South Asian Film Festival In Florida features premieres, avant-garde productions

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A still from the film, The Last Color, directed by Vikas Khanna, showing during the 25th South Asian Film Festival at Enzian theater in Orlando, Florida. (Photo via Enzian)

The non-profit theater company Enzian in Central Florida, along with the Asian Cultural Association is presenting “Beyond Bollywood: The 25th Annual South Asian Film Festival” Oct. 12-14, with a slate of 9 ritically acclaimed films.

The selection showcases diverse images of the Indian subcontinent, its culture, and heritage through acclaimed independent films from across the globe, note organizers.

“We are extremely proud to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of this important event on the Central Florida cultural calendar,” Matthew Curtis, Enzian programming director, and Jasbir Mehta, executive director of the Asian Cultural Association, are quoted saying in the press release.

Of the nine films being screened, one is a U.S. premiere, another is a Southeast Premiere, and three are Florida Premieres.

“It’s also looking like we will have more filmmakers and talent in attendance than ever before, which is exciting for our audience,” Curtis and Mehta said,

Audiences will be able to enjoy a South Asian-inspired menu offered throughout the festival.

Among the movies being screened are

THE LAST COLOR Saturday, October 12th at 11AM, a Florida premiere, tells the story of a fearless nine-year-old orphan, Chhoti, who dreams of saving Rs. 300 ($4) so she can attend school. Chhoti and her best friend Chintu, experience  the daily struggles for survival on the streets of Banaras where Chhoti befriends Noor, a widow who lives a life of total abstinence and is disallowed from taking part in any festivities, especially Holi. A story of promises kept and promises broken, a friendship that knows no bounds, and the freedom and victory of the human spirit. India, 2019, 90 min, Directed by Vikas Khanna.

AMERICAN HASI Saturday, October 12th at 1:45PM. Florida Premiere!

After losing his day job, Indian-American comedian Tushar Singh decides to pursue stand-up comedy full-time. With his mom in tow, he maps out a five-week tour of India, taking part in the country’s flourishing stand-up scene and drawing on his unique perspective as the son of conservative Hindu parents in Huntsville, Alabama. Interacting with foreign audiences for the very first time, Singh also gets life-changing advice from established pros like Russell Peters and Bill Burr. Winner of the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival Award of Excellence, AMERICAN HASI is a funny yet emotional portrait of a comedian at the (often awkward) crossroads of his life and career. India/USA, 2019, 75 min, Directed by Laura Asherman.

CHHOTA CINEMA: NEW INDIAN SHORTS 2019 Sunday, October 13th at 11AM

This is an amalgam of 5 outstanding films from across the globe. The program includes A SARI FOR PALLAVI, the U.S. Premiere of ROOTHING FOR ROONA, DIFFICULT PEOPLE, THE FIELD, and LADY BIKERS OF KOLKATA.

THE SWEET REQUIEM Sunday, October 13th at 2:15PM Florida Premiere!

This is a new work from directors Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam (Dreaming Lhasa) and relates a tale of tragedy, retribution, and courage. Shifting between a present-day struggle to overcome trauma and flashbacks to a harrowing trek through the Himalayas, Dolkar is a 26-year-old living in exile in Delhi has an unexpected encounter with a figure from her past setting off a flurry of memories she had long repressed regarding the journey that brought her here. India/USA, 2018, 92 min, Directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam,

THE WEDDING GUEST Monday, October 14th at 7PM This “propulsive, globetrotting thriller” from director Michael Winterbottom (The Trip trilogy, Welcome to Sarajevo) is a breathless tour through the shadowy underworlds and hidden realms of Pakistan and India. Jay (Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel) is a man with a secret who travels from Britain to Pakistan to attend a wedding— armed with duct tape, a shotgun, and a plan to kidnap the bride-to-be (Radhika Apte). Pulsating with the sights and sounds of the Indian subcontinent, THE WEDDING GUEST conjures a colorful world where danger lurks at every turn and nothing is as it seems. UK, 2018, 94 min, Directed by Michael Winterbottom,

Enzian, a member-supported organization founded 34 years ago, is Central Florida’s only full-time, not-for-profit cinema for first-run independent and international film, classic revivals, documentary features, and select family entertainment.

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