|Nishtha Jain's Gulabi Gang|
In its 11th annual incarnation, the 3rd i International South Asian Film Festival celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema. According to festival director, Anuj Vaidya, "what make's it special for us is that it is also a celebration of the strides made by women in South Asian cinema."
"A century ago, women were absent from the cinema landscape -- both off-screen and on-screen. While things began to change on-screen pretty early (in the 20s and 30s), it has taken a lot longer, more so in the last two decades, for women to be recognized as directors, editors, cinematographers, etc." says Vaidya. "So we are very pleased that 100 Years of Indian Cinema means that our 2013 festival's opening, closing and 2 centerpiece films, all showcase women filmmakers!"
Opening the festival on Wednesday is The Revolutionary Optimists, in which Emmy winning filmmakers Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen depict a lawyer's power to instill strength and spirit into three children who appear destined to live a marginalized life in their Calcutta slum.
On Thursday's screening, the bravely intimate Mohammed to Maya follows one year in the life of Maya (formerly Mohammed), a Tamil Muslim, as she journeys to Singapore to have sexual reassignment surgery.
A third documentary, Nishtha Jain's thriller Gulabi Gang, closes the festival with an empowering look at the women of Bundelkhand, India; the "Gulabi Gang" is on the cusp of a revolution as they fight against gender violence, caste oppression, and widespread corruption. More »