Films – Montreal

FESTIVAL PASSPORT (Montreal) – VALID FOR ALL TEN DAYS

OCTOBER, 26 2018 | 6:30 pm

The Peanut Seller

Country(ies) origin: Germany, India
Language(s): Hindi
Subtitles: English & French
Time: 19 mins

Ticket for Peanut seller & Cake – $10

Orphaned young ragpicker SHAKEEL survives in the busy streets of New Delhi (India) by selling scrap newspapers. When a chance encounter leads him to briefly recognize MOHAN, a man from the train on which he once lost his mother, Shakeel engages the services of a local detective to determine Mohan’s whereabouts. But Shakeel’s limited financial resources and his isolated position in society reduce his chances of success.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Étienne Sievers

Born in Berlin, Etienne Sievers grew up predominantly in India. After deliberations about becoming a jazz drummer, he studied filmmaking in Berlin and Bristol, England with a DAAD scholarship. Etienne’s short film “Dilli Dreams” (2012) was nominated for awards at numerous international festivals and favorably reviewed by the press. It was broadcast on TV, VOD and was released in theatres across France. Etienne’s recent feature film screenplay “Tin Can Buffaloes” advanced to the top five percent of the 2015 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition and is currently in pre-production.

OCTOBER, 26 2018 | 6:30 pm

Cake

Country(ies) origin: UK, Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu, Sindhi
Subtitles: English & French
Time: 125 mins

Ticket for Peanut seller & Cake – $10

“Cake” a story about love, loss and passage of time. The story is something we all can relate to in some way. We have seen globalization, children moving away and the rivalry between siblings. It’s a story about love, loss and life and death – all the things that we are familiar with. It’s about two sisters, one of whom lives abroad and the other is left behind here. It showcases their conflicts in dealing with their relationships and parents.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Asim Abbasi

Having done his undergraduate degree in Economics at the LSE, Asim worked in finance / investment banking for nine years at Salomon Smith Barney / Citigroup, specialising in the media sector. He transitioned to the creative side in 2010, writing about the male gaze and Pakistani cinema at SOAS and making student shorts at the London Film Academy. In 2012, he started writing and directing his own short films. These have played at numerous festivals including the BAFTA-recognised Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Cannes Court Métrage, HollyShorts, Williamsburg Independent, NewFilmmakers NY, Jaipur FIlm Festival and Shortini Italy where “Whore” won the audience award for best short film.

In 2016, Asim formed Indus Talkies with the purpose of making feature length films that focus on Pakistan and diaspora themes and bring authentic stories to world cinema audiences. “Cake” is his first feature as writer/director under the banner.

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 2:30 pm

He’s ISIS

Country(ies) origin: Australia
Language(s): English
Subtitles: None
Time: 7 mins

Ticket for He’s ISIS, Purdah & Déchirements (Torn Apart) – $10

Based on a true-ish story, it’s Omar’s first day playing a terrorist when an actual ISIS terrorist takes over the film set, leaving Omar to save the crew. If only they could tell him apart from the actual terrorist.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Mansoor Noor

Since travelling to New York International Film Festival with his graduate film Origami he has written, produced and directed a number of independent productions including Damaged (Winner Best Director – Bare Bones) and mockumentary Don’t Panic! I’m Islamic. In 2013 he co-produced indie feature 500 Miles (Winner Best Narrative Cincinnati Film Festival – released on DVD/VOD). He is currently in the midst of writing and starring in his own series titled ‘Mustafa Needs a Wife’.

