When: Sunday, April 17, 3pm Where:ATA, 992 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
In a culture where beauty, delicacy, refinement and submission are the most prized traits for the ultimate feminine career fulfillment, marriage, young Muslim women in Kolkata challenge stereotypes, learning boxing with Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to become a boxing coach and an international referee.
Burqa Boxers is the story of Ajmira Khatoon (16), who wants to make a name for herself to prove to her father and brothers that she amounts to something; Parveen Sajda (24) whodreams of becoming a police officer; and Taslima Khatoon (16) who must learn to negotiate her fear of sexual assault, as they take the first baby steps towards making their dreams true, dreams of creating a different future than the one handed to them. It is a portrait of their dreams and aspirations. The story covers four years in the lives of these boxers and documents the changing landscape of their lives and their transformation.
Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls When: Wednesday, March 9, 5:00pm – 7:30pm Where:Fromm Hall – FR 115 – Berman Room, USF This event is free and open to the public.
Join us for a screening of Petals in the Dust: The Endangered Indian Girls, an examination of the condition of an endangered class of people living in one of the most populous, culturally and economic vibrant countries: modern India. They come from all walks of life and share only one common trait: they are female. By 2020 there will be 20 percent more men than women.
The film explores the cultural origins of this vast genocidal crime and includes the voices of activists and gender experts. By profiling the unimaginable stories of brave survivors, viewers enter the chilling realities girls and women are currently enduring, NOW, providing a sense of urgency in helping to change status quo.
The film screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer and director Nyna Pais Caputi.
About the Director
Nyna Pais Caputi was born in India and moved to the U.S. in 2002 where she did course work in filmmaking at New York Film Academy. She has worked on several short, award-winning films including DCBA-Desi Confused by America, shot in NYC, Able, shot in Pinole, CA and Gentle Lovers, shot in San Francisco.
She also founded the Global Walk for India’s Missing Girls in 2010 in San Francisco, an international awareness campaign on the violence and genocide of Indian women that has taken place in over 25 cities and five countries.
Nyna is also the founder of The Expat Woman, an organization for international women in the U.S. She is a recipient of Women of the Year 2015, California State Assembly, District 14; and Woman of Distinction 2015, Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista, as well as MediaMaker Fellow 2014, Bay Area Video Coalition.
US Premier Digitally Restored Version! Special thanks to NFDC for making this screening possible.
Set in the picturesque town of Ajmer, Rajasthan, Kamal Swaroop’s film is a cult classic with feminist overtones, and a colorful cast of characters including a young boy who can hold his breath, a runaway Bollywood actress with a shady past, a merchant who believes he can defecate diamonds, and a gang of terrorist tadpoles. Touted as “the great Indian LSD trip,” the film premiered to rave reviews at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988, and has since then achieved mythological status in India, influencing a whole generation of filmmakers. Swaroop draws irreverently from mythology, politics, philosophy and popular culture to create a genre-defying film that one critic hailed as “the antithesis to what is globally considered Indian cinema.”
Palo Alto Premier Followed by panel discussion with filmmaker
Nyna Pais Caputi’s empowering doc examines the condition of an endangered class of people in modern India. They come from all walks of life and share only one common trait: they are female. Women from all economic backgrounds continue to lose their lives to infanticide, sex-selective abortions, starvation and medical neglect, dowry deaths, brutal gang rapes, and more. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 20 percent more men than women in India! The film explores the cultural origins of this deeply embedded social violence, and profiles both the unimaginable stories of brave survivors, and the inspiring work of activists and gender experts who are helping to change the status quo.
Secret Screening Followed by Q&A with filmmaker & cast
A smart and sassy comedy, featuring show-stopping performances by Pia Shah and Emily C. Chang, this project-in-development from Tanuj Chopra (director of Punching at the Sun, and shorts Pia and Clap, Clap) is a “high”-light of the festival. PhD candidate Cam is struggling to complete a favor for her fiance: deliver a large bag of weed to an unknown buyer. On one hand she feels a sense of loyalty to her partner but she doesn’t want to feel like a mule. She processes her decision in a park with her lifelong stoner best friend Jinky. They embark on a day they will not soon forget. This “secret” work-in-progress screening will be followed by a talkback with the talent. We’ll bring the director, the actresses, and the editor — you bring Mary Jane.
