San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival3rd I

Press Release

October 20, 2003

Gopi Shastri

First San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival to Showcase Features, Shorts, and South Asian Filmmakers

SAN FRANCISCO - October 20, 2003 - 3rd I's presentation of the first San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival (SFISAFF) runs November 1st and 2nd and includes a diverse range of South Asian features, shorts, and filmmakers. As previously announced, the festival gives Bay Area filmgoers an entertaining and enlightening snapshot of South Asian cultures through art house films, documentaries and Bollywood favorites. Today the SFISAFF unveils details about the short films that accompany the second day's features, a VIP reception, and appearances by filmmakers. The complete program is as follows:

The SFISAFF's November 1st program at the Castro Theater kicks off with the classic silent film, SHIRAZ (India, 1928). This Showcase Screening is accompanied with a live performance by the Ali Akbar College of Music, and is immediately followed by the 3rd I VIP Reception. The reception is an invitation-only event for filmmakers, sponsors, and special guests. The festival program continues with the groundbreaking gender-identification drama FLYING WITH ONE WING (Sri Lanka, 2002), followed by the last feature of the evening, a screening of the instant Bollywood hit KABHI KUSHI KABHI GHAM* (India, 2001).

The SFISAFF's November 2nd program at the Roxie Theater, starts with MY MOTHER INDIA (Australia, 2001), preceded by a selection of short films by independent filmmakers. Directed by Andaleeb Firdosy, ARTIFACT 1968 (United States, 2003) uses footage from an inherited Super 8 film and explores the relationship between document and ritual. LAXMI (New Zealand, 2000) directed by Mandrika Rupa, is a coming of age story of an Indian girl, which allows us to look through her eyes at colonial New Zealand during World War II. Alka Raghuram's TIRED OF DANCING (United States, 2003) is an experimental film about a young girl who is sold off under the pretext of marriage. The three shorts and the feature will be followed by a question and answer session with filmmakers Andaleeb Firdosy and Alka Raghuram.

Next is the Bay Area premiere of Aradhana Seth's DAM/AGE (India/United States, 2002) preceded by the short film MANGOES (Pakistan, 2000), directed by Bani Abidi. This playful film juxtaposes an expatriate Pakistani woman and an Indian woman eating mangoes and reminiscing about home. The festival then presents the U.S. premiere of ROAD TO LADAKH (United Kingdom, 2003) preceded by the short film TAKE THE A TRAIN (United States, 2002) by director Amyn Kaderali. This short provides a brief glimpse into the life of a prep school boy who is the victim of a prank on the subway, where he learns that sometimes the end of the line is only just the beginning. The short and feature will be followed by a question and answer session with filmmaker Amyn Kaderali. The festival closes with the North American premiere of Manish Jha's A NATION WITHOUT WOMEN (France/India, 2003). This recent addition to the schedule provides a sobering glimpse into the future of an India that never cast off its cultural misogyny that today results in female infanticide, gender abortions, and dowry deaths - a horrifying reality recently explored on 60 Minutes.

The SFISAFF is presented by 3rd I, a national organization dedicated to sharing diverse images of South Asians through monthly screenings of features and shorts in San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C. 3rd I and the SFISAFF represent a wide range of South Asian cinema, that includes filmmakers and audiences from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet, as well as from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other international South Asian communities. Festival Directors Camille Ramani and Ivan Jaigirdar give special thanks to the festival's key sponsors: Acteva, Cinema Art Yoga Society, SF Station, Center for South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, India West, and Indian Life & Style Magazine. 3rd I is also grateful for the continuous support of the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Wallace Alexander Foundation.

All shows except the SHIRAZ Showcase Screening are $8 (not including online processing fees). The SHIRAZ Showcase Screening is $10, and SFISAFF Passes are $37 for the entire festival. All tickets can be purchased online, or at the theaters' respective box offices on the day of the festival 45 minutes before screening time. The SFISAFF runs November 1, 2003 at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro Street in San Francisco; and November 2 at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street (at Valencia Street) in San Francisco. For more information about the festival, ticket prices, images, and screener tapes, please visit, e-mail, or call (510) 919-0804.

*Note: KABHI KUSHI KABHI GHAM replaces the originally scheduled CHOCKER BALI due to programming considerations.

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