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 2:30 pm

Purdah

Country(ies) origin: U.S.A.
Language(s): Hindi
Subtitles: English
Time: 71 mins

Ticket for He’s ISIS, Purdah & Déchirements (Torn Apart) – $10

The inspiring story of a young Indian woman who trades her burka for dreams of playing on the Mumbai Senior Women’s Cricket Team and how the harsh realities for women in her country creates an unexpected outcome for her own family, ultimately shattering and fueling aspirations.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Jeremy Guy

Jeremy Guy is an award winning director and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. His work spans a wide variety of formats including narrative feature films, major television shows, and independent documentaries. As a filmmaker, Jeremy has sought out films that push boundaries with challenging stories and that take risks with new visual styles. Many of these projects have played at prestigious film festivals including the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and countless others around the world. Several of these films have won major awards, such as the feature documentary he recently shot, Beyond All Boundaries, which won six Best Film awards and, after its theatrical run, can now be seen on television around the world. Other award winning projects that he has shot or directed include Weak Species, that won four Best Film awards, Greatest Hits, winner of the 2Change Films filmmaking competition, and Perspectives, that the Santa Barbara Independent called “one of the best in the entire Santa Barbara International Film Festival.”

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 2:30 pm

Déchirements (Torn Apart)

Country(ies) origin: Canada
Language(s): French
Subtitles: English
Time: 58 mins

Ticket for He’s ISIS, Purdah & Déchirements (Torn Apart) – $10

What does one do at fourteen, fifteen years old when family members start pressuring in order to accept an arranged marriage? Can one refuse? What are the consequences? Is there a risk of life? Forced marriages do exist in Quebec and teenagers often are the victims. Hopefully, trained personnel can more adequately give help to those in need.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Raymonde Provencher

Raymonde Provencher holds a degree in political science and has been working in the international news sector for over thirty years. In 1983, she was part of the small group that created the program Nord-Sud for Télé-Québec. The program had a significant impact due to its relevance and world view. In 1995, she teamed up with her colleagues Patricio Henriquez and Robert Cornellier to found Macumba International, a private production company that afforded her the opportunity to work concurrently as a director and producer. In addition to the series eXtremis and the film WAR BABIES (2002), which both won several Gémeaux awards, her credits include BLUE HELMETS: PEACE AND DISHONOUR (2007), A SENSELESS DEATH (2008) and GRACE, LUCY, MILLIE: CHILD SOLDIERS, her latest documentary, co-produced with the NFB. (1/11)

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 6:30 pm

Dant (Teeth)

Country(ies) origin: Bangladesh
Language(s): Bengali
Subtitles: English
Time: 7 mins

Ticket for Dant (Teeth), Just a cup of tea & Nude – $10

A street child longs for good food. A medical student wants to pass her practical exam at any cost. They come across each other.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury

Born in 1982, in an orthodox Muslim family of Bangladesh. In his childhood watching a movie or even television was a guilty pleasure. As a journalist, he covered the Cannes film festival for two years. Attended a master class by legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren. Featuring in Best of 67th (2014) ‘Cannes’ film festival video has been his best experience yet. He has written a good number of successful drama series and television movies in Bangladesh. Worked as one of the assistant writers of the national award winning film ‘Chorabali (2012)’. Iqbal also worked as the writer and script consultant for BBC world service trust (BBC media in action) in Bangladesh. Worked as the chief script writer of the Bangladeshi version of the reality show “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. He achieved a masters degree from the University of Dhaka in Mass communication and journalism in 2006. Dant (Teeth) is his first true effort as a filmmaker. Apart from Quentin Tarantino Korean filmmaker Kim Ki Duk is Iqbal’s one of the biggest inspirations.

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 6:30 pm

Just a cup of tea

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: French, English
Time: 15 mins

Ticket for Dant (Teeth), Just a cup of tea & Nude – $10

Tea is that one thing everyone loves to have but can it be so special for someone that he can wait for just that special cup for years. A narrative journey of Ghulam Raees (Rashid Farooqi) who takes us back in time where he used to work at the tea store of Ahmedeen (Qazi Wajid) and they both used to enjoy tea together. Who made that special tea, why was it so special to both the characters is the story that unfolds with beautiful visuals and engaging music of Bas Ek Piyali Chai.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Muhammad Belaal Imran

Born in 1990, Muhammad Belaal Imran is a graduate of film studies from Iqra University Karachi.
Completing his studies in 2017 and making his mark in the industry came side by side with the award winning travel film Arz-e-Pakistan which brought him credit as a cinematographer on international level for Pakistan from various countries like Turkey, Germany, Spain and India being the top ones crediting the master piece. Having a dream to shoot and produce content for a family oriented audience inspired him to write for his own projects that are ready to make a mark in film festivals. Nanu or Main ( Grandfather and me) and Bas Ek Piyali Chai (Just a cup of tea) are the most recent works that Belaal has written himself. Being a filmmaker and visually inspired person he decided to shoot and write a short film “Nanu or Main” directed by Ali Sohail Jaura who believes that he did justice to his vision. Family Films being the production house he started with his friends is doing great as a company which produced all the great work Belaal has done with his amazing team. “We all have our talents and skills its just the perfect amount of polish we need to apply for making them shine” says Belaal.