Bay Area Premiers Followed by Q&A with Bay Area filmmakers
From the streets of San Francisco to a Parsee home in Bombay, from gorgeously animated watercolors to hip-hop music video, from queer comedy to social documentary, this year’s outstanding set of shorts offer us profiles of culture, celebration, courage and change!
A Bay Area Ballerina Comes of Age (Abhi Singh, USA, 2015, 3 mins) An evocative portrait of ballet-dancer Miko Fogarty (of Orinda, CA) that captures the spirit of her art and the spirit of San Francisco, with grace.
Safar/Journey (Pratyusha Gupta, India, 2013, 26 mins) Gouri leaves a tainted past behind to start anew as a maid in a Parsee household, in this nuanced exploration of the challenges and triumphs of starting over.
Sugarless Tea (Sai Selvarajan, USA, 2015, 4.5 mins) A tale of separated brothers takes us on a journey from Queens, NY to India, in this gorgeously animated short with watercolors (by Amanda Selvarajan) that evokes travelogues and bedtime stories.
Reclaiming Pakistan (Lisa Donato, USA, 2015, 8 mins) Narrated by Fawzia Mirza, this documentary sheds light on the social revolution sparked in Pakistan by civil-rights activist Mohammad Jibran Nasir, and the organization Pakistan for All.
The First Session(Ryan Logan, USA, 2015, 6 mins) Two women attempt to repair their relationship with the help of an unconventional therapist and the healing power of the mango in this hilarious short featuring the dynamic Fawzia Mirza.
Mardistan/Macholand (Harjant Gill, India, 2014, 28 mins) An exploration of masculinity articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds in Punjab, this eye-opening doc explores how both men and women are enmeshed in issues of gender violence.
IVIVI(Superwoman & Humble The Poet, Canada, 2015, 4.5 mins) These sensations from Canada have putdesi hip-hop into major Youtube circulation – watch them celebrate Toronto and it’s peeps in this hella cool music video!
Mission Critical: Keeping Carnaval a Neighborhood Thing (Abhi Singh, USA, 2015, 4 mins) This jubilant portrait of a Latino tradition in San Francisco’s Mission District captures the explosion of music and dance, as well as the undertow of worry as local residents negotiate gentrification.
Bay Area Premier Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker
Prasanna Vithanage’s (With You, Without You, SFISAFF 2013) thought-provoking film is a carefully crafted inditement of institutionalized forms of power, and documents how the elite can all too often put themselves above the law. Two women from rural Sri Lanka seek justice for being sexually abused by a judge while their husbands are in custody. Vithanage’s film chronicles journalist Victor Ivan’s efforts to leverage media support for these courageous women. While succinct in its form, the film cuts exceptionally deep in terms of its analysis of how patriarchy and power work together to infect the courts, the media and the lives of Sri Lanka’s most disenfranchised citizens.
Winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s highest honor, the Palme D’Or, Jacques (A Prophet) Audiard’s latest film is an immensely powerful work that celebrates the human spirit, and the transformative power of human connection. The film chronicles the journey of a trio of Sri Lankan immigrants – a former soldier, a young woman and a little girl – who pose as a family, so they can escape into France. They end up settling in a housing project outside Paris – but it turns out that they’ve just left one conflict zone for another. Partly inspired by Montesquieu’s Persian Letters, the film features novelist and former Tamil Tiger child soldier Antonythasan Jesuthasan in the lead role. As The Independent rightly says, Dheepan is “a radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head.”
Live Performance! Bay Area Premier Followed by Conversation/Q&A between Fawzia Mirza and Fawzia Afzal-Khan (feminist scholar, performer, and 3rd i alum) on performance, Pakistan, radical politics, queer identities, and more!
Told through the lens of two women’s shared love for glamorous Bollywood film star Sharmila Tagore, Me, My Mom, and Sharmila is a hilarious and heartbreaking coming-of-age story peppered with personal anecdotes, pop culture and even some South Asian history lessons! As one critic writes, “Some actors hold an audience, a few possess it. Some actors light up a scene, a few ignite it. Ms. Mirza…belongs to the latter category.” Writer-performer Fawzia Mirza’s dynamic piece chronicles her struggle to connect with her mother as she grapples with her own emerging identity as a queer woman of color. Told with humor and deep insight, this journey of self-discovery carries Fawzia all the way from childhood – as a Pakistani Muslim in small-town Canada, to living out loud as an actress in the heart of Chicago.