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Friday, September 20


Much Ado About Knotting

Director: Geetika Narang AbbasiAnandana Kapur

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?


Friday September 20, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Thanha Rathi Ranga

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

Friday September 20, 2013 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Opening Night - Red Carpet
The celebrities, filmmakers, artists, and industry leaders walk the red carpet at the 3rd Annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival! Come check out the glitz and glamor!

Friday September 20, 2013 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago


Opening Night Film - Oass

Director: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari

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.

Friday September 20, 2013 7:15pm - 9:30pm
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago


Opening Night Reception

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.

Friday September 20, 2013 10:00pm - 1:00am
Gallery Bar 738 N Clark St, Chicago
Saturday, September 21


Shorts Session 1 - Bansuli, ...Or Die, Breakdown, Free Ka Refill, Nightlife


DirectorMin Bahadur Bham

CastGhanashyam GiriNaresh Bhandari
Nepal | 15mins | 2013 | US Premiere

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.

...Or Die

DirectorGregory BonsignoreJohn Petaja
CastParvesh CheenaRizwan ManjiGuru Singh
USA | 14mins | 2012 | Chicago Premiere


Synopsis: Three actors are excited to make an internet video, until they learn just what that video entails.


DirectorBrayden Yoder
CastRob TepperDhanendra Kawde
India | 25mins | 2013| World Premiere

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.


Free Ka Refill

Harsshil R Patel
CastKunal DhruvAbhishek PatelArun Naidu
India | 15mins| 2013 | World Premiere

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.

Saturday September 21, 2013 11:30am - 1:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Chor Chor Super Chor

DirectorRajesh. K.

Cast:  Deepak DobriyalPriya Bhatija
India | 97mins | 2012 | US Premiere

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.

Saturday September 21, 2013 1:15pm - 3:15pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Pied Piper

DirectorVivek Budakoti
CastRajpal YadavVikram Kochhar
USA | 113mins | 2013 | World Premiere


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.

Saturday September 21, 2013 3:30pm - 5:45pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Touring Talkies

DirectorGajendra Ahire
CastSubodh BhaveTrupti Bhoir
India | 77mins | 2013 | World Premiere

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.


Saturday September 21, 2013 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago



DirectorHansal Mehta
Cast:  Raj Kumar YadavPrabhleen Sandhu
India | 123mins | 2012 | Chicago Premiere


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.


Saturday September 21, 2013 8:30pm - 11:00pm
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago


After Party

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.

Saturday September 21, 2013 11:00pm - 2:00am
Castle - Sanctuary 632 N. Dearborn St, Chicago
Sunday, September 22


Shorts Session 2 - The Queen of my Dreams, Shameless, 3 Puffs of Gold, Khuli Khidki
Queen of My Dreams

DirectorRyan LoganFawzia Mirza
Cast:  Mouzam MakkarFawzia Mirza
USA | 3mins | 2011

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.

Khuli Khidki

DirectorRavi 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.

Sunday September 22, 2013 11:30am - 12:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Horn Please / Other Army

Horn Please
 Shantanu SumanIstling Mirche

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
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.

Sunday September 22, 2013 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Tasher Desh

DirectorQaushiq Mukherjee
Cast:  Anubrata BasuRituparna Sen
India | 112mins | 2013 | Chicago Premiere


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.

Sunday September 22, 2013 1:45pm - 3:45pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Farah Goes Bang

DirectorMeera Menon
CastNikohl BoosheriKiran DeolKandis Erickson
USA | 90mins | 2013 | Chicago Premiere


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.

Sunday September 22, 2013 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


Club 60

DirectorSanjay Tripathy
CastFarooq ShaikhSarikaSatish Shah
India | 130mins | 2013 | World Premiere

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!

Sunday September 22, 2013 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Film Row Cinema at Columbia College Chicago 1104 S Wabash Ave, Chicago


The Reluctant Fundamentalist

DirectorMira Nair
CastRiz AhmedKate HudsonLiev Schreiber
India | English | 128mins | 2012


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.

Sunday September 22, 2013 8:30pm - 11:00pm
Showplace Icon Theater 150 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago