The 6th annual DC South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF) brought a variety of compelling new feature length films, shorts, and documentaries to the area this past weekend. The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is a sponsor of the event, and Murthy Law Firm founder and president Sheela Murthy was on hand for the festivities. Hosted by the nonprofit DC South Asian Arts Council, Inc., the festival is designed to showcase alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. This year the festival was held at Montgomery College in Rockville and included screenings of more than 30 films, as well as workshops and panel discussions.
The MurthyNAYAK Foundation has long been a proud sponsor of the DCSAFF, and Sheela took an active role in the festival this year by participating in a panel discussion that followed the screening of Anatomy of Violence. The film’s director, Deepa Mehta, is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker who is known for choosing provocative subjects in the effort to start a dialogue to bring about change.
Also selected for this year’s festival is a short film created with a grant from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation: Under the Open Sky, from directors Shilpa Phadke, Faiz Ullah, and Nikhil Titus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. This documentary tells the inspiring and thought-provoking story of a group of underprivileged girls in Mumbra, India (near Mumbai), who are given a lesson in self-confidence through weekly football (i.e. soccer, in the U.S.) sessions at a public park. Nikhil Titus, currently pursuing a doctorate at the University of Pittsburg, represented the film at the festival as a guest of the foundation.
Numerous awards were bestowed at the conclusion of the festival. Among Sheela’s favorites: Hotel Salvation, The Violin Player, and Lipstick Under My Burka.
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