Fifth DFW South Asian Film Festival begins

The Dallas-Fort Worth South Asian Film Festival (SAFF), focusing on issues affecting the Indian subcontinent, begins Thursday.

The fifth annual DFW SAFF, a four-day movie gala, boasts 21 shorts, documentaries, feature films and Q&A sessions with attending filmmakers-actors.

The screenings will take place at various locations including Victory Park, Addison and the Design District.

The festival kicks off with the world premiere of Gaurav Sharma's short film "That Man in the Picture", followed by the Texas premiere of Rohena Gera's "Sir", starring Tillotama Shome and Vivek Gomber.

One of the big highlights of the festival is the US premiere of Vasan Bala's action-packed film "Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota". The film marks the acting debut of Bollywood actor Bhagyashree's son, Abhimanyu Dassani.

Bala and Dassani will both be attending the film festival. The movie will screen at the AMC Village on the Parkway 9 on Saturday, followed by an after-party at Saffron House in Addison.

The festival closes with the Texas premiere of Aijaz Khan's heartfelt Kashmiri drama about a boy in search of his missing father in "Hamid". The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Khan.

"This is our most ambitious, comprehensive and well-balanced programming to date; it has the greatest number of international premieres," Jitin Hingorani of JINGO Media, founder and festival director, told PTI.

"For the first time since its existence, DFW SAFF will awards films, to be selected by an esteemed panel of jurors. The theme of this year's festival is 'Five Years: Five Awards'."

Categories include Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Short. Two additional special mention awards will be selected by the audience-at-large. They are Audience Favourite and Best Child Actor, Hingorani added.

Presented by Toyota, the festival runs till May 19.