India | 55mins | 2012 | Chicago Premiere
Synopsis: Born into a society obsessed with marriages, a young girl, a not-so-young man, and an Non-Resident Indian couple are compelled by tradition to look for matches via classifieds, matchmaking bureaus and websites. Confronted with innumerable criteria that determine who is acceptable and who isn’t, they question themselves and their choices. As they introspect, the melee of the matchmaking industry continues. At every turn, there are service providers who are ready to snoop, style and solicit potentials on their behalf. People are searching for the ideal one endlessly and the oft-heard question is – When are you getting married?
Director: Nilendra Deshapriya
Cast: Sarath Kothalawala, Sulochana Weerasinghe
Sri Lanka | 110 mins | 2013 | World Premiere
Synopsis: After the end of a 30-year-old ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, three friends embark on an adventurous journey to a land that was once forbidden but a sudden encounter forces them to return to yet another land of turmoil and terror.
A journey in search of soul mates in a soulless world, this film explores the stark reality of the human condition in a post war country
Cast: Dibya Chhetri, Priyanka Bose, Yashpal Sharma
India | 105mins | 2013 | US Premiere
Synopsis: Eyes forward, Kiku hurtles down the street. A swish of glittering purple from the corner of her eye tells her that Madam is not far behind. Jhukki's grunts were getting louder. Kiku needed to quicken her pace. She shifts her focus back to her goal. The end of the street is a few meters away and beyond that lie her father's fields. She squints. Was that the silhouette of the Kanchenjunga she saw in the distance? A butterfly dances up ahead of her, its antennae pointing towards Kiku's finish line. Last few steps. She closes her eyes and stretches her hand forward. But, before she can step over the threshold, she is yanked back. Kiku lurches forward but Madam's fingernail is hooked into the collar of her shirt/blouse. The butterfly escapes. Kiku's hand drops to her side. OASS is inspired by a true story of Kiku who is taken away from her village at the age of 11 and sold to a brothel in Delhi. Drugged, beaten, raped and threatened, she surrenders to the atrocities in order to live, and one day escape. OASS brings to light the menace of girl-child trafficking and the perils faced by the million Kikus across the globe.
When Kiku was 11 years old, her life was like a dream – time spent running around in the fields in her village and playing with her little sister. Like any other girl of her age, she dreamt of a bright future that good education could provide her. This ambition took her all the way to Delhi – only to be sold to a brothel where she was drugged, raped, kicked and punched. Everyday a little more of her soul was crushed. However, she believed that she had to win this battle for freedom to help rescue other victims like her.
What makes this movie so convincing is the fact that the storyline is not just a figment of the writer’s imagination. It’s influenced by the narrative given by the girl about herself and various others like her who have been through this torment. OASS also draws inspiration from the lives of various other Kikus worldwide. The central character of the movie is inspired from the true story of a girl whose immense determination to achieve freedom helped her not only to stay alive but also bring to us the ordeal she had been through. With a view to respect and protect her identity, the lady’s personal details have been altered.
It took the debutant Director, Abhinav Tiwari, years of hard work, research and dedication to extract information from the victim (depicted as Kiku in the movie) and various other sufferers of this racket. So moved was he by the narration of the victims that he made up his mind to use this story for his first film, an eye opener for the “civilized” world.
The movie has been shot with utmost conviction. Life-like sets and real locations – be it the hills of Nepal or the brothels of Delhi - have infused the film with an element of reality. Ace technicians have come together, in body and spirit, to weave a visual tapestry that is as high in cinematic quality as it is in content.
The Gallery Bar is truly a stylish venue for this year's exclusive Opening Night Reception.
Enjoy tantalizing hors d'oeuvres along with alcoholic beverages and other refreshments as you network in style with a crowd of prominent guests, artists, and fellow film aficionados.
Admission to Opening Night Reception is included in Opening Night (VIP) passes and Festival Passes.
Director: Min Bahadur Bham
Synopsis: Set in a village in the remote west of Karnali, this stunning film takes place during the first elections in Nepal after the Maoist conflict period. Soulful flute melodies and the constantly flowing waters of Karnali intertwine to tell a poignant story of young Bijuli, and of love, migration, separation and longing.
Synopsis: Three actors are excited to make an internet video, until they learn just what that video entails.
Synopsis: After fleeing the scene of a fatal accident, a desperate American falls into a fateful night amidst the darkest shadows of urban India, where a small-time hustler and mysterious tamasha dancer force him to confront the karmic currents of his own conscience.
Synopsis: A cell phone finds a new owner for a day. He makes free calls while someone else is left to answer
Director: Harune Massey
Pakistan | 10mins | 2013
Synopsis: Two kids on a road side clinking oil bottles offering massage services, spend the night waiting for clients. “Nightlife” is a glimpse into the life of male child sex-workers in Lahore, Pakistan. A subtle observation of a grave circumstance in their lives, and a self-critique, questioning exploitation and artistic work.
Director: Rajesh. K.
