VIFF To Feature Several South Asian Themed Films

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The 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival has a few more South Asian films this year but still no that many and not prestigious Indian and South Asian films featured at the top film festivals around the world. In fact the festival has two Bollywood films – No One Killed Jessica and 7 Sins Foregiven 7 Khoon Maaf – that have already been seen in Canada either through theatrical release or DVD.

Here is the list of all the films showing at this year’s festival.

Nainsukh (India/Switzerland) – The art of Northern Indian painter Nainsukh (c. 1710-1778) is brought to vivid life by director Amit Dutta, who re-stages this Mughal master’s compositions in and around the red ruins of the Jasrota palace. Retinally exciting colours and formal compositions and a beguiling soundscape reinvigorate the past and make this delicious art come alive.

Marathon Boy (UK/India) – Admittedly, watching a five-year-old run 42 miles is an incredible sight to behold. But is it also child abuse? Gemma Atwal examines this and other contentious questions while delving into the relationship between pint-sized phenom Budhia Singh and his controversial guardian/trainer.

No One Killed Jessica (India) -When conspiracy and corruption allow her sister’s murderer to walk free, Sabrina (a quietly intense Vidya Balan) enlists a crusading reporter (the fiercely charismatic Rani Mukherjee) in her unrelenting quest for justice. A black eye for India’s legal system makes for scintillating drama in Raj Kumar Gupta’s politically charged, passionately told thriller.

7 Sins Foregiven 7 Khoon Maaf (India) – A glorious throwback to classic narrative filmmaking (with a touch of Bollywood thrown in), Vishal Bhardwaj’s tale of an adopted son and his mother’s checkered past–her husbands always seem to end up dead–is a delight. “Kill Billmeets Kind Hearts and Coronets [in this] cocktail of passion, sex and violent death… laced with wicked humor.”–Hollywood Reporter

Patang Kite (India) – India’s largest kite festival provides both a spectacular backdrop and brilliant metaphor for a family’s travails in Prashant Bhargava’s delightful debut. Bright and fluid cinematography skillfully punctuates the whirlwind of drama that sees characters’ fortunes dip and soar.

The 30th annual Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), September 29 to October 14, 2011, is one of the largest film festivals in North America. Nearly 150,000 film fans enjoy a dynamic roster of more than 350 films from 80 countries. Considered one of the most accessible and friendly festivals, the 16-day annual celebration of film features renowned Canadian, Asian, documentary, international and award-winning films from around the globe. Full details at viff.org.