Aynabaji Opening Film at SSAFF 2016

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Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:34 -- Nick Dager

The 11th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival runs October 14-23.The Bangladeshi drama Aynabaji will open the 11th annual Seattle South Asian Film Festival, which runs October 14-23.  The festival will include 23 feature films and 22 shorts from nine countries, plus a landmark community symposium about film censorship in South Asia and topical film programs centered on youth, sexual minorities, and mental health.

The Opening Night Gala at Seattle Art Museum kicks off the eleven-day festival with Aynabaji, a dark and engrossing urban thriller to be honored after the screening with a party including live music at the Triple Door. The film’s director Amitabh Chowdhury and celebrated Bangladeshi actor Chanchal Chowdhury are expected to attend.

On Tuesday, October 18, a diverse group of panelists moderated by Dr. Alka Kurian and including filmmakers Mostofa Farooki, Shailaja Padindala, Andy Schocken, Chanchal Chowdhury, and Varun Tandon will weigh in atSymposium: Race, Sexuality and Censorship: Film, Art and Activism in India and Beyond at the University of Washington Thompson Hall, presented in collaboration with the UW’s South Asia Center.

At the Centerpiece Gala at Seattle Asian Art Museum on Thursday, October 20, SSAFF welcomes leading-edge Bangladeshi director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki with his acclaimed comedy Ant Story, a wry and fantastical comedy, with a reception to follow on site.

The Festival’s Closing Awards and Reception in Renton on Sunday, October 23 features Waiting, a charming tale of an unlikely friendship by Indian director Anu Menon and featuring South Asian superstars of the silver screen Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah. Waiting is a heartrending story about confronting grief with optimism and living with courage, loving with faith, and laughing with hope.

Bangladesh is in the spotlight at SSAFF 2016 with an exceptional program of comedies, dramas, and shorts from one of Asia’s most dynamic and densely populated nations.

Embracing and embodying the theme Love Wins, the program of the 2016 Seattle South Asian Film Festival engages with our difficult and dynamic moment in history, championing the idea that love can elevate our common humanity and allow us to overcome obstacles together that seem insurmountable to individuals acting alone.

Over the past decade, SSAFF has grown to become the largest, longest, and most diverse South Asian film festival in the United States, and the only one of its size with a determined emphasis on human rights and social justice, instigating vital and groundbreaking conversations about minority oppression, immigration, women’s issues, and globalization engaged through the art of film from across the South Asian sub-continent.

A full schedule of screenings and special events is available online at ssaff.tasveer.org/2016/