OCTOBER, 27 2018 | 6:30 pm

Nude

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Marathi
Subtitles: English and French
Time: 110 mins

Ticket for Dant (Teeth), Just a cup of tea & Nude – $10

NUDE is the story of a poor woman who comes to Mumbai with her son to escape an abusive, adulterous husband in her hometown. After struggling to find work in the big city, Yamuna lands a job as a nude model for art students at the prestigious Sir J J School of Art. The film is based on a true story but the identities of the actual individuals involved have been kept secret, as a written statement from Jadhav on screen testifies at the start, “in keeping with our commitment to the school’s protocol and related sensitivities”.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Ravi Jadhav

Ravi Jadhav is an Indian film personality. He studied in Sir J.J Institute of Applied art and won the 2009 National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi. Some of his other films are Balak Palak, produced by Ritesh Deshmukh and Balgandharva, which won three national awards at the 59th National Film Awards. The Landscape (duration 2.3 minutes) an animation film directed by him for Film Division, won the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Animation Film at the 48th National Film Awards. He directed Tomorrow’s Decided, a music video for Pentagram, an electro-rock band based in Mumbai. He wrote lyrics for Saazani, a Marathi single sung by Shekhar Ravjiani and directed its music video.

OCTOBER, 28 2018 | 2:30 pm

SILENCED VOICES:

Perween Rahman_The Rebel Optimist

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: English
Time: 67 mins

Ticket for Perween Rahman & Salam – The First – $10

An architect and urban planner, Perween Rahman dedicated her life for the poor of Pakistan. She was shot dead by armed assailants on her way home in March 2013. When she joined the Karachi based Orangi Pilot Project, founded by Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, Orangi’s lanes were full of filth and choking gutters. Back in the early 80s, the people of Orangi, most of them migrants from India and Bangladesh, were taking their own steps to improve sanitation. Dr. Khan assigned Perween the task of developing a low cost sanitation model for Orangi. Perween’s pioneering work in Orangi led her on a collision course with the various mafias in the city. She surveyed the water supply to Karachi and pinpointed locations from where water is being stolen from the bulk supply lines. She mapped and documented Karachi’s informal settlements to provide the poor security against land grabbers. Perween had an alternate vision for the development of Karachi. “Development doesn’t come from concrete. Development is not five star hotels and mega road projects. What we need is human development.”.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Mahera Omar

Mahera Omar explores social, urban and environmental issues in Pakistan through her documentary filmmaking; such as the development of Karachi, education projects in Hunza and Shigar, and adventure travel filming. Her documentary “Sea Turtles” produced for Geo Television won the 22nd Genesis Award in the Brigitte Bardot International Category. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and veterinarians are the super heroes in her book.

OCTOBER, 28 2018 | 2:30 pm

Salam – The First ****** Nobel Laureate

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): English
Subtitles: None
Time: 75 mins

Ticket for Perween Rahman & Salam – The First – $10

‘Salam’ is the definitive story of Abdus Salam, the first Pakistani to win the Nobel prize. The film captures in vivid detail his life’s journey—from a small village in Pakistan to worldwide scientific acclaim—and his fraught relationship with his homeland, where he faced rejection for being a member of the “heretical” Ahmadiyya movement.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Omar Vandal, Zakir Thaver, Anand Kamalakar

Producer Omar Vandal received his Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis studying tuberculosis at the Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York City, and now lives in Seattle.

