3rd I



Zero Bridge

Sunday, November 8
Castro Theatre, San Francisco

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Director: Tariq Tapa
Country/Year: Kashmir/USA, 2008
Running Time: 96 mins
Language: Kashmiri/Urdu with English subtitles

Director Tariq Tapa in person
Just nominated for the Gotham Awards for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Zero Bridge – shot entirely on location in Srinagar, Kashmir – tells the story of Dilawar (Mohammad Imran Tapa), a wayward teen looking for opportunities to escape his seemingly dead-end life. Avoiding any direct mention of the violent political turmoil in the region, the film intimatelyexplores the pressures of living inside a militarized zone.

Dilawar, 17, lives with his adopted uncle – a mason – in a one-room shack, where the two cook, clean and pray together. Dilawar’s uncle wants the boy to follow in his footsteps but Dilawar has bigger dreams – most of which involve running away to Delhi.

The irrepressible Dilawar tries to finance his schemes by stealing and doing homework for his wealthier peers, but it is a chance encounter with the beautiful, older Bani (Taniya Khan) – the victim of one of his crimes – that gives him renewed hope for his future. But will Dilawar’s nefarious actions catch up to them before they get out?

Filled with a driving sense of tension, Zero Bridge gives a South Asian twist to neorealist cinema – think The Bicycle Thief – with its use of Srinigar’s street noise, folk music and people. First-time filmmaker Tariq Tapa wrote, directed, shot this film over nine months, determined to bring an authentic story of the Kashmiri people to light. - Neela Banerjee

Musician, writer and activist Robin Sukhadia will moderate the post-film Q & A with Tariq Tapa. Robin completed his Master of Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts. He also writes for Hyphen Magazine and works with Project Ahimsa, an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education.