Pass the Samosas and Kingfisher

by Matthew Curtis
May 19, 2006 4:59 AM
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Yes, it's South Asian Film Festival time again soon in Central Florida. June 10 - 12 marks yet another fruitful collaboration between Enzian Theater and the Asian Cultural Association, and "Beyond Bollywood: the 12th annual South Asian Film Festival" promises as always to provide a window into the extraordinary heritage and artistry represented by today's Indian filmmakers and Indian-themed cinema.

This year's lineup features three narrative features, one doc feature, and one short: Paul Mayeda Berges' magical romantic fable, THE MISTRESS OF SPICES, starring the stunning Aishwarya Rai, co-written by wife and creative partner Gurinder Chadha, and shot by Santosh Sivan; Shonali Bose's powerful drama of loss and cover-ups, AMU, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2005 Bombay International Film Festival; the East Coast Premiere and second US showing of Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal's highly entertaining and topical film about outsourcing and the new generation driving the Indian economy, BOMBAY CALLING, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the recent Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles; Avie Luthra's beautifully acted short about a South African AIDS orphan who learns about life through an unlikely bond with a racist Indian woman, LUCKY, winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Short at the 2006 IFFLA; and a special preview screening of Deepa Mehta's soul-stirring conclusion to her "Elemental Trilogy," WATER, as controversial a film as you'll find about the persecution of HIndu widows in the twilight of colonial 1930's India. The guts it took to make this film should be reason enough for everyone to go see it.

--Matthew

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