Producer Zaker Thaver is a Science/Education Media Producer. After majoring in physics from the College of Wooster, Zakir worked as a Consultant for Granada America in New York. He produced a UNESCO funded science TV series in Pakistan, and has worked in curriculum development as well as distance learning via TV at the Aga Khan University.

Director Anand Kamalakar is a Brooklyn based film director, producer and editor. Heart of Stone, a film he produced and edited, won over ten awards including Best Film at Slamdance Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival and Cinequest Film Festival. It also won an award for Best Editing at the Santa Fe Film Festival. Anand has worked as an editor for Primetime (ABC), Dateline (NBC) and 20/20 (ABC) and was the editor of the 2004 Emmy nominated ABC special on the Iraq war titled Brothers in Arms. Anand was also a creative consultant on the academy award-winning documentary Born Into Brothels. His last project Holy (un)Holy River premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and has won several awards around the world.

OCTOBER, 28 2018 | 6:30 pm

Twinkle – Power to change

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: English
Time: 8 mins

Ticket for Twinkle – Power to change, The Eldest Son & Afghan Cycles – $10

The first ever woman weightlifter from Pakistan to have won a gold medal internationally. Twinkle belongs to the minority Christians of Pakistan and her story is a story of change from one of the most sidelined, marginalised communities. Her success changed views about minorities and also opened up new opportunities for women in general by breaking the conservative traditions of the land.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Aftab Abbasi

Aftab graduated from National College Of Arts Lahore Pakistan(NCA) In 2005-09 in the pioneering department of film making. Worked for various top of the line news channels and production houses in a decade of field experience. All the while honing my skills and expertise by constant experimentation. From technical knowhow and hands on skill to the play of style and treatment ,experience has taught me how to mold narratives for maximum impact for any story.

OCTOBER, 28 2018 | 6:30 pm

The Eldest Son

Country(ies) origin: USA, Nepal
Language(s): Nepali
Subtitles: English
Time: 28 mins

Ticket for Twinkle – Power to change, The Eldest Son & Afghan Cycles – $10

The Eldest Son is a 30 minute documentary about Kumar Darnal, a young Nepali man who leaves his wife and two small children to become a migrant laborer in Malaysia with the dream of ending his family’s cycle of poverty. Will the risk pay off? The Eldest Son asks what is the emotional cost of migrant labor.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Amy Benson

Amy and her husband, Scott Squire, make films together. Their first feature documentary, Drawing the Tiger, was a granted project of the Sundance Institute and Fork Films. It premiered at Hot Docs in April 2015 and has since screened in over 40 film festivals worldwide. Drawing the Tiger’s accolades include the UNICEF award from Film South Asia in Kathmandu and the Documentary Award from the Center for Asian American Media. 

OCTOBER, 28 2018 | 6:30 pm

Afghan Cycles

Country(ies) origin: USA, Afghanistan
Language(s): Dari
Subtitles: English
Time: 89 mins

Ticket for Twinkle – Power to change, The Eldest Son & Afghan Cycles – $10

Afghan Cycles follows members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul, and young riders in the Bamiyan region who are mountain bikes to commute to school and run errands. For all of them, the bicycle is a symbol of freedom. But sometimes, the danger and obstacles can prove too much, as we learn when one of the main characters flees to France to secure a better situation and future for herself and her family.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Sarah Menzies

Sarah Menzies has been a freelance videographer and filmmaker since 2010, and she founded the production company Let Media in 2012. Her short documentary films, including The Mirnavator (Director/Editor, 2017), A Steelhead Quest (Director/Editor, 2017), and Catch It (Director/Producer, 2014) have screened at festivals such as Mountainfilm in Telluride, CO, Banff Mountain Film Festival, Port Townsend Film Festival, Wild and Scenic Film Festival and many others. Her work has allowed her to venture into wild spaces to bring back amazing stories of strength, courage, and passion that highlight our common humanity. Seeking personal character-driven stories, Sarah’s films showcase the good that exists in the world, illustrating to audiences that everyone is capable of creating positive change. Menzies made her feature length documentary directorial debut at the 2018 Hot Docs Film Festival with Afghan Cycles.

