Rohena Gera's feature directorial debut “Sir” won big at the recently concluded 5th annual DFW South Asian Film Festival, presented by Toyota, May 19. “Sir” won the awards for best director (Gera), best actor ((Vivek Gomber) and best film.

The film tells the story of a young man who falls in love with his servant, a widow with the dream of becoming a tailor. Starring Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Rahul Vohar and Ahmareen Anjum, “Sir” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and has won several awards on the festival circuit.

"The modern-day Indian Cinderella story about the relationship between a maid and her handsome employer clearly struck a chord with our international jury," said founder and festival director Jitin Hingorani. "We had a feeling this film would do well at our festival, given the recent success of "ROMA," as it is such a nuanced portrayal of the classism that is alive and well in the domestic servitude relationships of third world countries." 

Other winners included best actress for (Kalyani Mulay for “Nude’); best short film (Gaurav Sharma’s “That Man in the Picture”); audience favorite (Aijaz Khan’s “Hamid”) and best child actor (Sunny Pawar for “Chippa,”).

Pawar, 11, who hails from a slum in Kunchi Kurve Nagar in Mumbai, shot to fame with Australian director Garth Davis' acclaimed 2016 film “Lion,” for which he won an AACTA award. Written and directed by Safdar Rahman, 'Chippa' is a coming of age film about a 10-year-old boy who on the eve of his tenth birthday receives a letter from his long-absent father. He then decides to leave his pavement abode to find his father.

The festival kicked off on May 16 with the world premiere of Gaurav Sharma’s short film “That Man in the Picture,” followed by the Texas premiere of Rohena Ger’a “Sir.” The four-day movie event, was held from May 16 to 19 at various locations screened 21 shorts, documentaries and feature films with one world premiere, two North American premieres, one U.S. premiere, 14 Texas premieres and three Dallas premieres.

The centerpiece film (also men’s programming) was the U.S. premiere of Vasan Bala’s action-packed “Mard Ko dard Nahi Hota,” (The Man Who Feels No Pain), marking the acting debut of Bollywood actress Bhagyashree’s son, Abhimanyu Dassani.

The festival closed on May 19 with the Texas premiere of Aijaz Khan’s “Hamid,” an emotional Kashmiri drama about a boy in search of his missing father, starring Rasika Dugal. 

Some of the other films screened at the festival includde “The Lift Boy,” “Chippa,” starring Sunny Pawar of “Lion” fame, LGBTQI programming and children’s films.

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