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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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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone

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India hits 1 billion vaccine dose milestone | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — India reached a major milestone in its war against the pandemic with the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses, crossing the billion-mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited a hospital in Delhi to mark the milestone, and described it “as the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit” of the 1.3 billion people in the country.

The White House named 19 young emerging leaders to its fellows program and three are Indian Americans. Joy Basu and Sunny Patel are from California and Aakash Shah is from New Jersey. The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other senior government officials.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was mobbed by fans as he visited his son Aryan in a Mumbai Jail. Aryan has been in custody for nearly three weeks after being arrested during an illegal drug bust.
Khan waved at fans and a video of the whole incident has gone viral on the internet.

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post

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Biden to nominate Ravi Chaudry to Air Force post | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — President Joe Biden plans to nominate Indian American Ravi Chaudry as the Air Force’s next assistant secretary for installations, environment, and energy. Chaudry is a former Federal Aviation Administration official who served in the Air Force for more than 20 years. If confirmed he would take over a massive portfolio spanning Air Force and Space Force installations worldwide. 

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation announced the appointment of its new Chairwoman, Sonu Ratra, the co-founder and President of IT consulting and talent solutions provider, Akraya as well as the founder of Women Back to Work. Ratra is the first woman and person of color to lead the SVLG Foundation.

Indian American women techies,  Susmita Dutta and Shruti Haldea,  took center stage as Apple unveiled its next line-up of products, including MacBook Pro, next-generation AirPods, and other products and services. 

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Calgary and Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

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Calgary & Edmonton elect mayors of Indian descent | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In a historic first, the new Mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, Canada are of Indian descent. Jyoti Gondak and Amarajeet Sohi will be leading their respective cities. Gondek is also Calgary’s first ever female Mayor. In both elections, voters expressed a desire for change, and largely rejected candidates opposed to public health measures to deal with COVID-19.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren wants Amazon to break up after a Reuters report found that the e-commerce giant ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

In tech news MindBody is acquiring fitness company ClassPass, which allows users to pay for a monthly subscription, allowing them to access a number of classes across a spectrum of fitness genres. The company was founded by Indian American Payal Kadakia.

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