NOVEMBER, 2 2018 | 6:30 pm

The Unknown Mountaineers

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: English
Time: 45 mins

Ticket for Unknown Mountaineer & Armed with Faith – $10

The film is about a group of women climbers living in a remote valley in the Karakoram mountain ranges in northern Pakistan. It shows the women go on climbing expeditions on mountains surrounding their pastures and also shows their way of life in the village. The film follows the journey of one girl, Hameeda Bibi, who couldn’t continue her schooling past 6th grade because of problems at home and started training at the local mountaineering school. High-altitude porters and guides who work with foreign expeditions set up this school. Hameeda and her friends learn technical climbing, shots of which are shown in the documentary and then go on a few climbs with the documentary crew.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Shehrbano Saiyid

Shehrbano Saiyid is a documentary film-maker and amateur mountain climber from Pakistan with a degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in the city of New York. She has had a passion for story-telling and the mountains from a very early age and climbed her first mountain at the age of nine. Saiyid worked as a news reporter for a local television news channel based in Karachi and started work on this documentary as a passion project. While filming she lived with the community in remote areas for five months climbing and filming her documentary and recording local folk music in different valleys around the area. This is Saiyid’s first documentary. She did most of the filming, the directing and most of the post-production herself. She is based in Karachi and works from her home studio. Though she has a passion for documentary making Saiyid is also eager to produce, write and direct feature narrative films as an art form.

NOVEMBER, 2 2018 | 6:30 pm

Armed with Faith

Country(ies) origin: USA, Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu, Punjabi
Subtitles: English
Time: 74 mins

Ticket for Unknown Mountaineer & Armed with Faith – $10

Armed With Faith follows the men of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bomb Disposal Unit (KPK BDU) to the front lines of the war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. The lawless province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — considered the gateway for terrorists from neighboring Afghanistan — is the backdrop of our film. The battle for control of this porous border area remains critical to the stability of Pakistan and global security. Should Pakistan, a nuclear power, fall into the hands of terrorists, the entire world is at risk. We witness firsthand the dangerous struggle undertaken by the men of the KPK BDU to protect their country against the Taliban threat in the land they both call home.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Asad Faruqi and Geeta Gandbhir

Director/Producer/Cinematographer Asad Faruqi is an Emmy Award nominated cinematographer, photographer and filmmaker. Over the past six years he has shot a number of award-winning films, including 2016’s Academy Award winning film, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” and 2012’s Academy and Emmy Award winning film, “Saving Face.” Other notable works include Emmy and Alfred I Dupont Award winning, “Pakistan’s Taliban Generation,” “Song of Lahore,” “Peacekeepers: A Journey of a Thousand Miles,” and “Transgenders: Pakistan’s Open Secret.” Asad’s work has been featured on HBO, The New York Times, PBS, Channel 4, CBC, SBS, and Arte. This is his first time directing a feature film. Director/Producer Geeta Gandbhir has been nominated for three Emmy Awards and won two. As editor, her films have been nominated twice for the Academy Award, winning once, and have also won four Peabody Awards. Most recently, she co-directed the feature documentary “I Am Evidence” for HBO and a short film, “Love the Sinner.” Both films premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Her feature documentary, “Prison Dogs,” which she co-directed with Perri Peltz, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, and a feature documentary she directed with Academy Award winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, “A Journey of A Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers,” premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and will be broadcast on PBS in 2018. She is also currently co-directing and co-producing a “Conversation on Race” series with The New York Times Op-Docs, which won an Online Journalism Award for Online Commentary, an AFI Documentary Film Festival Audience Award for Best Short, and garnered a MacArthur Grant. She also co-directed and edited the film, “Remembering the Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr.,” with Perri Peltz for HBO which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 2:30 pm

Diaspora Panel:

The diaspora panel is a distinct feature of the South Asian Film Festival of Montreal. Like last year, SAFFM will have all the filmmakers in attendance. Please see below for the details of their films. The  panel will be moderated by a local diaspora filmmaker Ameesha Joshi (of With this Ring fame). For the evening session, SAFFM will screen Ask the Sexpert and the filmmaker Vaishali Sinha (based in New York) will be on Skype to talk to the Montreal audience about her work.

