Here is what to look for on the first full day of programming in the third South Asian Film Festival. All films are at the AMC Village on the Parkway in Addison.
India in a Day (86 min.)
On Oct. 10, 2015, ordinary people throughout India were encouraged to shoot video on their mobile phones about their lives in a single 24-hour-period. India In a Day is a joyful 86-minute documentary compilation taken from millions of those short films, given shape by director Richie Mehta and composer Stephen Warbeck. This is India’s first crowd-sourced feature. Executive produced by Ridley Scott and Anurag Kashyap, and powered by Google.
* Followed by winning videos of Parish School's "One Minute Smartphone Video" contest & scholarships.
A narrative short and an acclaimed documentary examine the emergence of gay rights in India.
Any Other Day (12 min.)
It was just another day for Kabir and Arnav. But their lives take a turn for the worse when two cops decide to make a spectacle of them. As the night unfolds, help comes from an unlikely source who goes on to unmasks the hypocrisy of our society.
Breaking Free (82 min.)
Filmmaker and gay activist Sridhar Rangayan embarks on a personal journey to expose the human rights violations faced by the LGBTQ community in India due to a draconian law, Section 377, and homophobic social mores of a patriarchal society.
Three featurettes celebrating the 70th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan.
Silvat (42 min.)
Noor has been living by herself for the last five years after her husband takes up a job abroad in the first week of their marriage. Her married life is nothing more than a never-ending wait for her husband to return to her someday. That changes one fateful day she realizes that she has fallen in love with a much younger man, a tailor named Anwar.
Lala Begum (57 min.)
What happens when, after 20-odd-years of estrangement, two sisters are forced to have a face-to-face confrontation? With the tragic demise of her husband, Seher has no option but to return to her hometown and live with her older sister, Meher. But Meher has made it clear that Seher is not welcome in their home.
Q & A with director Mehreen Jabbar
Guddu Engineer (42 min.)
At 20, Guddu Engiineer, finds his life close to perfect. Two great friends, an engineering course in progress and acceptance by the girl he loves. But then one simple choice between love and hate changes it all. Guddu Engiineer symbolizes the youth, both from India and Pakistan, for whom each day is a vote between warmth and loathing.
Three shorts plus the Centerpiece Feature Khoya
Mochi – The Cobbler (20 min.)
Gopal, a shoe repairman hustling for his spot at a Bombay railway station, fears the small livelihood he makes for himself and his son is about to end, when he loses a big customer’s shoes. There’s a twist ending in this look at the daily trials of the minimum-wage working class, which has echoes of the Italian neo-realist classic The Bicycle Thief.
Babu’s Dilemma (24 min.)
When the beloved "Uncle" of the immigrant community in Dubai announces his impending return to India, Babu, an overworked construction worker who can barely make ends meet, must find a way to send back to the homeland an expensive gift for his wife.
Azaad (30 min.)
Set against the socio-political backdrop of present day India, Azaad unfolds the story of a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son, within 48 hours of the father going missing. Azaad is presented by prolific filmmaker Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala) and has been written and directed by her long-time associate, Rahul V. Chittella.
Khoya (82 min.)
When his adopted mother dies unexpectedly, Roger Moreau loses his last tie to his Canadian upbringing and identity. He decides to travel to India to find the birth family that gave him up for adoption more than two decades ago.
When he steps off the plane into the crowded streets of Mumbai he is confronted by his own foreignness in a strange, new land. While eager to be reunited with his family, complications immediately threaten Roger’s search when a Catholic orphan- age reveals his adoption documents are forgeries.
More desperate than ever, Roger sets out on a quest into Madhya Pradesh—the impoverished, rural heartland of India—to find the one local official who can help him solve the mystery surrounding his adoption.
Khoya is a Canadian production, in English, that is very much in the spirit of the current Oscar-nominated hit Lion, as one man returns to a homeland he barely knows to discover his roots, and his destiny.
Q & A with Director Sami Khan & Star Rupak Ginn
9:30 pm – Afterparty at Saffron House, Addison
"All Access" Festival Pass (Feb 17 and after) - $175
Opening Night Film Only (Perot Museum) - $20
Opening Night Film & Party (Perot Museum) - $75
Centerpiece Film Only (AMC Village on the Parkway 9) - $20
Centerpiece Film & Party (AMC Village on the Parkway 9/Saffron House) - $50
Closing Night Film (AMC Village on the Parkway 9) - $20
All other film blocks - $15
Limited tickets available at the door. Online purchases are HIGHLY encouraged.