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8th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival focuses on women in cinema

8th annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival focuses on women in cinema

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Chicago South Asian Film Festival
Chicago South Asian Film Festival

The eighth annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival features a diverse schedule, including a pre-festival screening of “Signature Move” and an exclusive Q&A with acclaimed actor Shabana Azmi (pictured), Fawzia Mirza and director Jennifer Reeder as well as a “carefully curated collection of independent films, shorts, documentaries, events and discussions will create the Red Carpet performances.” Photo courtesy of YouTube.

CHICAGO (Diya TV) — The eighth annual Chicago South Asian Film Festival features a diverse schedule, including a pre-festival screening of “Signature Move” and an exclusive Q&A with acclaimed actor Shabana Azmi, Fawzia Mirza and director Jennifer Reeder as well as a “carefully curated collection of independent films, shorts, documentaries, events and discussions will create the Red Carpet performances.”

“Signature Move” is a hilarious and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms,” telling the story of Zaynab (Mirza), a 30-something Pakistani, Muslim, lesbian lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident Mexican-American woman. Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen (Azmi) has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother, Rosa (Charin Alvarez), is a former professional Luchadora which Zaynab finds fascinating as she has recently taken up lucha-style wrestling training with a former pro wrestler, Jayde. Zaynab tries to keep both her love life and her wrestling a secret from her Muslim mother, who knows more than she lets on.

The three-day festival takes place September 20 through October 1 and is the largest of it’s type in the Midwest. Over 25 films will be presented in downtown Chicago, at the Showplace ICON Theater in the South Loop, at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts in the loop, and in Oakbrook, at the Oakbrook AMC Theater.

The central festival theme is “Women in Cinema”. Shabana Azmi and Rajkummar Rao will walk the Red Carpet qith Azmi will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Opening Night will close with the Chicago premiere of Newton by director Amit Masurkar and includes performances by Rajkummar Rao. Newton premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to rave reviews earlier this year.

“The Festival creates an innovative cultural and cinematic experience for Chicagoans and visitors alike. Through the gift of film, the Chicago South Asian Film Festival invites all to share and enjoy the magic of cinema and true cultural exchange. The City is proud to host this extraordinary partnership between the South Asian community and the arts and entertainment industry,” says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the event website.

The Festival features films from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Tibet. Films from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have also received a platform at CSAFF.

The Festival was founded in 2010 by Amit Rana, Mileen Patel and Ketki Parikh with the support of Vachikam Inc. and the Network of Indian Professionals. The inaugural event attracted over 1,300 attendees including filmmakers Aparna Sen, Deepti Naval and Ajay Naidu.

Additional South Asian film talent participating include Askhay Oberoi, Fawzia Mirza, Shahana Goswami, Barun Sobti, Adeel Hussain, Mehreen Jabbar and Aparna Sen.

Visit http://www.csaff.org for more information.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Nearly 200,000 ‘Documented Dreamers’ appeal to Congress for help

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Nearly 200,000 'Documented Dreamers' appeal to Congress for help | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — With no clear path to citizenship and facing deportation, younger Indian Americans who have aged out of their parents’ visas are now appealing to lawmakers for help. The Migration Policy Institute says about 190,000 kids and young adults will be in this situation once they turn 21 years old. Some of them have now formed a coalition saying it’s time to address this ongoing issue.

Electronic signature platform DocuSign appointed Indian American Shanthi Iyer as its new Chief Information Officer. Iyer spent more than 20 years at Cisco and will lead Docusign’s efforts to improve employee productivity and the customer experience.

And Indian start-up SimSim has been acquired by Youtube. The company helps small businesses connect with social media influencers and customers. The exact terms of the deal were not disclosed but insiders say the company was valued at more than $70 million.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan

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Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan | Diya TV News

KANDAHAR (Diya TV) — Pulitzer Prize-Winning photographer Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. The 38 year old Indian national was Reuters news agency’s chief photographer in India. Siddiqui was credited for capturing some of the most powerful images during the Covid-19 pandemic.

17-year-old Indian-American Samir Banerjee clinched the junior Wimbledon singles tennis title. Celebrating Samir’s achievement, many Indians took to social media to congratulate the youngster.

Jeff Bezos blasted off into space Tuesday on his Blue Origin rocket ship. It was the company’s first flight with people on board.  Bezos is now the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft. The Amazon founder was accompanied by his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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