Synopsis: In the crowded by lanes of old Delhi, Shukla ji runs a small photo studio as a front for small time crime. Over the years he has groomed a bunch of youngsters in the art of pick pocketing and petty crime. Then one day a girl comes into their midst and then everything collapses.
Synopsis: Pied Piper is a satirical folklore of a simple laundryman, Chunnilal, who is rumored to have acquired his beloved donkey’s brain in a freak accident. Charming millions with his asinine traits, Chunnilal soon rises to become the most popular and most feared hero of his time. The film traces the dynamics of his unprecedented rise and his inevitable fall along the trajectory of politics, religion, power and ideologies.
Synopsis: The story of a lone woman Chandi’s struggle to save her Chandi Touring Talkies from going out of business in the male chauvinistic world of travelling cinema. Chandi’s arch rival Subhnya tricks her wayward father to pledge her tent in a fixed gambling session and gives her six months to recover her tent. He also steals the screening rights to the latest blockbuster movie from right under her nose, leaving her stranded for options. As she mulls over her predicament enters Avinash an art film maker from a different world of cinema. As Subhnya denies him a screen to play the blockbuster, Chandi and Avinash end up helping each other out. Whether Chandi is able to save her tent or not forms the story.
Synopsis: “Shahid” traces the true story of slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi. In the backdrop of communal violence that was unleashed on the city of Mumbai since 1993 we see a remarkable tale unfold. From attempting to become a terrorist to being wrongly imprisoned under a draconian anti-terrorism law to becoming a criminal lawyer Shahid traces the inspiring personal journey of a boy who became an unlikely messiah for human rights while following the rise of communal violence in India.
You're invited to this fall's hotest party - the official CSAFF after-party!
DJ spins Retro and Current Bollywood Hits, House, & Top 40 all night. Bottle specials available. Dress in Desi and/or Western Attire for FREE ENTRY ALL NIGHT.
All Festival attendees get complimentary admission to the after party. Just present your festival ticket/pass at the door.
Synopsis: As a young girl, Fawzia Mirza fell under the spell of Bollywood heroines and their promise of love and feminine perfection. As an adult, she looks back and re-imagines the epic romance in the classic film Aradhana, in a queer light.
Director: Geeta Malik
Cast: Omi Vaidya, Geeta Malik, Reena Dutt
USA | 4mins | 2013 | World Premiere
Synopsis: A woman on trial for prostitution turns the tables on her accusers.
Director: Ravi s Alok
Cast: Adithi Kalkunte
India | 11mins | 2013 | US Premiere
Synopsis: An interesting story of an insurance agent and his inability to sell insurance policies. One night, his frustration lands him in the red light area of the city and under extreme awkwardness he ends up pitching an insurance policy to a prostitute in a brothel. What happens next?
3 Puffs of Gold
Director: Reena Dutt
Cast: Sunkrish Bala,Meena Serendib
USA | 6mins | 2013 | Chicago Premiere
Synopsis: A young woman is keeping a painful secret. Her silence is about to take on a magical voice of its own.
India | 31mins | 2013 | World Premiere
Synopsis: Horn Please is a documentary that encapsulates various aspects of an age-old folk art form of India, the Truck Art, an art form that makes journeys through the dusty highways of India, incredible in more ways than one. With a kaleidoscope of bright paints, motifs, typography and unique couplets, these Indian trucks take you on a rather colorful journey of diverse cultures and beliefs of the country.
This documentary focuses on the origin of truck art and how it influences not just the world of art, but also the lives of its artists and the truckers who interact with it on a daily basis. Largely, it investigates on whether the once-accepted art form will survive the test of time in this era of capitalism.
The Other Army
Director: Sana Haq
Pakistan | 27mins | 2013 | World Premiere
Synopsis: The Other Army is a documentary that seeks to understand the issues faced by Pakistan in its struggle against terrorism. It tributes the people who have sacrificed their lives in counter-terrorism efforts and provides a glimpse into the lives of their survivors. The film brings to light the Pakistanis who believe in the need to root out fanaticism, extremism, and to restore peace and stability to the world. Over 3,500 members of the Pakistani army have died in combat and 40,000 civilians have died as a consequence of terrorism and the war against it since 2001. The film counters the popular narrative in the American media that Pakistan is complicit in supporting terrorists.
Synopsis: The story of a prince who escapes his destiny, the prison of his mind. He lands on a fascist island and incites women to revolt. A psychedelic fantasy about destiny and humanity, social control and Utopian revolution.
Synopsis: A road-trip comedy centered on Farah Mahtab, a woman in her twenties who tries to lose her virginity while campaigning across America for presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004. Farah and her friends K.J. and Roopa follow the campaign trail across historic Route 66 on their way to Ohio, the central battleground state of 2004, seizing control of this charged moment in their lives and the life of their country.
Synopsis: Five irrepressible and naughty club members whose lives revolve around a tennis court of CLUB 60 inspire a couple under depression to come out of it and fall back in love with life again!
Synopsis: At a café a Pakistani man, Changez tells Bobby, an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica. But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez’s dream soon begins to slip into nightmare: he is transformed from a well-educated, upwardly mobile businessman to a scapegoat and perceived enemy.