Ticket for Diaspora Panel, 3 second divorce, Surviving Surveillance, Goddess & Priya – $10

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 2:30 pm

3 Seconds Divorce

Country(ies) origin: Canada, India
Language(s): Urdu, English
Subtitles: English
Time: 54 mins

Ticket for Diaspora Panel, 3 second divorce, Surviving Surveillance, Goddess & Priya – $10

‘3 Seconds Divorce’ tells Lubna’s story as she reels under the effects of triple-divorce and finds her way into Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an Indian muslim women’s group fighting for reforms to Muslim family law with focus on ban on triple-divorce. However, Muslim faith leaders are adamant and accuse the muslim women of pandering to the agenda of Hindu right. Under resourced and out-numbered, the women continue the struggle against all odds and celebrate small victories. The documentary follows Lubna and the members of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan in this bitter-sweet journey.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Shazia Javed

Shazia Javed is an award-winning filmmaker living in Mississauga. She has directed with the National Film Board and her work has screened at prestigious film-festivals such as Hot Docs, DOXA, Global Visions and Durban International. Shazia’s work centers on underrepresented perspectives from her own communities. Her past works include Namrata, Can you hear me?, and WeSayKnow.  Shazia has a M.A. in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia ; and a M.F.A in Film from York University. 3 Seconds Divorce, is her first long form documentary and it recently won the Audience Choice Award at Reelworld Film festival.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 2:30 pm

Surviving Surveillance

Country(ies) origin: USA
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: English
Time: 9 mins

Ticket for Diaspora Panel, 3 second divorce, Surviving Surveillance, Goddess & Priya – $10

Since 9/11, Muslims have been mapped, surveilled and entrapped by the NYPD. The damage to the families and the communities runs deep and is ever-lasting. Shahina Parveen’s story of persistence is admirable in these times of uncertainty for immigrants. The film short is part of a larger body of work supported by the Asian Women Giving Circle and Asian Americans Writers’ Workshop Open City Fellows. For a glimpse of Shahina making Biryani, watch: https://vimeo.com/208173555

Filmmaker’s Biography: Sarah Khan

Sarah K. Khan creates multimedia content on food, culture, and migration. She is working on three film projects: Migrant Kitchens, Women farmers, and the Cookbook of Gestures. She has worked and lived with Bedouins in Palestine, documented the plight of Indian women farmers, traversed the world of Queens NY, and filmed women and their foodways in Fez, Morocco. Along the way, she got some degrees in Middle Eastern history (BA), public health and nutrition (MPH, MS), and plant sciences (PhD).

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 2:30 pm

Goddess

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Bengali, Hindi, English
Subtitles: English
Time: 13 mins

Ticket for Diaspora Panel, 3 second divorce, Surviving Surveillance, Goddess & Priya – $10

Set in New Delhi, a closeted lesbian risks family and social boundaries as she pursues her attraction towards her household maid, Devi.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Karishma Dube

Karishma Dev Dube is an Indian filmmaker based in New York. She was introduced to film while working as a production assistant on several documentaries and independent features in Mumbai, including Sundance & TED fellow Shalini Kantayya’s documentary Chasing the Sun. A recipient of the Dean’s fellowship, Karishma is currently in post production for her third film as a MFA candidate at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. She intends to make films that challenge cultural assumptions, both about and within her country.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 2:30 pm

Priya

Country(ies) origin: Canada
Language(s): English
Subtitles: None
Time: 11 mins

Ticket for Diaspora Panel, 3 second divorce, Surviving Surveillance, Goddess & Priya – $10

Priya, a timid high school graduate, struggles to find balance between appeasing her conservative Indian mother and preventing her secret relationship with Ashley from falling apart.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Daniela Pinto, Kyle Smith

Daniela Pinto is a filmmaker based in Toronto, Ontario. Her short documentary “Us = Them” was a finalist in the TVO Short Doc Contest in 2017, and recently aired on CBC’s Absolutely Toronto series. She works as a freelance sound editor, mixer, and composer, but often feels compelled to tell stories about issues that are important to her, such as LGBTQ identity and its intersection with both gender and culture. She is a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Film and Television program, where she wrote and directed “Priya” (alongside her friend Kyle Smith) as her final year thesis project. Being a film of deep personal significance to her, she is looking forward to finally sharing it with a wider audience.”

