Well Beyond Bollywood: SAIFF Announces Eclectic 2012 Line-up

Ben Umstead, East Coast Editor
While a certain Mister J. Hurtado is the resident reviewer of South Asian fare here at Twitch, many of us do enjoy the kaleidoscopic kind of cinema that the region churns out. And there probably isn't a better place to catch such eclectic stuff in the West then at the South Asian International Film Fest. I can tell ya from a little first hand experience SAIFF has screened rom-coms with more wit and heart than most American offerings can muster. They've shown action pictures that are just as heavy on the boom-boom as they are the politics, and offered us films that have chronicled the early days of the region's cinema -- goes without saying that it is one of the oldest and richest in the world. So yep, there's bound to be something for every kind of cineaste at SAIFF.

Now in its ninth year, the fest runs from Oct. 24-30, all across Manhattan, and the opening night is sure to be an exciting one with the US premiere of Un Certain Regard winner Miss Lovely. But that's just the icing on the cake. Take a look at the full line-up below and tell us what you're most excited about.

The Ninth Annual South Asian International Film Festival
Announces Stellar 2012 Film Line-up, Top Centerpiece Titles

- Centerpiece titles to include premieres of Un Certain Regard winner Miss Lovely, Paanch Adhyay (Afterglow), and Valley of Saints -

 

- Featured films include Balak Palak, The Bright Day, Chakravyuh, and Pune 52  -

 

NEW YORK CITY October 04, 2012 - The South Asian International Film Festival; presented by HBO, is celebrating its ninth exciting year by delivering the very best in South Asia's most fiercely original, daring, and exciting cinema to New York City. Featuring over a dozen premieres, acclaimed international guests, and an inaugural gala event hosted by Sunny Leone and Broken Lizard's Jay Chandrasekhar - SAIFF 2012 is bigger and better on a grand scale!

SAIFF 2012 throws open the doors of The NYIT Auditorium on Broadway for their Opening Night Premiere of Un Certain Regard winner MISS LOVELY, thunders through the Chelsea Clearview with the Centerpiece Premiere of Pratim D. Gupta's stunning PAANCH ADHYAY (AFTERGLOW), and celebrates its Closing Night Premiere of VALLEY OF SAINTS at The SVA Theater - with filmmakers in attendance!

SAIFF 2012's competition line-up includes such highly-anticipated titles as:

Akam (Palas in Bloom). Directed by Shalini Usha Nair. 2011. India. In Malayalam (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. North American Premiere. 97 min.

Blood Relative. Directed by Nimisha Mukerji. 2012. Canada/India. Documentary Feature. International Premiere. 75 min. 

The Bright Day. Directed by Mohit Takalkar. 2012. India. In Hindi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. US Premiere. 90 min. 

Fried Fish, Chicken Soup and a Premiere Show. Directed by Mamta Murthy. 2012. India. Documentary Feature. North American Premiere. 90 min. 

Pune 52. Directed by Nikhil Mahajan. 2012. India. In Marathi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. International Premiere. 135 min. 

Other titles to premiere at SAIFF 2012 include:

Balak Palak. Directed by Ravi Jadhav. 2012. India. In Marathi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. World Premiere. 109 min.  

Baromas. Directed by Dhiraj Meshram. 2012. India. In Hindi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. International Premiere. 150 min. 

Chakravyuh. Directed by Prakash Jha. 2012. India. In Hindi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. North American Premiere. 152 min. 

The Great Indian Marriage Bazaar. Directed by Ruchika Muchhala and Faiza Ahmad Khan. 2011. India. In English and Hindi (with English subtitles). Documentary Feature. New York Premiere. 60 min.

Kokkho-Poth (The Sound of Old Rooms). Directed by Sandeep Ray. 2011. India/USA. In Bengali (with English subtitles). Documentary Feature. North American Premiere. 72 min.

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Opening Night Premiere:  MISS LOVELY
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia. 2012. India. In Hindi (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. US Premiere. 115 min.
Wednesday, October 24, 8:00PM - NYIT Auditorium on Broadway

Set in the 1980s, Miss Lovely follows two brothers who operate as C-grade schlock producers in the seedy cinematic underbelly of Bombay.  Their fraternity is put to the test when they encounter an enigmatic ingénue.  Atmospheric and daring, the film reveals the expected exploitation and corruption that accompanies the production of Grindhouse soft-core porn and pulpy horror films with an intoxicating and innovative panache.  The first fiction feature from Ahluwalia, an acclaimed non-fiction filmmaker, Miss Lovely evolved from a documentary into this lurid, highly-stylized hybrid thriller that garnered the "Un Certain Regard" distinction from Cannes 2012.

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Centerpiece Premiere:  PAANCH ADHYAY (AFTERGLOW)
Directed by Pratim D Gupta. 2012. India. In Bengali (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. International Premiere. 113 min.
Saturday, October 27, 10:00PM at Clearview Chelsea (260 West 23rd Street)

A film director pursues an aspiring teacher in this musical romance that stars Dia Mirza and Priyanshu Chatterjee. With sly references to Bela Tarr and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this knowing and nuanced relationship drama traverses various chapters of the couple's journey.  Set in Kolkata and featuring the music of Shantanu Moitra, Paanch Adhyay is Gupta's directorial debut and the first Bengali-language film for Bollywood actress Mirza.  Remarkably, contrary to common practice where Bollywood stars are often dubbed by local voice talent when appearing in Bengali films, Mirza bucked the trend and recorded her own lines.

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Closing Night Premiere:  VALLEY OF SAINTS
Directed by Musa Syeed. 2012. India/USA. In Kashmiri (with English subtitles). Narrative Feature. New York Premiere. 82 min.
Tuesday, October 30, 8:00PM at SVA Theater (333 West 23rd Street)

Set in the endangered lake communities of Kashmir, Valley of Saints is a lyrical examination of steadfast loyalty and earnest love. When a military entrenchment traps Gulzar, a young tourist boatman, and his best friend Afzal in their lake village, their relationship with Asifa, a visiting environmental researcher, threatens their plans to escape their war-torn home.  Widely-acclaimed--the film won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year--Valley of Saints makes its hometown debut with New Yorker and director Syeed in attendance. 

The Ninth Annual South Asian International Film Festival runs from Wednesday, October 24, 2012 to Tuesday, October 30, 2012 in New York City.

For additional information on SAIFF 2012, including screening dates, locations, featured guests, and ticketing information, please visit www.saiff.org.

 

About SAIFF: 

The South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting South Asian/Indian filmmakers in the U.S seeking maximum visibility and absolute distribution. SAIFF was founded in New York City due to the lack of support for many emerging filmmakers and the overall underrepresentation of Indian cinema in a capital that is recognized by the world as the birthplace of independent filmmaking. The Festival is committed to exhibiting films from South Asia (i.e India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal) and within the Indian Diaspora. For more information, visit: www.saiff.org.  

 

About HBO:

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television-programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour pay television services -- HBO and Cinemax -- to over 40 million U.S. subscribers. The services offer the most popular subscription video on demand products, HBO On Demand and Cinemax On Demand, as well as HBO on Broadband, HD feeds, and multiplex channels. Internationally, HBO's branded television networks, along with the subscription video on demand products. HBO programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide. For more information, visit: www.hbo.com.

    
Around the Internet:
  • Can't wait to sink my teeth into a few of these for us. Hopefully someday I'll be able to cover the festival in person!

  • mightyjoeyoung

    "Take a look at the full line-up below and tell us what you're most excited about."
    Well.....Miss lovely sounds great...VALLEY OF SAINTS too, thanks for the list Mr Umstead.

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