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SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MONTREAL, SAFFMontréal 2016
GET READY TO VIEW AN ECLECTIC MIX OF FILMS FROM THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT AND TO INTERACT WITH FILM PERSONALITIES AS WELL AS A PANEL OF EXPERTS
FRIDAY NOV 4, 7 PM
“Mala” 2016, Kaushik Roy, Hindi/English, 20 mins. Mala, a young woman in Kolkata, is under severe pressure from her family to get married and settle down in life, while she herself wants to pursue film studies and become a film maker. While her husband-to-be goes off to Thailand for a 'stag party', Mala decides to go to Mumbai and attend a film festival after lying to her family. The films that she sees and the film personalities that she meets inspire her with new convictions.
"Angry Indian Goddesses", 2015, Pan Nalin, Hindi/English, 115 mins ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES is India’s first female buddy movie: a fresh, realistic portrait of women in India today. Frieda, a fashion-commercial photographer trying to find her own art, gathers her closest girlfriends from all over India to travel to Goa for a surprise announcement. Thus begins an impromptu reunion that lasts for a full week. Through the fun and frenzy, heartbreak and heartache, passion and obsession, youth and innocence, secrets tumble out, tensions emerge, bonds are formed and emotions run high. Regardless, women are determined to seize the day.
SATURDAY, NOV 5 AT 12 NOON
“Spaces Between”, 2016, Roohi Dixit & Ziba Bhagwagar, English, 43 mins "Spaces Between" is a visual interpretation of the performance artist Nikhil Chopra’s fifty-hour-long confinement in a room on the banks of a river. The narrative of the film oscillates between the real and the imagined. Part fiction and part nonfiction, the film lingers between various spaces, physical as well as visceral, the reality as imagined by the artist and the imagined as narrated by the artist.
“A Thin Wall”, 2015, Mara Ahmed, English/Urdu, 67 mins.A THIN WALL is a documentary about memory, history and the possibility of reconciliation. It focuses on the Partition of India in 1947, but derives lessons that remain urgently relevant today. Shot on both sides of the border, in India and Pakistan, A THIN WALL is a personal take on Partition rooted in stories passed down from one generation to another. It is written and directed by Mara Ahmed and co-produced by Surbhi Dewan. Both filmmakers are descendants of families torn apart by Partition. The film is also a work of art infused with original animation, music and literary writing.
SATURDAY, NOV 5 AT 3 PM
“Dilli dreams”, 2012, Etienne Sievers, Hindi, 9 mins.: An aging man working as a mazdoor (laborer) in the crowded bazaars of Old Delhi remembers his childhood in the countryside and the incidents that changed his life.
“Signal” 2016, Sanjog Heda, Silent, 5 mins. A young eight year old boy living in make-shift tents on Indian streets, has an immense urge for education, but is being deprived of it due to poverty. He is forced to sell flowers at traffic signals by his ruthless father. His brief attempt to change his life clashes with his father's selfish motives..
“Material”, 2012, Craig Freimond, English, 93 mins. Cassim is a young Muslim man who works in his father's fabric shop in Johannesburg. However, Cassim wants to be a stand-up comedian, which his father disapproves of. When he gets a gig at a local bar, he has to find a way of keeping it a secret.
SATURDAY, NOV 5 AT 7 PM
“Mia Kal Aana” 2016, Shamas Siddiqui, Urdu, 18 mins. The film follows the journey of a man named Imtiaz, who divorces his wife in a fit of rage only to regret the decision. He wants to rectify his mistake, but can’t get his wife back until she gets married to someone else. Her next husband won’t divorce her until he consummates the marriage.
“Shahbaz Qalandar”, 2016, Tahir Faridi, Music only, 8 mins. "Fanna -fi-Allah" is a group of western singers and musicians who have mastered the ancient art of Sufi Qawwali singing. In this short film they perform a famous qawwali at the holy shrine of Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, in Sindh, Pakistan.
“Song of Lahore”, 2015, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Andy Schocken, Urdu/English, 83 mins. After the declaration of Sharia law in Pakistan during the regime of Gen. Zia, many music schools were closed and with the advent of Talibans, the musicians came under considerable physical threat. Song of Lahore tells the story of Sachal Studios, founded by a bunch of determined musicians who decide to revive their music in whatever form they could. The film follows them to NYC where they are invited to rehearse and perform with trumpetist Wynton Marsalis, and the Jazz-at-Lincoln-Center orchestra in a fusion music concert.
SUNDAY, NOV 6 AT 12 NOON
“Threads”, 2014, Cathy Stevulak, 30 mins. Suraiya Rahman, one of the first women artists of Bangladesh, looked to her own inspiration and the ancient kantha quilt work to support her bedridden husband and her children. But she never expected that destitute young mothers would come searching for her, nor that the elaborate art that they created together would find its way to royalty, museums and private collections around the world.
“Class”, 2016, Jayant Somalkar, Hindi, 10 mins. In the buzzling cities of India, middle-class homes depend on part-time maids for domestic help. Sometimes cordial and sometimes conflictual, the relationship of the home-owners and the maids is deeply marked by class consciousness. Class is the story of one such relationship where the maid makes a firm statement, based on a new ability acquired through education.
“Two girls” (Randu Penkuttikal), 2016, Jeo Baby, Malayalam, 72 mins. Randu Penkuttikal discusses the issues faced by young girls and women in the traditional Indian society. From a young age, the society imposes strict norms on their behavior and these norms extend from home to schools to the villages, towns and cities. Achu and Anagha are close friends, who decide to bunk their class to visit a mall in the city. Their visit to the city changes their life and what happens next forms the crux of the film.
SUNDAY, NOV 6 AT 3 PM
“Cricket and Parc Extension: A love affair, 2016, Garry Beitel, 43 mins. With the Habs floundering, maybe the time has come for Montrealers to find another sport to get behind and another sports hero to embrace. How about cricket? And how about Raiyan Pasha? He’s an up-and-coming young star with dreams of playing on Canada’s national cricket team and then of becoming a professional in England.
“These Birds Walk”, 2012, Omar Mullick, Bassam Tariq, 71 mins.In Karachi, Pakistan, a runaway boy's life hangs on one critical question: Where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? Simultaneously heart-wrenching and life-affirming, These Birds Walk documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the Samaritans looking out for them in this ethereal and inspirational story of resilience.
SUNDAY, NOV 6 AT 7 PM
“Blouse”, 2014, Vijayeta Kumar, Hindi, 20 mins. Shyam, a schoolteacher, loves his wife Roopa. But when asked what she'd like as a gift, she asks for a blouse by Babu, the village tailor who is famous for the beautiful cuts & fits of his blouses. Upon reaching the tailor, Shyam realizes that the sample blouse is lost. Now there's no way of giving the tailor Roopa's measurements. On explaining the problem, Babu suggests a risky but clever plan. It involves ogling the village women's bosoms, albeit discreetly. Shyam is reluctant and scared. What will he do? Will Roopa get her gift?
“Cinemawala” 2016 , Kaushik Ganguli, 95 mins.Pranabendu Das is a retired film exhibitor from a small-town in West Bengal. He owns a movie theatre 'Kamalini' named after his separated wife. With the advancement of technology and the arrival of the digital medium, this man was compelled to let go of his theatre which projected films only on celluloid. Prakash is unperturbed by the condition of his father. He is an opportunist, who would never give morality a chance establishing himself as a businessman. He sells pirated DVDs of feature films in the town. The film tells the tale of a father-son relationship with the beautiful backdrop of cinema. Pranab has always maintained himself as a true Cinemawala, whereas Prakash is also into cinema but in a way not acceptable to his father.