March 2004 Events
 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS 3rd I FANS!! Our annual 3rd I International South Asian Shorts 2004 program is here!

We're pairing up again with the 22nd SF Intl Asian American Film Festival by NAATA to bring you an amazing shorts program and many independent South Asian feature films.

Shorts Program
Sunday, March 7 | 4:30 PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street

Buy tickets early as it's usually sold out

Cross My Heart

US Premiere
UK 2002
22 mins., 35mm Color
Language: English
Subtitles: English
DIRECTOR(s): Avie Luthra

A young man leads a double life when he tries to convince his family that he is "Indian" enough to inherit his uncle's video store. A hilarious critique of racism within the Asian British community.

Laxmi

2000
10 mins., 35mm Color
Language:
Subtitles: English
DIRECTOR(s): Mandrika Rupa

A coming-of-age story of an Indian girl growing up in colonial New Zealand during wartime, 1942.

Mann Ke Manjeere

India 2001
5 mins., 35mm Color
Language: English
Subtitles: English
DIRECTOR(s): Sujit Sircar

A music video depicting the journey of a woman who becomes a liberated truck driver.

Sangam (The Confluence)

San Francisco Premiere
USA 2003
27 mins., Video Color
Language: English
Subtitles: English
DIRECTOR(s): Prashant Bhargava

Sangam is a place in India where three sacred rivers converge. The film is a meditation on the rivers that bind and divide us.

Take the A Train

USA 2003
16 mins., 16mm Color
Language: English
Subtitles: English
DIRECTOR(s): Amyn Kaderali

When a prep school boy is the victim of a prank on the subway, he learns that sometimes the end of the line is only just the beginning.

FLAVORS
March 5 | 9:30 PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street
March 10 | 7:30 PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street
March 19 | 7 PM PM | Camera 3 Cinemas | 2nd and San Carlos Streets

USA 2003 | 114mins | 35mm Color | English & Hindi w/ E.S.

If you took FRIENDS and made the entire cast brown, then gave them jobs in the IT industry, you might just end up with FLAVORS. A breezy confection of love and romance among Indians in America, Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK's ensemble comedy of crisscrossing young Indian Americans squeezes in arranged marriages, unrequited long-distance loves and cell-phone quasi-romances, yet within the relationship banter and nerd jokes lurk the complexities of Indian American life. Visiting parents are stranded all day at their son's townhouse, wondering when Munna will get home, while others approach a future American daughter-in-law (and the intricacies of laptop email) with a similar mixture of dread and anticipation. A bored stay-at-home bride, fresh from India, finds companionship with the Mormons on her doorstep. In the era of the dotcom bust, hotshot engineers confront the stigma of layoffs with the strongest epithet they can find: "damn shit." FLAVORS also comes with its own chorus: three unemployed H1-B techies, living on beer and get-rich-quick dreams. It may play with stereotypes, but FLAVORS is not, to paraphrase one of the characters, your typical subcontracting, multi-shulti soggy-samosa desi film. This film is the real thing: love in the age of text messaging, and more.
—Sandip Roy

COSMOPOLITAN
March 6 | 5 PM PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street
March 9 | 7:15 PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street

USA 2003 | 53mins | Video Color | English & Hindi w/ E.S.

The director of festival favorite CHUTNEY POPCORN returns with a beautiful, complex and lighthearted gem of a film. Instead of a predictable narrative about the growing pains of second-generation Indian American youth, Ganatra instead sensitively explores the lives of their parents, first-generation South Asian immigrants. Gopal (Roshan Seth) must reinvent his suburban life after his wife leaves him for an ashram in India and his daughter disappears to Mongolia with a German boyfriend. Left alone, and challenged to break the boundaries of his complacent, mundane existence, he looks to . . .Cosmopolitan magazine (of course) as a guide to understanding and negotiating romantic relationships, and as a means to pursue the attractive divorcee next door, Mrs. Shaw (Carol Kane). However, Gopal soon finds out that—for better or worse—there's more to love than Cosmo would suggest. Based on a short story by Akhil Sharma and adapted by Sabrina Dhawan (writer of MONSOON WEDDING), the challenging, comedic COSMOPOLITAN heralds a new wave of sophisticated and substantive South Asian American films.

