SEPTEMBER 20-23, 2018
Presented by Zee Cinema, the Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) is one of the largest multicultural events in the heartland of America. It aims to bolster Chicago as a destination for making films while supporting local talent through workshops and a networking platform.
CSAFF screens premiere films, hosts talent, organises panel discussions, musical performances, industry workshops, tributes to major artists and hosts awards galas. It also provides opportunities for filmmakers and gives a platform for film lovers to connect. The festival is known for supporting films from countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet.
Sarthak Dasgupta’s directorial centres around the life of Beni, a small-town musician who lives in the hills and is dealing with the issue of low self-esteem. He is struggling to make ends meet by teaching music to students and singing in local clubs. Eight years later, his estranged ex-student, who is now a star singer in the Hindi film industry, comes back to the hills for a single day for a concert. While he prepares to meet this girl, it means facing the painful past and the delusions of the present day. The film stars Manav Kaul, Divya Dutta and Amrita Bagchi in lead roles.
Set against the backdrop of a conflicted Kashmir, the film is based on the life of a woman whose husband goes missing after being abducted by armed men. The woman trying to come to terms with the disappearance of her doting husband, embarks on a harrowing journey of self-discovery. Directed by Danish Renzu, it features Neelofar Hamid, Shahnawaz Bhat, Mir Sarwar and Yasmeena Wani in important roles.
Documentary Feature Films
Bird Of Dusk
Sangeeta Datta’s docu-feature explores the intimate relationship that the late Bengali filmmaker, Rituporno Ghosh had with the city of Kolkata. The film is a montage of Ghosh’s film clips and interviews. It also encompasses interviews of an array of film stars that highlights his extraordinary personal life and stupendous body of work. It is largely based on Ghosh’s personal memoirs, First Person.
Documentary Short Film
Fahd Shah’s Rubai gives us a sneak peek into a day in the life of Kashmir through four people – a young girl who faces daily struggles to attend school and study; an outsider who is both excited and apprehensive about getting married in Kashmir; his wife who has bitter-sweet memories of growing up in the Valley; and a native poet who finds peace in the spiritual connection of Kashmir.
Children Playing God
Do We Belong?
Educate Our Daughters
Fiction Feature Film
The Golden Mountain
Directed by Bengali actor Parambrata Chattopadhyay, The Golden Mountain stars Tanuja Mukherjee, Jisshu Sengupta, Shrijato Banerjee and Soumitra Chattopadhyay. It explores a beautiful relationship between a 70-year-old woman, Upama, and a seven-year-old boy, Bitlu. While she sets out on a new journey, her son who has become bitter towards her realises the huge gap between him and his mother.
Fiction Short Film
Prince Dhiman’s directorial is a poignant tale of a single mother who is suffering from cancer with bleak chances of survival and is trying to put up a brave face for her young daughter. The short film centres on the maturity depicted by her child and the immense love between mother and daughter. Kanika Maheshwari and Samruddhi Asarikar lead the cast.
Grandpa and I
TRIBUTE TO SRIDEVI
As a part of the opening, night red-carpet performance on September 21, homage will be paid to the late actress, Sridevi, through a dance performance. The event will feature some of the actress’s most iconic songs.
– Titas Chowdhury