Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

WHAT: “Beyond Bollywood: 24th annual South Asian Film Festival”

WHEN: Sept. 29-Oct. 1

TICKETS: Series pass - $50 or individual tickets - $11 per movie

WHERE: Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. For movie timings and other information, visit or call (407) 333-3667.



“Beyond Bollywood: 24th Annual South Asian Film Festival,” which will take place Sept. 29-Oct. 1, showcases diverse images of South Asian (India/Pakistan) culture and heritage through acclaimed independent films from across the globe. The program is part of Enzian Theater’s cultural festival circuit and is co-presented with the Asian Cultural Association and sponsored by Orlando Weekly.

Below is a synopsis of some of the confirmed movies to be shown during the three-day festival.

LovesickLOVESICK” – English, Tamil, Hindi; 74 minutes; directed by Ann S. Kim and Priya Giri Desai

In this documentary shot over eight years, after discovering the first cases of HIV in India in 1986, Dr. Suniti Solomon left a prestigious academic job to build her own clinic focusing on treating HIV/AIDS patients. Several decades and breakthroughs in treatment later, her clinic is highly regarded and her patients are living longer lives. While surviving, some of her patients are not thriving. Being Indian, they feel immense societal pressure to marry, but also face the stigma of being HIV-positive. Now in the twilight of her impressive career, Dr. Solomon creates a matchmaking service. Through the service, we meet Manu and Karthik, two of her patients who want to share their lives with someone but are fearful they never will.

DARK WINDDARK WIND” (Kadvi Hawa) – Hindi; 99 minutes; directed by Nila Madhab Panda

Sanjay Mishra and Ranvir Shorey bring to life this sensitive dramatization of climate change’s effects on a diverse cross-section of Indian society. In the Mahua region of Rajasthan, once known for flourishing farmlands, the ever-decreasing rainfall has left farmers without a crop to sell, and therefore with no money to repay their hefty bank loans. Hedu, the father of one such farmer, fears his son’s misfortune will lead him to drastic action. He visits a notorious debt collection officer, known as the “god of death” for his vicious tactics, looking to strike a bargain. But the agreement they reach might offer solutions for some, and total ruin for others.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.” – English, Tamil; 96 minutes; directed by Steve Loveridge

Drawn from a cache of personal video recordings from the past 22 years, this personal profile of the critically acclaimed artist, chronicles her journey from refugee immigrant to pop star. She began as Matangi. Daughter of the founder of Sri Lanka’s armed Tamil resistance, she hid from the government in the face of a vicious and bloody civil war. When her family fled to the UK, she became Maya, a precocious and creative teenager in London. Finally, the world met her as M.I.A. when she emerged on the global stage, having created a mashup identity that pulled from every corner of her journey blending Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the unwavering voice of a burgeoning multicultural youth.

WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAYWHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY” – Urdu, Norwegian; 106 minutes; written and directed by Iram Haq

Nisha (Maria Mozhdah), 16, lives a double life. When out with her friends, she's a normal Norwegian teenager. At home with her family, she is the perfect Pakistani daughter. But when her father (Adil Hussain) catches her alone with her boyfriend in her room, Nisha's two worlds brutally collide. To set an example and escape the judgment of their peers, her parents send Nisha against her will to a small town in Pakistan to live with extended family. There, in an unfamiliar country with people she barely knows, Nisha must adapt to a rigid culture that denies the freedoms she once enjoyed.

Chhota Cinema: Indian Shorts”

“Kaashi,” “MoongfaliWala,” “Shivani,” “Tara Versus” and “The Never-Ending Marathon of Mr. Dharam Singh” will be shown.  


