Share This Page

Silk Screen Film Festival covers lots of ground

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 7:49 p.m.
Silk Screen Film Festival
“Valley of Saints” (India, USA)
Silk Screen Film Festival
“Asura” (Japan)
Silk Screen Film Festival
“The Thieves” (South Korea)
A scene from 'Midnight's Children,' the opening film in the Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival.

The Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival covers so much ground, crossing so many borders, that it's almost impossible to make generalizations about it.

There are movies from cinema powerhouses like India — whose film industry is actually bigger in most respects than Hollywood — and from places that are seldom heard from in any context like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia (the ex-Soviet state, not the one with Atlanta). There's also “Highway,” a film from the remote, disputed territory of Nepal, and “Buzkashi Boys,” an Academy Award nominee from war-torn Afghanistan.

The festival kicks off with perhaps Pittsburgh's most colorful (and tasty) party of the year, the Opening Night Gala on May 10. It's kind of the opposite of “black-tie” — with saris, sarongs, kimonos and other ethnic dress in profusion — and some of the city's top Asian restaurants doing the catering.

The opening night film is “Midnight's Children,” based on a Salman Rushdie novel, from Deepa Mehta, one of India's most important and ambitious filmmakers, and one not bound by the usual clichés of “Bollywood.”

The “Silk Scream” horror series has been folded into the main festival this year, and there's also an anime (Japanese-style animation) sidebar, featuring the acclaimed “Tatsumi,” an unconventional animated biography of the revolutionary animator Yoshiro Tatsumi.

One curious digression this year is a film from Egypt, “Cairo 678.” The festival committee reacted so strongly to the film that they decided to include it — despite some geographic complications. A major theme of the Arab Spring revolutions and their aftermath is the culture of sexual harassment and rape, long ignored in many Middle Eastern states.

“This is about three women who are experiencing harassment,” says Silk Screen founder and director Harish Saluja. “One in particular, every time she takes a bus, someone is touching her, groping her and so forth. She resorts to taking matters into her own hands. … This is an issue all over Asia, especially in the Middle East and South Asia. It resonated so well, so we put it in. Let's hope no one complains too much that Egypt isn't part of Asia.”

Michael Machosky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at mmachosky@tribweb.com or 412-320-7901.

Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival

When: May 10-19

Admission: $10; $5 for students with ID (unless otherwise noted)

Opening Night Gala: 8:30 p.m. May 10, includes food from many local Asian restaurants, music, dancing, live entertainment. $100-$150. Rivers Club, Oxford Center, Downtown.

Details: www.silkscreenfestival.org or 412-322-4872

First week schedule

May 11:

• “Valley of Saints” (India, USA), noon, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Oakland

• “Cha Cha For Twins” (Taiwan), 1:30 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “The Guardian” (Georgia), 1:30 p.m. Melwood Screening Room, Oakland

• “Present Tense” (Turkey), 2:30 p.m., Carnegie Museum of Natural History

• Opening Film: “Midnight's Children,” 4:30 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “Buzkashi Boys” (Afghanistan)/”Beijing Flickers” (China), 4:30 p.m. Melwood Screening Room

• Silk Screen Horror Night presents “Nightmare” (China) 5:30 p.m., Melwood Classroom, Oakland

• “Key of Life” (Japan), 8 p.m., Melwood Screening Room

• “Pune 52” (India), 8:30 p.m., Regent Square Theater.

• Silk Screen Horror Night presents “The Sleepless” (South Korea), 8:30 p.m., Melwood Classroom

May 12:

• “Sita Sings the Blues” (India), 12:30 p.m., Carnegie Museum of Natural History

• “Gattu” (India), 1 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “The Perils of Growing Up Flat-chested” (USA)/”Two Shadows” (Cambodia), 2:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room

• “Perizod” (Uzbekistan), 3 p.m., Carnegie Museum of Natural History

• “Kshay” (India), 4 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• Anime Night: “Tatsumi” (Singapore/Japan), 5 p.m., Melwood Classroom

• “Headshot” (Thailand/France), 5:45 p.m., Melwood Screening Room

• “Asura” (Japan), 7:30 p.m., Melwood Classroom

May 13:

• “Modest Reception” (Iran), 5:30 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “Foreign Letters” (USA/Israel/Vietnam), 6:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room

• “B.A. Pass” (India), 8:45 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “Beijing Flickers” (China), 9:10 p.m. Melwood Screening Room

May 14:

• “Gattu” (India), 6 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “The Thieves” (South Korea), 8:30 p.m., Regent Square Theater

May 15:

• “Highway” (Nepal), 5:30 p.m., Melwood Screening Room

• “Chittagong” (Indonesia), 6 p.m., Regent Square Theater

• “Buzkashi Boys” (Afghanistan)/”Cairo 678” (Egypt), 8 p.m. Melwood Screening Room

• “The Empty Home” (Kyrgistan), 9 p.m., Regent Square Theater

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.