Chicago South Asian Film Fest to begin September 25 | Daily News

Chicago South Asian Film Fest to begin September 25

The Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) to be held between September 25 and October 2, 2021, announced its film lineup Sept. 11.

Organisers describe it as the largest festival of its kind in the Midwest. It is scheduled to present more than 90 films in a hybrid format virtually and physically in Downtown Chicago at the Showplace ICON Theatre where the Red-Carpet Opening Night will be hosted.

Films from across South Asia are listed including a variety of regional languages, with a range of independent films, shorts, documentaries, events, and discussions for the whole week.

“This year’s festival will include some very special artists, panel discussions, moderated Q&A and several major upcoming film releases, Jigar Shah, CSAFF festival director is quoted saying in the press release. “I look forward to unveiling and launching our exciting lineup to all film lovers and community members – both old and new faces, our partners and sponsors who are passionate about cinema and have supported CSAFF every year. I’m also thrilled to welcome Ketki Parikh as the new President of CSAFF,” Shah added. This year’s festival features more than 23 world premieres, 16-plus North American premieres and more than 60 films debuting their Chicago premiere. The opening night and world premiere will be “Ek Duaa”, starring Esha Deol, a movie showing the discrimination that occurs with gender dynamics. Also, the Short music video “Ae Savere” starring Soni Razdan and Taha Shah takes you on a musical journey of an untold story of a Kashmiri Pandit (priest) woman. Plus, actor Pooja Batra will walk the red carpet and speak about her film “Padmavyuha” with director Raj Krishna.

Films opening for the first time in the United States include “One-way Glass” from United Kingdom, the story of a migrant Pakistani woman trapped in a violent, sexless, loveless marriage; “Zero Kilometre” by Shamas Nawab Siddiqui on the journey of a woman; Indrani Ray’s “Love in the times of Corona” shows one lockdown, three women and three empowering stories featuring Natasha Rastogi, Shibani Dandekar, Dipannita Sharma, Adil Hussain, and Shekhar Ravjiani. Actors such as Pankaj Tripathi with his film “Laali” and Vipin Sharma with “Naap and Missing”, as well as other films such as “Unwoven threads of Kashi”, “Midnight Delhi”, “Sand & Snow”, “Conception”, “Koko”, “When the music changes” will make their way to Chicago. Other highlights include “Samanantar” (The Parallel) by Niraj Kumar Mishra which were chosen by Oscars and BAFTA Award Winner Resul Pookutty (Slumdog Millionaire) will be presented.

The ‘Centerpiece’ film, according to organisers, is “Americanish” by Iman Zawahry, one of the first hijabi American-Muslim filmmakers in the nation, starring High Maintenance (HBO), Mr. Robot (USA) Aizzah Fatima who will be attending in person, The Society (Netflix), Madame Secretary (CBS) famed Salena Qureshi, The Big Sick, Brown Nation (Netflix) famed Shenaz Treasury.


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