Preceded by:
Bloody Foreigners
North American Premiere
23 mins.
16mm Color
DIRECTOR(s): Avie Luthra
BLOODY FOREIGNERS is an endearing cross-cultural love story about a Polish pensioner and a South Asian grandmother. —Ivan Jaigirdar

LEST WE FORGET
March 6 | 2:45 PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street
March 8 | 1 PM PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street

USA 2003 | 57mins | Video Color

If we don't learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. LEST WE FORGET urgently reminds us of how people of Japanese descent were interned as "enemy aliens" during World War II. It connects those alarming violations of civil liberties with recent events where people of Arabic, South Asian and Muslim origin were named as our new "enemy aliens" following the events of 9/11 in 2001.

This layered, moving and important documentary investigates how extensive homeland security can be when it crosses the line to racial attacks and unjust treatment of innocent individuals. The film contains a chronology of voices that have felt the severity of wartime security in America. LEST WE FORGET interweaves the perspectives from the side left unheard, with the intention of using the lessons from the past to create a better future.

Preceded by:
American Made
25 mins.
35mm Color
DIRECTOR(s): Sharat Raju
A South Asian American family is stranded in the Arizona desert thanks to a broken-down car. Writer/director Sharat Raju uses this remote environment as a vehicle to delve into the American life of the Singh family, using a son's comment (that his father won't get a ride because his turban makes him look like a terrorist) to deftly explore such conflicts as familial duty, cultural assimilation, religious faith and national identity.

KAL HO NAA HO
March 7 | 8:30 PM | The Castro Theatre | 429 Castro Street

India 2003 | 187mins | 35mm Color | Hindi w/ E.S.

This much-anticipated Bollywood extravaganza marks the return of heartthrob actor Shahrukh Khan and the creative team of Karan Johar and Nikhil Advani, makers of the award-winning KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI (of last year's festival). Here, all-stars sing, cry, dance and romance their way through New York City to catchy songs—and the joyous camp of disco and wedding excess—that rival any SOUND OF MUSIC sing-along.

KAL HO NAA HO tells the story of Naina (Preity Zinta), an all-business, no-play daughter struggling to keep her financially distressed family together, especially her bickering Christian mother (Jaya Bachchan) and ever-antagonistic Punjabi grandmother. The unspeakable death of Naina's father hangs over them, leaving her impervious to laughter or love until the wise-cracking, angelic Aman (Shahrukh Khan) appears.

Among his other talents, Aman unites their ethnic New York neighborhood, whose residents are portrayed (like all the high-pitched clich of the Bollywood musical genre) in a style far from politically correct. The film offers a Spike Lee-lite fantasia on diasporic multiculturalism and a giddy vision of post-9/11 New York as the backdrop to its visual spectacle and romantic heroics. The friendship/love triangle among Aman, Naina and her dapper classmate Rohit (Saif Ali Khan) produces tears and sacrifice as they attempt to follow the advice of the title: live for today, for who knows what tomorrow holds.

SECOND GENERATION
March 8 | 7 PM PM | AMC Kabuki 8 | 1881 Post Street
March 20 | 4:45 PM | Camera 3 Cinemas | 2nd and San Carlos Streets

UK 2003 | 138mins | Video Color

Finally, a bona fide soap opera about South Asian immigrants in Britain! SECOND GENERATION has it all: the family patriarch felled by a stroke, scheming children trying to take over the curry empire, adultery, suicide, sleeping with the enemy, shirtless hunks and panting sex. This English television two-part series has a new generation of British Asians trying to make a mark in business, love and music while struggling with some very tangled family roots.

The questions come fast and furious as SECOND GENERATION'S entanglements unspin. Will Heere's fatal attraction to childhood friend Samir ruin her engagement to Jack? Will uber-bitch Priya fire all her father's faithful employees? What's the guilty secret about his late wife that torments Sharma? Will wonder-boy rapper Uzi hold his own against a record company cashing in on the Asian cool?

A dream cast of Parminder Nagra (BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM), Om Puri (EAST IS EAST), Anupam Kher (BECKHAM), Rita Wolf (MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE), Roshan Seth (GANDHI) and Christopher Simpson (WHITE TEETH) provides the fireworks, while Asian Underground figurehead Nitin Sawhney provides the electrifying soundtrack. SECOND GENERATION is certainly a lively potboiler grappling with issues of identity, tradition and the price of immigration, but it's mostly an addictive guilty pleasure, part KING LEAR, part ROMEO AND JULIET and a lot of "I left my heart in Calcutta."

In addition the SFIAAFF will be screening many other independent films from Asia and the Asian diaspora so MARK YOUR CALENDARS!




   
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