Tag Archives: Abhinav Shiv Tiwari

Notes from the CSAFF Press Brunch

Last month’s Chicago South Asian Film Festival featured a press brunch for the attending filmmakers and members of the media. It offered a great opportunity to speak with filmmakers and hear them describe their projects in their own words. Here are some of the highlights:

Producer-actor Trupti Bhoir explained how her own experiences led her to create the Marathi film Touring Talkies, a movie about a female operator of a mobile movie truck (the kind depicted in the great Hindi film Road, Movie). At the start of her career as an independent filmmaker, Bhoir herself toured villages with a mobile movie theater to showcase her projects. In order to boost slow ticket sales, Bhoir would don her tightest sari and put on some bright red lipstick. She broke down in tears as she described standing in front of a tent full of men to present her film, only to realize that the audience wasn’t there for the movie: “There were there to see me.”

Touring Talkies — which reviewer Keyur Seta recommends — can be seen at the La Femme Film Festival in L.A. on October 17.

Director Sanjay Tripathy spoke of the fun had on-set by the veteran cast of Club 60, a movie inspired by the colorful members of the tennis club Tripathy belongs to in Mumbai. One crew member had the dubious honor of providing the cues for the movie’s many fart jokes.

Director Meera Menon mentioned a similar experience during the making of her film, the road-trip flick Farah Goes Bang: “We had some fart gags in the film, but none of them were faked.” The very funny Menon explained some of the challenges of making a female-centric sex comedy: “We initially thought we could make American Pie with women, but you can’t. What can you do with a nipple pie?”

When asked if the quality of the films at this year’s CSAFF indicated a trend toward better storytelling in Indian cinema, Abhinav Shiv Tiwari, director of Oass, answered, “Absolutely.” The film’s producer, Jimeesh Gandhi, followed up: “If your research is good, the script is good, the end product will be good.” Oass shows on October 12 at the Seattle South Asian Film Festival.

Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2013

The fourth annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival begins on Friday, September 20. The three-day festival kicks off with a gala U.S. premiere of Oass, a challenging drama about child trafficking. Click here to read my review of Oass.

Other films of particular interest to Hindi-film fans include the world premiere of Club 60, the U.S. premiere of Chor Chor Super Chor, and a screening of Shahid, which opens in theaters in India on October 18.

The festival closes on Sunday night with a screening of director Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Click here to read my review of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

Some of the artists attending CSAFF 2013 include directors Hansal Mehta (Shahid), Abhinav Shiv Tiwari (Oass), and Sanjay Tripathy (Club 60), as well as actors Priyanka Bose (Oass) and Farooq Shaikh (Club 60).

This year, the CSAFF added a great new feature for those unable to attend the fest in person: the CSAFF Online Film Festival. A dedicated Vimeo channel allows fans to screen several of the short films featured at this year’s festival online. It’s a great way to expand the reach of a super film festival.