Tag Archives: CSAFF

CSAFF 2014 Schedule

The lineup for the 2014 Chicago South Asian Film Festival has been announced. In addition to all of the features and shorts that will air during the festival, a number of artists will be in attendance as well. Sendhil Ramamurthy will be on hand to discuss his film, Brahmin Bulls, while actor/director Rajat Kapoor will close the festival with a Q&A session regarding Ankhon Dekhi. Prior to the screening of Ankhon Dekhi, Kapoor will moderate a conversation with acclaimed writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The festival’s big draw is undoubtedly actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who will conduct Q&A sessions for two of his films playing at CSAFF 2014: Liar’s Dice and Monsoon Shootout.

The festival runs from September 18-21, and tickets are available now. Click here for the full schedule.

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.

Opening September 20: Phata Poster Nikla Hero

The action-comedy Phata Poster Nikla Hero opens in Chicago area theaters on September 20, 2013. I’m not impressed with Shahid Kapoor’s acting in the trailer, but the bit with Sanjai Mishra as a fraudulent screenwriter is hilarious. Check it out:

Phata Poster Nikla Hero opens on Friday at the AMC River East 21 in Chicago, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

Last weekend’s despicable new release, Grand Masti — which earned $223,222 in its first weekend in the U.S. — carries over at all four of the above theaters.

The terrific romcom Shuddh Desi Romance gets a third week at the Golf Glen 5, Cantera 17, and South Barrington 30, which is also holding over Satyagraha ($724,088 in the U.S.) and Chennai Express ($5,266,322 in the U.S.).

The Golf Glen 5 is carrying over the Tamil film Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam.

Friday also marks the opening day of the Chicago South Asian Film Festival, which I wrote about on Wednesday. This year’s lineup includes great movies like Oass and The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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.

Opening September 21: Heroine

September 21, 2012, marks the opening of Heroine in four Chicago area theaters. Kareena Kapoor plays a superstar actress whose career is in decline. (Hopefully, she won’t resort to black magic, as Bipasha Basu did recently in Raaz 3.)

Heroine opens on Friday at the Regal Gardens Stadium 1-6 in Skokie, Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. It has a listed runtime of 2 hrs. 30 min.

All four of the above theaters are carrying over last weekend’s new release, Barfi!, as is the AMC River East 21 in Chicago. The film earned a very impressive $1,061,713 in its first weekend in U.S. theaters.

The South Barrington 30 also carries over Ek Tha Tiger for a sixth week.

Other Indian movies playing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Husbands in Goa (Malayalam), Vennela 1 1/2 (Telugu), and Life Is Beautiful (Telugu), which is also showing at the River East 21.

Plenty of other Indian and South Asian films can be found at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival, which runs now through Sunday, September 23. The event closes with the world premiere of Shobhna’s Seven Nights. The film’s star, Raveena Tandon, will be on hand for a Q & A session following the film’s premiere.

Opening August 31: Joker

Another new Hindi movie opens in Chicago area theaters the weekend beginning August 31, 2012. Joker stars Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in a comedy about aliens, not that you’d be able to infer that from the title.

Joker opens on Friday at the Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles, AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, and Regal Cantera Stadium 17 in Warrenville. Joker‘s runtime is listed as 2 hrs. 30 min. at AMC’s website but is reported to be closer to 1 hrs. 40 min.

Last weekend’s new release, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, carries over for a second week at the South Barrington 30 and Cantera 17. Ek Tha Tiger, which has earned $2,347,774 in its first two weeks in U.S. theaters, gets a third week at all three of the above theaters.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Kevi Rite Jaish (Gujarati), Mr. Marumakan (Malayalam), Mugamoodi (Tamil), Simhasanam (Malayalam), Srimannaraya (Telugu), and Sudigadu (Telugu).

The Chicago South Asian Film Festival announced the lineup of films for this year’s festival, which runs from September 20-23. The fest kicks off with a gala showing of Heroine and closes with the world premiere of Shobhna’s Seven Nights, starring Raveena Tandon, Lillete Dubey, and Anupam Kher.