both well-known talents and local artistes as well. Short films such as Gudiya, directed by Prerna Saraff Chauhan and Chained, featuring Vigil Bose and Moti Tadmor (Directed by Ganesh Bhat), talents from the Washington, DC, area, whereas shorts such as The Ice Man, have award-winning actor Omi Vaidya (3 Idiots and The Office) in them.
“This year we are excited to have one of the best actors, Shabana Azmi ji, with us to talk about her father’s legacy as a poet. Center piece films The Illegal and Jhalki tackle important topics for discussion on child labor and present immigrant challenges in US and India. And we close the festival with a beautiful film by Vikas Khanna, The Last Color, dealing with the plight of widows in India,” said Geeta Singh, Festival Director. “Another meaningful three days of films will make us think about our contributions for a better world that we leave behind for our next generation.”
For more details on the festival and tickets, please visit https://dcsaff.com/ This is not to be missed!
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Eclectic lineup of independent films at 6th DCSAFF (September 11, 2017)
Highlights of DCSAFF 2016 (September 19, 2016 )
Variety of films from South Asia to feature at DCSAFF (April 27, 2013)
‘Half Widow’: A very touching and superbly acted film (October 13, 2018)
‘Lashtam Pashtam’: Exploring an India-Pakistan friendship (September 18, 2018)
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan conferred with inaugural Meryl Streep Award of Excellence (September 10, 2018 )
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan receives inaugural Meryl Streep award (September 9, 2018)
7th DC South Asian Film Festival showcasing independent cinema opens (September 8, 2018)
7th annual DC South Asian Film Festival to be held September 7-9 (September 3, 2018 )
Aishwarya Rai to attend WIFT India award night in Washington on September 8 (August 25, 2018)
The Unknowable Fear: A Review of Short Film ‘Stalking Shadows’ (October 11, 2017)
Zeenat Aman lends star power to 6th DC South Asian Film Festival (September 9, 2017)
6th DC South Asian Film Festival to kick off September 8 (August 26, 2017)
Director Deepa Mehta, Actress Seema Biswas lead panel on women in Indian cinema (September 20, 2016)