Karan Soni-Geraldine Viswanathan’s ‘7 Days’ to Open 3rd i’s 19th Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Fest
Indo Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan and Indian American actor Karan Soni star in “7 Days,” a film by Roshan Sethi that will open the 19th annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond. (festival.thirdi.org photo)
REENA RATHORE/India-West Staff Reporter
From art-house classics to documentaries, from innovative and experimental visions to cutting-edge Bollywood films, 3rd i Films will be presenting its 19th annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond online Nov. 12-16.
The five-day festival will screen live stream and video on-demand (VOD) programs of narrative features and shorts by independent filmmakers from South Asia and its diaspora, including stories from India, Sri Lanka, France, and the Pakistani and Sikh communities in the U.K. and U.S.
The festival will launch with “7 Days,” a witty, charming, and delightful film by Roshan Sethi that is about an Indian American couple forced to shelter in place after their first date, only to find out that neither is what their parents made them out to be. The film will be followed by a live Zoom Q&A with the filmmaker and the audience.
Another rom-com on the line-up, Iman Zawahry’s “Americanish,” highlights the stories of three young Pakistani American women looking for love in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. The film follows the joys and tribulations of career-driven sisters (Sam and Maryam Khan) and their newly-immigrated cousin (Ameera), who must navigate the consistent — and sometimes conflicting — demands of romance, culture, work, and family.
The festival offers two tour-de-force debuts in a spotlight on the Tamil community and its diaspora: P.S. Vinothraj’s “Pebbles” (“Koozhangal”), which won him the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year, and “The Loyal Man,” from French-Sri Lankan director Lawrence Valin, which is a gripping coming-of-age crime romance set in the gritty Tamil underworld of iconic Paris. A discussion with Valin will follow the screening.
This year visionary documentaries amplify the voices of women taking on social justice and environmental issues, both in front of and behind the camera. Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Sundance Award winning doc, “Writing with Fire,” transports viewers to the incendiary newsroom of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. A panel discussion will follow the screening.
Raj Patel and Zak Piper bring a similarly empowering doc with “The Ants and The Grasshopper,” in which the focus is on two women from Malawi – Anita Chitaya and her mentor Esther Lupafya – and their lessons on how to heal our relations with the land. In their quest to save their home from drought, these seasoned activists embark on a journey across the U.S. in an effort to convince Americans that climate change is real.
Also on the documentary docket is Rubika Shah’s “White Riot,” an energizing look at a vital national protest movement from 1970s Britain, Rock Against Racism. Blending fresh interviews with queasy archive footage, Shah’s documentary delves into the how and why of that show, while doubling as a contemporary call to arms against racism.
Keeping an eye on the local scene, 3rd i’s “Coast to Coast: From Mumbai to the Mission” program returns to showcase short films by local and international South Asian American media artists.
For tickets and more information, visit thirdi.org.