From actors to directors, writers to producers, the South Asian community came out in droves to support one another and it was a beautiful thing.
Reema Sengupta was thrilled that female Indian filmmakers are becoming more popular and is excited for her film Counterfeit Kunkoo to show. The film is about a woman who tries to rent an apartment after escaping an abusive relationship.
Juror Sunjata Day was excited about indie films coming out of India that break the Bollywood mould.
Tracy Mulholland co-produced and acted in Fifteen Years Later (Manish Dayal's film) and feels the film's relevance is significant because it covers racial tensions 15 years post 9/11. Many people of different backgrounds have had intense interactions and the film sheds some light on one such interaction.
Dinesh Prabhakar's film is about a man who comes to the city for the first time and discovers a brand new world.
Shawn Parikh's film covers homosexuality and explore the Indian-American dynamic. After 10 years of being in Los Angeles, Parikh created his own work and had it debuted it at IFFLA 2018.
Sushama Deshpande stars in Ajji, a film about a grandmother who takes action when her granddaughter is raped. Deshpande spoke with us in Marathi as well.
Opening Night Film Review
The opening night film was "In The Shadows" on "Gali Guleiyan" by Dipesh Jain starring Manoj Bajpayee, Om Singh, and many others. It's a darker drama that explores child abuse, mental health, and the idea of being trapped. Shot in Delhi, it focuses on a particular neighborhood that incorporates Jain's family concerns of being entrapped.
The film is 178 minutes and every minute takes you through the mind of Bajpayee's character Khuddoos. Bajpayee's character is raw, intense, and the man does a great job of making you feel engrossed in the world. You feel every pain, every joy, and every grain of dirt in the film.
It's beautifully shot.
The child Om Singh is phenomenal as well. He was found in an orphanage and was completely illiterate. This story incorporated true life events from Singh's life who was abused, ran away, and was placed in an orphanage. Once you know this and see the film, it's heartbreaking.
I asked Director Dipesh Jain about what has happened to Singh since the film has finished and he said "Singh isn't interested in being an actor but rather wants to be a cricket player or a footballer. He is currently studying, is on Facebook, and takes selfies."
Personal hopes for Singh is that he finds a loving and warm family who shows him the support he needs.