Shabana Azmi to headline the DC South Asian Film Festival 2019 opening night with ‘Kaifinama’

"Shabana Azmi"
Shabana Azmi; photo by Bala Chandran

DCSAFF kicks off at Montgomery College in Rockville on September 20.

The DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) will open this year celebrating the work and life of legendary poet Kaifi Azmi, with his daughter and actress Shabana Azmi participating at the event, while the closing ceremony will feature actress Neena Gupta and celebrity chef Vikas Khanna.

The opening night film Kaifinama will be followed by a post-screening discussion with Azmi, while the closing night feature will be The Last Color, starring Gupta and directed by Khanna.

WHAT:           DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF)
WHEN:          September 20 to 22
WHERE:        Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, Montgomery College Rockville Campus
TICKETS:      Visit

DCSAFF 2019, which will be held at the Montgomery College Rockville Campus’ Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center from September 20 to 22, will bring together a number of leading South Asian actors, filmmakers, cine enthusiasts, technicians and writers. The festival has long served as a platform in the nation’s capital for films made by South Asians depicting myriad fascinating topics and not necessarily commercial releases.

This year’s festival includes films made in the United States, India and Pakistan, at a time when the environment in the US and India has become very divisive, said Manoj Singh, Executive Director of the festival. But “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,” he noted.

The festival will open on Friday, September 20, at 6:30 pm with a red carpet and dinner reception followed by a short film named Jalebi and the opening feature film Kaifinama at 8 pm. The film depicts the work and life of Azmi, and post-screening discussion will see Shabana in discussion with filmmaker Sumantra Ghosal.

RELATED: DC South Asian Film Festival 2019 from September 20 to 22 (September 12, 2019)

“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,” said Geeta Singh, Festival Director. “Center piece films The Illegal and Jhalki tackle important topics for discussion on child labor and present immigrant challenges in US and India. We close the festival with a beautiful film by Vikas Khanna, The Last Color, dealing with the plight of widows in India. 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,” she said.

The second day of the festival will host a workshop on acting by Ken Yetta Rogers, a faculty member of Montgomery College and Danish Renzu, director of The Illegal, one of the films being shown at the festival. The film features actor Suraj Sharma, who will participate in a discussion with Sharma and director Renzu after the screening.

In addition, the festival will feature Jhalki, directed by Brahmanand Singh, and two films from Pakistan, Baaji and Laal Kabootar, besides movies such as Yours Truly, Nirmal Anand Ki Puppy, Abode and Bulbul Can Sing.

On the final day, films Smash, Ask the Sexpert and Daughters of the Polo God will be screened. A workshop on the history and genre of films by Prof. David Rothman of Montgomery College will be held on this occasion.  After the closing night feature The Last Color, the event will down the curtains screening in all, 18 short films and 3 documentaries.


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One Comment

  1. Sarabjeet Kaur

    Gungoo Dhobi to headline swamp weed wasters and other assorted stoners gala in NYC…. do come!!

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