Kyle Smith is a screenwriter and producer, as well as a supporter of diversity within film. As a longtime friend and collaborator of Daniela’s, he wanted to be able to help her convey a positive portrayal of a queer woman of colour and her journey of growth. He hopes that Priya will help show that there are many people’s stories still waiting to be told through film.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 6:30 pm

Threads of Shame

Country(ies) origin: Pakistan
Language(s): Urdu
Subtitles: English
Time: 5 mins

Ticket for Threads of shame, Sisak & Ask the sexpert – $10

A helpless woman, whose husband was a watchman in a factory is bedridden after being attacked by looters. She resorts to being sexually used by her husband’s supervisor at the factory. Her husband was rewarded an amount which he never received, which is why she comes to see the supervisor. After this encounter, the supervisor goes back to find a surprise waiting for him at home.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Dostain Baloch

Dostain Baloch is a film director, producer and screenwriter. Originally from the Sistan & Baluchestan province in Iran. He lives in Karachi, Pakistan. Since graduating from IDSP film school in 2014, he has written, produced and directed 3 short films.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 6:30 pm

Sisak

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Silent
Subtitles: English
Time: 15 mins

Ticket for Threads of shame, Sisak & Ask the sexpert – $10

There’s much talk about the language of love — the beauty, the poesy, the intricacy and the eloquence. But what if the real romance rested between the lines, in pages and moments that pass you by? And what if you learned one day that you could read it all? Soak in the joy, taste the eloquence, breathe in the intricacies and feel the poesy reverberating in the air. But what if you could only sense, only feel and yet do nothing else? A first-of-its-kind silent LGBTQ film in India, Sisak makes waves before the visuals of this short hit the shore. Set in the fast-paced environs of the usually bustling Mumbai local train system, it details a romance that develops slowly and intoxicatingly, nestled in the silences and quiet comforts of the end-of-day train journeys.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Faraz Arif Ansari

Faraz Arif Ansari started his film career as a co-writer with Mr. Amole Gupte (Writer & Creative Director of ‘Taare Zameen Par’ or ‘Stars on Earth’) Faraz was the Associate Director, Casting Director & Executive Producer on Fox Star’s ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’, released in May, 2011. He directed & choreographed a two hours concert with 500 children of Besant Montessori, Juhu which was used as the climax song of ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’ Faraz has been the Associate Director on many TVCs directed by Amole Gupte for major brans like Nestle Cadbury’s, etc.

NOVEMBER, 3 2018 | 6:30 pm

Ask the Sexpert

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Hindi, English
Subtitles: English
Time: 81 mins

Ticket for Threads of shame, Sisak & Ask the sexpert – $10

Ask the Sexpert is the story of a highly popular 93-year-old sex advice columnist for a daily newspaper in India. Despite sex being a taboo topic in that country, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humor has emboldened many to write in with their questions, the vast majority of whom seek basic information. The columnist gains popularity even while a ban on comprehensive sex education in schools is adopted by approximately a third of India’s states.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Vaishali Sinha

Vaishali Sinha is an award-winning filmmaker currently based in New York and originally from India. She is the director/producer of the recently released feature documentary ASK THE SEXPERT about a 93-year-old sex advice columnist in India who gains popularity despite the ban on sex education in schools in several states in India. The film premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival 2017, won the jury award for Best Documentary at the New Orleans Film Festival, received a nomination for a Grierson Award in 2018 and the Critics Choice Award for “Best Documentary” in India in 2018. ASK THE SEXPERT has traveled to over 40 prestigious film festivals globally and was invited to IDFA Amsterdam as “Best of Fests”. The film is available on Netflix India as a top pick, and premiered on PBS in the US in 2018. The film will have a theatrical release in India in 2019.

