Short Films and Docs Galore

Sundeep Ahuja
Rashmi Rustagi, Sundeep Ahuja in “MuZak” (sundeepahuja.com)

I don’t just post about upcoming events of interest to me. I actually attend some of them too! So here’s a bit of a recap from the events I made it to at the 3rd I film festival and the screening of Meena Nanji’s latest documentary film. Did you go to these events? What did you think?

3rd I’s sold-out shorts program last Friday included a diverse set of works from local filmmakers. The son in Runjan Dhar’s charming, quirky “MuZak” is a wanna-be techno dj, and there’s no time like the present to pursue his dreams and desires, even if that means during a grocery-shopping trip with his mom.

Nine year-old Pranav in Alka Raghuram’s “The Ant and The Monkey” also has a dream—to make it to the NBA. This film captivated with its perspective from Pranav and younger sister Tamara, and with its weaving in of a bedtime story told by their mother.

Multiple stories were weaved into the narrative of third generation Sikh American Valarie Kaur’s Divided We Fall, a moving documentary started in the months after 9/11 when she drove across the country with her cousin to get the stories of Sikhs who were among the first responders and the first attacked. The inclusion of her family’s history in a California farming town lent a uniquely personal stamp to a film that addresses national issues like hate crimes in the US and why some people are perceived as the enemy.

Meena Nanji’s View From a Grain of Sand screening was packed on Monday night. The three Afghan women profiled gave a personal glimpse into their lives and families. Their strengths and personalities are revealed not only through their words, but also special moments like the sight of Roeena making her doctor’s rounds through the rubble of a Peshawar refugee camp on high heels, or the open and amicable disagreement between Shapiray and her husband over how they view their Islamic faith.

Let me know what you thought, especially if you saw any of the other films at 3rd I, or Nanji’s film.

November 15, 2006
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