The Chicago South Asian Film Festival revealed the film lineup for its fourth annual event to be held between September 20 and 22nd. The festival, to be hosted at the Showplace Icon Theaters and Film Row Cinema at Columbia College will present over 24 films. The festival will open with the US premiere of OASS, a portrayal of the injustices faced by the many victims of child trafficking. Directed by Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, the film follows Kiku, a girl of great determination, as she endeavors to return home from the dingy brothels of Delhi.
The centerpiece film is SHAHID, by director Hansal Mehta and producer Anurag Kashyap. The biographical piece recounts the inspiring journey of Shahid Azmi, a human rights activist and lawyer who was killed in 2010. The festival will close with the presentation of THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, starring Riz Ahmed and Kate Hudson. The film, directed by Mira Nair and winner of the IFFI Century Award, tells the story of a Pakistani man whose American Dream is threatened by post 9/11 reactions to al-Qaida attacks.
Also included in the lineup is CLUB 60, Sanjay Tripathy’s directorial debut in Bollywood. Featuring acclaimed actors Farooq Sheikh, Sarika, Satish Shah, and Tinnu Anand, the film offers a glimpse into the lives of young at heart 60-year-olds. “We all are still young at heart. It’s all about how you live your life,” said Sheikh during a photo shoot for the film. FARAH GOES BANG, TOURING TALKIES, PIED PIPER, CHOR CHOR SUPER CHOR, Bengali film TASHER DESH, and the Sri Lankan film THANHA RATHI RANGA round off the features.
Among the short-length films, BANSULI (THE FLUTE) presents a narrative that takes place in the remote west of Kamali, 3 PUFFS OF GOLD explores the subject of sexual assault, and BREAKDOWN introduces the story of an American caught in the darkest shadows of urban India. Other shorts included in the lineup are FREE KAA REFILL, THE QUEEN OF MY DREAMS, …OR DIE, SHAMELESS, and KHULI KHIDKI.
The festival will also present MUCH ADO ABOUT KNOTTING, a documentary based on the practice of marital matchmaking in contemporary India. “We’ve looked at a pan-cultural phenomenon through an Indian prism. What was earlier negotiated at closed family events has now snow-balled into a multi-million dollar industry. It’s a startling scenario and the film presents the multiple facets without being judgmental,” said director Geetika Narang Abbasi in a previous statement. THE OTHER ARMY, directed by Sana Attiq Haq, focuses on the stories of three Pakistanis who sacrificed their lives in the fight against terrorism.