DFW South Asian Film Festival to Celebrate Four-year Milestone with Diverse Programming Lineup

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The Indian actor Adil Hussain starrer “What Will People Say” is set to open the fourth annual Dallas/Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival, which will run from Feb. 8 through Feb. 11 in Dallas, Texas, and Addison, Texas.

The film, which will have its U.S. premiere at the fest, centers on the life of a 16-year-old girl, Nisha, who lives a double life: at home with her family she is the perfect Pakistani daughter, but when out with her friends, she is a normal Norwegian teenager. When her father catches her in bed with her boyfriend, Nisha’s two worlds brutally collide.

This drama highlighting the complex relationship between a father and daughter is among 19 shorts, documentaries and feature films which will be screened over a four-day period at the festival.

Six films will have their international premieres, while two will see their U.S. premieres, and one film will have its world premiere at the fest, which was recognized by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as the ‘Most Innovative Small Business in Texas’ in 2017.

“This is our most ambitious, comprehensive and well-balanced programming to date; it is also the most number of international premieres we have had at our festival,” said founder and festival director Jitin Hingorani. “Our major programming themes include: father/son and father/daughter stories, films with children as central characters and portraits of South Asian families living and working in Europe.”

The South Asian film festival’s centerpiece film is Arshad Khan’s personal documentary, “Abu,” a journey to the center of a fragmented family while they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation and classic Bollywood films, Pakistani filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism, and modernity and familiarity.

The Marathi film “Chumbak” or “The Lottery,” which is a coming-of-age story of Baalu, a 15-year-old boy in Mumbai, who is on the crossroads of his aspirations and morals, is the festival’s closing night feature.


In the film, Baalu dreams of escaping this wretched life with a small business of his own, a little sugarcane juice stall near his village’s public bus-stand. Having exhausted all means, a desperate and broke Baalu, along with his street-smart friend Dhananjay, aka Disco, makes a plan to put together the money with the only way they can think of – the infamous ‘Nigerian SMS Scam.’ But of the hundreds expected to respond to his text messages, no one but one man falls for it…a simple, poor, mentally-slow villager named Prasanna.

Caught between his guilt and conscience of fleecing such a man and the greed to fulfill his ambitions, Baalu will now have to make a choice. “Chumbak” is the story of these choices for Baalu that shall shape his life.

Some of the other films that have been selected to be screened at the festival include Mahesh Dattani’s “Dance Like a Man,” “Love and Shukla,” and “Bhasmasur.”

As part of the Indo-European programming, the French short film, “La Lune Folle,” and the Italian film, “Babylon Sisters,” will be showcased.

The LGBTQ shorts programming includes several shorts like “Aarsa,” “Sisak,” “Devi,” “Khol,” and “Maacher Jhol.” Several screenings will be followed by Q&A with the respective film’s actors or directors.

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