Story provided by Sheila Narayanan

Robin Elam-Rye

Renowned Indian dancer Dr. Anita Ratnam brings her unique production, “A Million Sitas,” to Tampa on Sept. 23. This unique concept is drama, dance, music, poetry, color, and vibrant story telling. She brings researched, new perspectives to a widely known story from Indian mythology. The story seamlessly moves through the lives of Sita, Mandodari, Manthara and Shurpanakha from their own eyes. The riveting music is set in various languages, with narration in English. The dance is in Ratnam’s own neo-classical style. She says, “My Sita is the story told through the eyes of women who have not been given voice and flesh... Even Sita’s words are not completely my own ... I have culled from the various re-tellings of this story and come up with a script that will inspire women, girls and mothers. And, yes, men are also welcome to listen to a version that has already been in existence, but perhaps not too familiar!”

We were curious to know the acclaimed dancer’s thoughts on some issues facing today’s young dancer and preserving the arts, specifically in the United States. When asked how she envisions preserving our heritage, Ratnam responded, “I am not for the word preserving. I prefer the word nurturing. The first word connotes wrapping a product into muslin and surrounding it with mothballs so as to not rot or decay. Dance and music are living tangible entities. They are embodied arts, inscribed upon the body, voice and limbs of the performers. The very same item that I performed one year ago gets transformed with time, experience and the changing environment. To nurture means to be like a cultural gardener. To turn the soil, water the inspiration and allow the dance to slowly grow and bloom.”

Photo by Parth Swaminath

Traditionally, learning Indian arts was a slow process. In today’s world, as everything becomes faster, so does the learning process. What are her thoughts on today’s fast paced society in regards to dance? “Children and beginners need to focus on the fundamentals. YouTube and iPads have become a distraction and a temptation to take the quick way out by imitation. This is not learning. The body has to learn, absorb and retain muscle memory. I say all this for American kids. You never see shortcuts in ballet or piano lessons. So why should we devalue the learning process and time needed for Bharathanatyam?”

Her years of training, dedication and hard work are seen in each of her choreographies and productions. Ratnam is well-trained in Bharathanatyam, Kathakalli, Mohini Attam, T’ai Chi and Kalarippayattu, and is considered one of India’s most recognized and celebrated dancers.

Her career spans over four decades, with more than 1,500 performances in 27 countries. A cultural activist and a cultural ambassador, her productions are unique yet steeped in history; the thoughts are new, but the history is rich.

Presented by Shreyas Arts and Tam2AUSA, “A Million Sitas” will take the stage at 4:30 p.m. at Walter L. Sickles High School Auditorium, 7950 Gunn Highway, Tampa. For more information, call Sheila Narayanan at (813) 335-8000. 

New Terminal Facility will Host ORLANDO INDIAN CHAMBER Awards Gala SEPT. 22

IACCThe Indian American Chamber of Commerce- Orlando (IACC) will hold its 9th Annual Awards Gala on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the all-new Intermodal Terminal Facility at Orlando International Airport. The keynote Speaker is Dr. Dale Whittaker, new president for the University of Central Florida. The IACC- Orlando will show its support for the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association at the gala.

The IACC will honor Central Florida award winners at this year's gala in the following categories: Entrepreneur of the Year, Community Service of the Year, Female Business Professional of the Year and Male Business Professional of the Year.

The 9th Annual Awards Gala will remind attendees that the IACC is taking a leading role in fostering business opportunities for entrepreneurs in Central Florida, from the IACC annual India Day at the Orlando Magic, to events like the Smart and Sustainable Cities Collaborative.

“Our 9th Annual Awards Gala will recognize the accomplishments of outstanding business leaders. We want everyone in our community to know who is making a difference in Central Florida,” said Yog Melwani, IACC president. “Entrepreneurs, who deliver superior services and results, drive innovation. That in turn creates jobs and more prosperity in our community.”

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Intermodal Terminal Facility, Orlando International Airport, 1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd., and features a cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment.

Visit for information.

CALL 813-758-1786.
or write to

[email protected]
homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealth
immigrationfinanceMINDBODY/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionbooks/getawaysIIFA 2014ART
astrologyyouthmotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook!