Chicago: The first Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) debuted here with a bang, screening films by actress-and-filmmakers Deepti Naval and Aparna Sen.
The three-day red carpet event opened on Oct 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center and Columbia College with Naval`s directorial debut `Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish`.
Although actress Manisha Koirala, who stars in the movie, could not attend the festival due to a foot injury, Naval was present with actor Rajit Kapur.
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury`s `Antaheen` starring Aparna Sen and Rahul Bose, which won the 2009 National Award for Best Film, was screened at the fest alongside Sen`s own directorial `The Japanese Wife`.
`Antaheen` is based in Mumbai and Sen said that city themes have come into Bengali cinema quite some time ago and audiences are no longer interested in rural settings. The 64-year-old filmmaker also said that change in Indian cinema is partly due to globalization, and that Bollywood is evolving as well.
"It`s an exciting time for Bollywood. All kinds of subjects are being explored, it is no longer a boy-meets-girl or running-around-the trees story," Sen told reporters.
Referring to Bose, Sen said the actor is a quintessential metrosexual male and has transformed himself into a timid awkward school teacher in `The Japanese Wife`.
Sen`s next movie `Iti Mrinalini` is due out in December and will premiere in Cairo. It charts an actress` life, with the aging star played by the director herself and the younger version by her daughter Konkona Sen Sharma.
`7 Days in Slow Motion`, a children`s comedy film starring Vivek Mushran, Rajeshwari Sachdev-Badola, Teja, and Shiva Verma and directed by Umakanth Thumrugoti, was also appreciated by the audience here.
"It was a good script, so I chose it," said Rajeshwari, who plays an overbearing mother in the film.
Other feature films shown at the CSAFF were `Ringa Ringa`, `Raspberry Magic`, `Sita Sings The Blues` and `Dida Rima Anjana`, alongwith short films like `Wild Things` and `The Professionals`.
Keya Shah, 11, who stars in `Raspberry Magic` said she always wanted to go into acting. "I like to be around people and be on the big screen and see people laughing," Shah said.
Her next movie is called `Lives of the Saints` in which she stars alongside Hollywood actress Meg Ryan.