Soon it will be time to get your filmi on–Third I, the Yay Area’s own promoter of South Asian independant film–has put out the schedule for it’s third film festival, bringing desi masala, fine art, and social commentary to The Roxie and The Castro. Here are some of the descriptions that grabbed my interest:
What does it mean to be an American Muslim? This revealing and engaging documentary follows Pakistani American Rock star Salman Ahmed of Junoon, as he explores stories from a community as diverse as the progressive “Allah made me Funny” comedy troupe, to a prominent family that founded the “Muslims for Bush” campaign. (Link)
On May 23rd, 1914, the Japanese shipping vessel Komagata Maru, chartered by Sikh businessman Gurdit Singh, arrived in Canada’s Vancouver Harbor. Aboard were 376 migrants of Indian origin, citizens of the British Empire who believed it their right to move and settle freely within its domain. Upon anchoring, however, the passengers were prevented from disembarking by local Canadian officials, whose decision reflected a growing nationwide resistance to non-white immigration. (Link.)
This documentary explores the little known ethos of neighborhood photo studios in Indian cities, discovering entire imaginary worlds in the smallest of spaces. Tiny, shabby studios that appear to be stuck in a time warp turn out to be places throbbing with energy. As full of surprises as the people who frequent these studios are the backdrops they enjoy posing against and the props they choose – affording fascinating glimpses into individual fantasies and popular tastes. (Link.)
p>And of course there will be some Bollywood—our man Shah Rukh in a really big turban:
Come celebrate BOLLYWOOD at the Castro!! Paheli is the latest Bollywood feature from India. With its star-studded cast, (irresistible Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee), fantasy sets, endearing musical scores, Paheli is a delightful folk tale, wherein a ghost falls in love with a bride. When her husband leaves immediately after the wedding ceremony for a business trip, the ghost enters her life. The twists and turns of this touching Bollywood family drama and love story will move you to laugh, cry, sing, dance. Perfect for Bollywood devotees and novices alike.
I think the crying will be because we won’t be able to take the turban home with us after the movie. I bet Shah Rukh could auction that thing off on Ebay to very good effect–maybe someone with connections can suggest he do it as a fundraiser?
Reviews of and articles about the festivals offerings: Sunset Boulevard, Meghe Dhaka Tara, It’s My Country Too, Amu, Paheli, Continuous Journey, Khamosh Pani, City of Photos, No More Tears Sister, Ganges: River to Heaven.
Sad Note: while searching for reviews of these films I discovered that Junoon musician and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Salman Ahmad has cut short his tour of the middle east to attend the funerals of his aunt and other relatives killed in the earthquake.