Four years ago, one frost evening we braved icy road conditions to attended the first DFWSAFF screening in Angelika, Plano. I was excited to see the inaugural opening film that night – Brahmin Bulls an uplifting father and son story set in Los Angeles. I was pretty excited that the Dallas Fort Worth area had its very own South Asian film festival.
DFWSAFF has grown to a four day festival this year taking place from February 8 to 11, 2018. It will showcase World, U.S. and Texas premieres of features, shorts and documentaries, all chosen to engage, educate and inspire audiences. The movies that will be screened explore issues that affect South Asians living and working in America, as well abroad.
Our favorite movie last year was A Billion Colour Story, seen through the eyes of an innocent, but typical 21st century Indian child born of an inter-religion marriage, A Billion Colour Story was a simple story, told with a complete absence of frills. The film was in English, set in India, with all its Indian accents, scenes and noises. It is a story about color, with color being at the core of literally every part of its narrative, which is why it was shot in pristine Black & White, leaving the audience to see the colors with their mind’s eye.
We heard the director Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy talk about his movie and movie making process at the end of the movie. What he said struck a chord with me, he said “There is a dire need for reassurance that not all is lost, that the fundamental goodness of humanity is still intact. There need to be more love stories than revenge dramas, more stories of real life heroes than superhero sagas. There need to be more stories that reinforce our faith in each other rather than that mythical messiah who might never arrive to save us.” We learnt from the Q&A session that night – Money is not the currency here, Passion is!
After watching a few more movies that weekend and hearing about festival director Jitin Hingorani and his team’s vision to bringing these cinematic gems to Dallas area, we joined the DFWSAFF as Lifetime members. While handling the PR for the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) in New York, Jitin was inspired to create his own film festival, and he chose to partner with NYIFF to bring South Asian independent cinema to North Texas. His commitment has brought some brilliant movies to Dallas and proves that there is more to South Asian Cinema than the typical Bollywood genre of cinema that everyone is familiar with. The team curates movies that are thought both provoking and provocative, movies that address issues that plague our society and feel-good movies that reinstates your faith in humanity. These not just Movies but Art!
While there are numerous movies that will be screened at the festival, the top three on our list are What will people Say – A story about a Sixteen-year-old girl who lives a double life. At home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager… then her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend. Will have to see the movie to find out what happens when those two worlds collide. The Valley is the story of an immigrant entrepreneur Neal Kumar and his family who live in the technologically driven culture that is Silicon Valley. His affluent life appears idyllic from the exterior, however there is more to his life than what is seen. Ask the Sexpert is a feature length documentary about Dr. Mahinder Watsa, a 93-year-old sex advice columnist for a daily newspaper in Mumbai. This should be an interesting watch – despite sex being a taboo topic in India, the column generates so much buzz with many writing their questions, the vast majority of whom seek basic information.
The 4th annual DFW South Asian Film Festival will present one world premiere, six international premieres, two U.S. premieres, nine Texas premieres, and one Dallas premiere, for a total of 19 shorts, documentaries and feature films over a four-day period. Most screenings will take place at AMC Village on the Parkway 9 with opening night reception and screening will be at Highland Park Village Theatre. If you come to the festival, come say Hello – I will be the one in the back row with a box of tissues.
For a full screening schedule, visit http://www.dfwsaff.com/