Rohit Karn Batra’s “Line of Descent” will open the inaugural New York City South Asian Film Festival (NYC SAFF) at the Altman Building in Manhattan, Nov. 15.
The festival will screen 24 shorts, documentaries and feature films dealing with timely and relevant themes such as immigration, surrogacy, police brutality and under-represented communities including transgenders, deaf and hard-of-hearing and outcasts.
Presented by Toyota, the three-day festival, to be held at various locations around Manhattan, will include four world premieres, three North American premieres and 17 New York City premieres.
"Our programming team has worked incredibly hard to strike the right balance and showcase the most current, ground-breaking, topical independent cinema from various parts of South Asia at our inaugural festival," said Jitin Hingorani, founder and festival director. "We have focused our efforts on really engaging the millennials (Generation Z), as they are the future filmmakers, cinephiles, producers and investors, who will, ultimately, support film festivals like ours; so, it is our inherent responsibility to educate them about world-class cinema that is beyond Bollywood."
“Line of Descent,” Batra’s directorial debut explores a dysfunctional mafia family in Dehli, as three brothers fight for control of their father's legacy. When a mysterious American arms dealer (Brendan Fraser) becomes embroiled in the family's internal war, a respected veteran cop (Abhay Deol, in attendance) investigating the family tries to stop their tragic downfall. The film also stars Ronit Roy, Prem Chopra, Neeraj Kabi, Ali Haji and Vishesh Chachra.
Gitanjali’s Rao’s “Bombay Rose” will be screened on Nov. 16 as the centerpiece film. Amidst the struggle of survival in a big city, a red rose brings together three tales of impossible loves. Love between a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy. Love between two women. Love of an entire city for its Bollywood stars. Painted frame by frame, the depiction of urban reality has a documentary style, whereas the intricate dream worlds are inspired from the rich and varied folk art styles of India.
The festival will close on Nov. 17 with the North American premiere of Tannishtha Chatterjee's directorial debut “Roam Rome Mein.” Raj (played by Nawazuddin Siddique) goes to Rome in search of his missing sister. In his search he meets some magical characters who take him through his own journey of self realization.
For a full lineup of films and tickets, visit www.nycsaff.com