Twenty four shorts, documentaries and feature films will premiere at the first-ever New York City South Asian Film Festival (SAFF), presented by Toyota, between Friday, November 15 and Sunday, November 17, 2019, at various locations around Manhattan.
The festival boasts four world premieres, three North American premieres and 17 New York City premieres, according to a press release.
Timely and relevant themes such as immigration, surrogacy, police brutality and the aftermath of HIV/AIDS will be explored; under-represented communities such as transgenders, deaf and hard-of-hearing and outcasts will be acknowledged.
“Our programming team has worked incredibly hard to strike the right balance and showcase the most current, ground-breaking, topical independent cinema from various parts of South Asia at our inaugural festival,” said Jitin Hingorani, Founder and Festival Director, in a statement. “We have focused our efforts on really engaging the millennials (Generation Z), as they are the future filmmakers, cinephiles, producers and investors, who will, ultimately, support film festivals like ours; so, it is our inherent responsibility to educate them about world-class cinema that is beyond Bollywood.”
The opening night will see the World Premiere of Rohit Batra’s ‘Line of Descent.’
Batra’s directorial debut explores a dysfunctional mafia family in Dehli, as three brothers fight for control of their father’s legacy. When a mysterious American arms dealer (Brendan Fraser) becomes embroiled in the family’s internal war, a respected veteran cop (Indian actor Abhay Deol, in attendance) investigating the family tries to stop their tragic downfall. Watch the trailer HERE.
The Centerpiece of the festival is Gitanjali Rao’s ‘Bombay Rose.’
Amidst the struggle of survival in a big city, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. Love between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. Love between two women. Love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Painted frame by frame, the depiction of urban reality has a documentary style, whereas the intricate dream worlds are inspired from the rich and varied folk art styles of India.
The Closing Night feature of SAFF will be Tannishtha Chatterjee’s Roam Rome Mein’.
Raj (played by Nawazuddin Siddique) goes to Rome in search of his missing sister. In his search he meets some magical characters who take him through his own journey of self realization. Does he find his sister in the end? This is actor Chatterjee’s directorial debut.