NOVEMBER, 4 2018 | 2:30 pm

The Gray Line

Country(ies) origin: Bangladesh
Language(s): Bengali
Subtitles: English
Time: 18 mins

Ticket for The Gray Line & Her. Him. The other – $10

In this film the Director and script writer presented the story based on Bangladesh perspective after partition to till now, where she describes the inter relationship, tension and communal harmony among Hindus & Muslims. In the film two children comes from a Hindu and a Muslim family shows us the path of communal harmony through their innocence.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Saki Farzana

Saki farzana has born in Bangladesh at 14 April, 1983. She studied honors in Theater and Masters in acting from University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. In 2006, she had completed a course on TV production making from NIMC (National Institute of mass communication). Now she is studding M.Phil. on film in University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. She is working as freelance actor & director in Film,TV, Radio and Theater. “Chelemanushi (The Gray Line)” is her first directed film as an independent filmmaker.

NOVEMBER, 4 2018 | 2:30 pm

Her. Him. The Other

Country(ies) origin: Sri Lanka
Language(s): Tamil, Sinhalese
Subtitles: English
Time: 114 mins

Ticket for The Gray Line & Her. Him. The other – $10

Three Sri Lankan filmmakers renowned for their internationally acclaimed films based on the Sri Lankan civil war, join in to make one film to express their views on post-war reality. The war between Tamil militants and government forces of Sri Lanka lasted for three decades. Thousands from both parties, combatants and civilians died due to the battle. The government forces crushed Tamil militants in May 2009. It’s time to assess each other’s conscience. He (an ex-militant videographer for the LTTE) travels from the North in search of HER (a young widow of a government army soldier) in the South to find relief from the pain that disturbed his conscience. Having been raised in a religion that has faith in reincarnation, he (a Sinhala language teacher) tries to deceive his own conscience by refusing to believe the re-birth of a Tamil militant into a Sinhala family witnessed by HIM with his own eyes. One’s hero is THE OTHER’s traitor. But a mother will lose a son in a war. How many wars must a man live through before he feels the suffering of THE OTHER?

Filmmaker’s Biography: Prasanna Vithanage, Vimukthi Jayasundara & Asoka Handagama

Coming soon

NOVEMBER, 4 2018 | 6:30 pm

Tungrus

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Hindi
Subtitles: French and English
Time: 13 mins

Ticket for Tungrus & Pahuna – $10

Tungrus is a short documentary that observes a week in the peculiar lives of a middle-class household in Mumbai, which turns topsy-turvy when the eccentric patriarch brings home a baby chick for his cats to play with.What follows is an alternatingly absurd, nerve-jangling and heart-warming set of accounts about the latest addition, from each member of the family. The once adorable chick has survived his early days and grown into a tyrant, willful bird – forever taking up too much of their space and generally making life in the apartment unlivable. The film follows the thoughts of each person to their inevitable conclusion – the rooster’s got to go. And as his fate hangs in the balance, the family debates the question that lingers in the air: should he be given the gift of life, or served for dinner?

Filmmaker’s Biography: Rishi Chandna

Coming soon

NOVEMBER, 4 2018 | 6:30 pm

Pahuna

Country(ies) origin: India
Language(s): Nepalese
Subtitles: French, English
Time: 88 mins

Ticket for Tungrus & Pahuna – $10

Pahuna is the story of 3 children facing extraordinary circumstances. The emotion transcends barriers of language and geography.

Filmmaker’s Biography: Paakhi A. Tyrewala

Paakhi A Tyrewala is a writer turned director from the Indian Film Industry. Having started her career in films as a child artist at a young age of two and a half years age, deep in heart she knew she belonged to the cinema. She has been through a long and interesting journey of exploring various departments in the industry while being behind as well as in front of the camera. Her first shot at direction was a song she directed in ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. Recently, she has been in the news for the success of her directorial short ‘Kajal’ – a film about Women’s right to be. The film had its world premiere at the New York Indian Film Festival and later had an Indian premiere in Mumbai. Kajal won the ‘Best Film’ & the ‘Best Music’ award at Feedback Female Film Festival held in Canada, it also won the ‘Best Actress’ award at the Banglore Shorts Film Festival.