Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Fest, New York City South Asian Film Fest Announce Lineup for In-person Event
Rajaram Rajendran’s sci-fi thriller, “Rani Rani Rani,” starring Tannishtha Chatterjee (above), is among the films which will be screened at the concurrent seventh annual Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival and the third annual New York City South Asian Film Festival. Also to be screened is Indian American Geeta Malik’s comedy, “India Sweet and Spices.” (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
The seventh annual Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival and the third annual New York City South Asian Film Festival – produced by Jingo Ventures – will showcase an identical lineup of 23 shorts, documentaries and feature films in Dallas, Texas, and Manhattan, New York, during consecutive weekends in October.
DFW SAFF is slated to be held from Oct.15 to 17 at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, while NYC SAFF will take place Oct. 22 to 24 at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in Chelsea.
The opening, centerpiece and closing night films at the two festivals are Geeta Malik’s comedy, “India Sweet and Spices,” Gaurav Madan’s drama, “Barah By Barah” and Ajitesh Sharma’s documentary, “Womb (Women Of My Billion),” respectively.
The Tribeca Film Festival darling, “India Sweets and Spices,” celebrates a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against a lovingly framed glimpse of the life of an Indian American family. Directed by Indian American filmmaker Geeta Malik, it stars Sophia Ali, Manisha Koirala, Adil Hussain and Deepti Gupta.
In “Barah By Barah,” Sooraj, the last remaining death photographer at the burning banks of Manikarnika, is going through troubled times like old Kashi. The ancient town is being demolished to build modern beautified pathways. The death photographer is out of work because of the fancy smartphones with exquisite cameras. He stands at the crossroads – either he continues seeking dummies to click or he looks for greener pastures beyond the singed banks of Varanasi to secure a better future for his family.
“Womb” is a heart-warming story exploring the socio-political issues faced by women of today’s India. The documentary feature highlights the monumental journey through Srishti Bakshi’s lens, her interaction with over 85,000 women over more than 100 workshops she conducted in schools, villages and institutions on her walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
Highlights over the three days include the world premiere of Rajaram Rajendran’s sci-fi thriller, “Rani Rani Rani,” starring Tannishtha Chatterjee in the titular triple roles; Sandeep Kumar’s “Mehrunisa”; Indian American Sujata Day’s model minority satire, “Definition Please”; Abhiroop Basu’s short film, “Laali,” starring Pankaj Tripathi as a lonely, Calcutta laundryman who finds solace in an unclaimed red dress left behind by a customer; and Faraz Arif Ansari’s “Sheer Qorma,” starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar as part of the festival’s LBGTQIA+ programming. Ansari and Dutta will be in attendance.
“Typically, we host our Dallas festival in the spring and our New York festival in the fall,” said festival founder and director Jitin Hingorani, “but because of the ongoing pandemic and the travel restrictions around it, we decided to host both festivals back-to-back in the fall, so that we can highlight the same set of films and fly in the same talent for both festivals. We’ve also added a virtual festival, after our two physical festivals, because our online programming during the 2020 lockdown was so successful and attracted an astounding number of cinephiles across North America.”