past events

3rd i NY and Alwan for the Arts Collaborative Monthly Film & Video Series Presents the documentary feature:


Official Selection Rotterdam, IDFA, Edinburgh, Amnesty International, and Asian American Film Festivals. Director Pia Sawhney present for Q&A

Every 3rd Tuesday of the month join us for the best in features, docs, & shorts that increase awareness of the creative vitality and sociopolitical realities of the Middle East, South Asia, and their diasporas. Given the historical and cultural affinities between these geographic regions, as well as the contemporary political landscape, these two cultural organizations are beginning a series of programming & marketing collaborations that encompass film, video, music, visual art, and literature, culminating in a week-long film festival in March 2006. In an environment that turns these communities into enemies of the west, we find strength in creating alliances to provide more nuanced, yet genuinely critical views to New York audiences. The dialogue and networking will continue at the complimentary pizza & drinks receptions after every screening in the Pioneer Series!

Tuesday January 16th, 7pm
Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East 3rd Street (at Avenue A)
Subway: F to 2nd Ave; 6 to Bleecker

Tickets: $9 Adults / $6.50 Pioneer Members
Followed by FREE PIZZA & BEER/SODA at the Den of Cin

Advance Tickets: 7pm show

New York Arab & South Asian Film Festival
Feb 24 - March 4

About the Film

Directors: Pia Sawhney, Sanjna Singh, USA, 2005, 70 mins, English

Before 9/11, there was an implicit understanding between the INS and immigrant communities that people who had applications pending to legalize their status could reside in the country until an application was approved. After 9/11, and for South Asians and Arabs, the rule changed. The Muslim community, today, is alone among the vast immigrant population to face such targeted enforcement. Out of Status follows four families whose lives were permanently altered, when a member was secretly detained or deported.

Carma, an American with two children, sees her husband, Akram deported to Egypt. Their family has now been separated for two years. Two days after 9/11, Salem, a Pakistani-American, is charged with stealing a rental car and jailed in solitary confinement for 40 days. Hakim, an Algerian, faces the possibility of separation from his wife (a legal resident) and child for complying with a government program to register Arabs. The Rahmans, who are staying in a shelter upstate, wait to gain asylum in Canada. They, along with 15,000 other Pakistanis, leave New York rather than face deportation. Through focusing on individuals who are discriminated against by national security measures, this film helps the audience experience the fear of speaking out and see current policy through their eyes.

Director Pia Sawhney present for Q&A

About the Directors

Pia Sawhney has worked in documentary for four years, and most recently on a production for Jennifer Fox, which will air on HBO next year. Pia's short film Out of Status, with co-producer Sanjna Singh, played at the Rotterdam, Edinburgh, and Amnesty film festivals among others. The feature version, in post-production, is funded in part by grants, and screened as a Work-in-Progress at IFP Market 2004. Pia and Sanjna are finalists for the Roy. W. Dean grant, and were nominated by NAATA for the ABC Talent Development Award. Pia has served as a panel judge for the SAJA Scholarship Award, was accepted to IFP New York's Project Involve workshop, and attended Bryn Mawr College. She has lived in the US, India, and the Middle East. Pia is completing a graduate degree in broadcast journalism part-time at New York University, and works as a freelance producer.

Born in Mumbai, India, Sanjna Singh left at 17 for the U.S. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College magna cum laude with honors in both Political Science and French. Along with co-producer Pia Sawhney, she was awarded grants from the New York State Council for the Arts and the Experimental TV Center for Out of Status. The Queens Museum, Asia Society, Pioneer Theatre, Egyptian Theater (LA) and Angelika Film Center among others have screened their work. Sanjna was accepted into IFP's Project Involve Documentary Unit in Spring 2004 and was awarded the Eastman Kodak Final Pitch Award. Her personal essays have been published in the New York Times, among other publications. She has studied film and photography in New York and in Paris, and was a panelist at Amnesty International USA's Annual General Meeting in 2004. She currently works at HBO Studios in New York.

About Alwan for the Arts. Alwan for the Arts serves the Middle East and North African population and educates the broader community by providing access to the range of Middle Eastern and North African arts; thereby enriching the cross-cultural and artistic encounter. Since 1998, Alwan for the Arts has played a leading role in promoting the diverse cultures of the Middle East and North Africa in New York City. It organized film festivals and screenings, book/poetry readings and signings, lectures and conferences, art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, and language and literature classes. In 2003, Alwan established a center in lower Manhattan which provides a physical base for its diverse cultural activities. For more info: www.alwanforthearts.org

About 3rd I. 3rd I New York's monthly film and music salon designed by local filmmakers and experimental DJs showcases the works of independent filmmakers of South Asian descent and local djs, musicians and electronica artists. Providing alternative forums for South Asian filmmakers who often have few venues to showcase their work not only increases their visibility, but also provides a social forum for peers and audiences to participate in an ongoing discussion. More info...

© Copyright 3rd I NY 2002-2005. All Rights Reserved.

This event is made possible in part through public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities/New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.