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10 Films you cannot miss at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2017

We present a list of ten movies you should watch at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival 2017 that is taking place from September 29th – October 1st, in Chicago, USA.

Machines by Rahul Jain – India | 2016 – 75 min.

A portrait of daily life of the workers in an Indian textile factory, revealing its beauty as well as its shameful working conditions.

Venue & Screening time:
September 29th, 2017 – 4:30 pm
Depaul Univeristy (247 S. State St., Room #214)

Trailer:

Newton by Amir Masurkar – India | 2016 – 104 min.
OPENING FILM

As India, the world’s largest democracy, braces itself for another general election – with 9 million polling booths, more than 800 million voters, and costing nearly $5 billion – Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk finds himself entrusted with a task that appears deceptively simple: conducting elections in a remote village in the jungles of central India. The bushes teem with Communist guerrillas, who have been waging a decades old war against the state, even as the indigenous tribals live without any access to mainland amenities. Conducting ‘free and fair’ elections in a minefield like this is no child’s play, as Newton learns over the course of this eventful day. Unfazed with the cynicism and danger all around him, Newton is determined to do his duty. But, as they say in the jungle, ‘The more things change, the worse they will get’.

Venue & Screening time:
September 29th, 2017 – 6:00 pm RED CARPET | 8:00 Screening with Q&A
AMC Oakbrook Center (300 Oakbrook Center Oak Brook)

Trailer:

Railway Children by Prithvi Konanur – India | 2016 – 115 min.

In India every year an estimated 125000 children runaway from home using the railways for various reasons. While some of them are returned home, the rest survive on platforms enduring a life of abuse, substance abuse, drug abuse, sexual abuse, crime and violence. Railway Children explores this subject through the eyes of a 12-year-old Raju.

Venue & Screening time:
September 29th, 2017 – 8:15 pm
Depaul University (247 S. State St., Room #214)

Trailer:

Western Ghats by Lenin Bharathi – India | 2016 – 99 min.

On the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, also known as the Western Ghats, a dedicated young man named Rangasamy (Anthony) struggles all his life to break free from the “landless labor class” he was born into.

Venue & Screening time:
September 30th, 2017 – 9:00 am
ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1011 South Delano Court East)

Trailer:

Lady of the Lake by Haobam Paban Kumar – India | 2016 – 62 min.

Loktak Lake is a unique ecosystem where fishermen lived in huts built on floating biomasses. In 2011 the authorities, in the name of protecting serenity of the ecosystem, burnt down hundreds of these crumbly huts leaving thousands of fishermen homeless. Tomba, one of the victims, lives with a harrowing nightmare of looming displacement since then. He is haunted by seamless fear of further intervention of authorities that would make him homeless forever. Confined in his makeshift hut, Tomba senses the spirit of evil around, while his wife Thambalsang works hard to make their living. One fine morning Tomba accidentally finds a gun hidden within the biomass. He marvels with the gun as his power of self-protection. He transforms himself to an assertive man who is looking for an appropriate offense. One day an old lady who mysteriously wanders in the lake, knocks at his door in the middle of the night. Fearful Tomba, anticipating the lady as the spirit of all evils, chases her and commits an unintended crime.

Venue & Screening time:
September 30th, 2017 – 9:00 am
Depaul University (247 S. State St., Room #214)

Trailer:

Lathe Joshi by Mangesh Joshi – India | 2016 – 103 min.

Mr. Joshi fondly known as ‘Lathe Joshi’ for his skill at working the Lathe machine is left jobless. While his family and the world at large, manage to survive or thrive, he struggles to retain his fading identity. Technology rules the changing time; the inevitable human price is ‘Lathe Joshi’.

Venue & Screening time:
September 30th, 2017 – 3:30 pm
Depaul University (247 S. State St., Room #214)

Trailer:

Sonata by Aparna Sen – India | 2016 – 103 min.

Sonata is the psychological exploration of three unmarried women namely Aruna Chaturvedi (Professor), Dolon Sen (Banker) and Subhadra Parekh (journalist) played by Aparna Sen, Shabana Azmi and Lillete Dubey respectively. Set in the recent contemporary past, it is about three friends, their lives, ups and downs, the men in their lives and a twist in the tale. It is a subtle, cosmopolitan, contemporary, film on women and the uncertainties of life, based in an urban scape.

Venue & Screening time:
September 30th, 2017 – 4:00 pm | Q&A with Shabana Azmi and Aparna Sen!!
ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1011 South Delano Court East)

Trailer:

Sonar Baran Pakhi by Bobby Sarma Baruah – India | 86 min.

The film depicts how shunning royal comforts and a normal early marriage, Pratima mingled with exponents of Goalparia folk songs to master the art and subsequently make soulful renderings of the same at various platforms to ensure that the folk form flourishes till this day.

Venue & Screening time:
October 1st, 2017 – 9:15 am
ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1011 South Delano Court East)

Trailer:

A suitable girl by Sarita Khurana, Smriti Mundhra – US | 2017 – 90min.

Dipti, Amrita, and Ritu are all young, modern women in India looking to get married – some desperately, some reluctantly. A Suitable Girl follows them over the course of four years as they juggle family, career and friends, intimately capturing their thoughts on arranged marriage, giving them a voice, and offering a unique perspective into the nuances of this institution.

Venue & Screening time:
October 1st, 2017 – 11:15 am
ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1011 South Delano Court East)

Clip:

Gurgaon by Shanker Raman – India | 2017 – 107 min.

Gurgaon is a story of a dysfunctional family and sibling rivalry. The conflict zones that are the family and the city of Gurgaon becomes a microcosm for depicting wastelands of all kinds – literal and metaphorical; physical, psychological and emotional.

Venue & Screening time:
October 1st, 2017 – 8:00 pm
ShowPlace ICON Theatre (1011 South Delano Court East)

Trailer:

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