The lineup for the 15th annual South Asian Film Festival, produced in conjunction with Jasbir Mehta and the Asian Cultural Association, is ready to go and it looks like a good one. Always one of Enzian’s more popular special programs on its cultural circuit, this year’s festivities on October 3 – 5 will include 3 narrative features, 1 doc feature, and 1 narrative short, while boasting 4 Southeastern premieres and 1 Florida premiere along with 4 Audience Award winners from the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the 2009 Gold Medal winner for the Student Academy Awards. All in all it’s a highly acclaimed group of films featuring a host of popular and talented actors including Anupam Kher, Sarika, Rahul Bose, Shabana Azmi, Ajay Naidu, Ayesha Dharkar, Boman Irani, Sohrab Ardeshir, and John Abraham.
Opening and closing the festival will be the latest work from Santosh Sivan (The Terrorist), TAHAAN, a stunningly shot, fable-like story about an eight-year-old boy in Kashmir struggling to gain back his best friend, a beloved pet donkey. Told with warmth and humor, the film has been compared to the work of Satyajit Ray and some of the great films of Iranian cinema. Next up is Manish Acharya’s LOINS OF PUNJAB PRESENTS, a hilarious Christopher Guest-like mockumentary about a Desi Idol singing contest being held at a hotel in New Jersey. Sunday morning brings Faiza Ahmad Khan’s award-winning and highly entertaining documentary, SUPERMEN OF MALEGAON, an inside look at a super-low budget and self-taught film director in a factory town who specializes in Hollywood and Bollywood spoofs and has embarked on his most ambitious project to date. This will be preceded by Gregg Helvey’s Student Oscar-winning short, KAVI, about a young boy who dreams of a normal life but must try to lead his family out of bonded labor in a brick kiln. And last but not least, Mira Nair’s long-time screenwriter, Sooni Taraporevela, makes her directorial debut with LITTLE ZIZOU, a charming and rich portrait of Mumbai’s Parsi community.