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Chicago South Asian Film Festival to Open with ‘Lost’ Starring Rahul Khanna; to Close with Ravi Kapoor’s ‘Four Samosas’

Chicago South Asian Film Festival to Open with ‘Lost’ Starring Rahul Khanna; to Close with Ravi Kapoor’s ‘Four Samosas’

  • The four-day festival will bring the best of desi films, talent, and filmgoers to the windy city.

The Chicago South Asian Film Festival (CSAFF) is back with a stellar film and talent line-up for its 13th edition this year, to be held between Sept. 22 and 25. CSAFF is the largest South Asian-focused festival event in the Midwest. It will present over 80 films in downtown Chicago, at the Columbia Film Row in the South Loop, and at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts, in the loop with over 125 filmmakers and artists making their way to Chicago for this annual event. 

The festival will showcase 27 World Premieres, 23 U.S. Premieres, and 30+ Chicago Premieres and will also have a curtain raiser presentation on Sept. 16 and 17. “A carefully curated collection of independent films, shorts, documentaries, episodic events, and discussions will create the four-day Festival experience this year,” says festival director Jigar Shah. 

2022 Chicago South Asian Film Festival Official Poster. Top photo, From left, Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen and Rajkumar Rao at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival. All photos courtesy Chicago South Asian Film Festival.

The festival will open on Sept. 22 with the feature film “Lost” (at the Columbia film Row), starring Yami Gautam Dhar and Rahul Khanna, who will be present along with director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury. “Lost” is an emotional thriller that represents a higher quest, and a search for lost values of empathy and integrity. Chowdhury’s previous film, ‘Pink,” starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu, made a mark in Indian mainstream cinema and created discussions around women’s consent. 

The opening night line-up will also include the screening of the Dia Mirza-Shreya Dhanwanthary-led short film “Gray,” directed by Sakshi Gurnani and Nikhil Taneja. A special mention of the documentary “Barefoot Empress,” by filmmaker and Michelin star chef Vikas Khanna and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Doug Roland (“Feeling Through”) will be the other highlight of the evening. 

Renowned Bangladeshi filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “No Land’s Man,” starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Megan Mitchell, and Eisha Chopra, and music by A.R. Rahman, will be the festival’s centerpiece film. Additionally, Farooki will be recognized and presented with the festival’s SAFA Award – South Asian Film Award for contribution to cinema. 

“Four Samosas” by Ravi Kapoor will be the closing night film with the filmmakers in attendance. The film, which recently made a splash at the Tribeca Film Festival, has a hyper-talented ensemble cast led by Venk Potula (“Veep”) and Karan Soni (“Deadpool”). IFC films has acquired North American rights. The film centers around an unmotivated South Asian-American rapper who, along with three other first-time thieves, plans a heist on a grocery store owned by his ex-girlfriend’s father to steal her wedding diamonds and disrupt her pending engagement.

Within any community spectrum, gender and inclusive stories exist, and the South Asian community is no different. CSAFF will be spotlighting a selection of films representing LGBTQ voices and stories, such as “Coming Out with the Help of a Time Machine,” featuring Karan Soni; “Same Love,” “Pav Bhaji,” “Look Like You,” and more. “Bully High,” written and directed by Bill McAdams, Jr., centers around issues of religious prejudices, sexual orientation, and bullying. The coming-of-age drama stars Hollywood newcomers Aneesha Madhok and Joseph Baena.

Other stand-outs include the Marathi film “Vaalvi,” directed by Paresh Mokashi; a collection of movies from Pakistan — “Fatima Jinnah” by Danial Khan, “Stay Tuned” by Ali Ahmed, and “Dawa” by Ariella Khan.  

See Also

There are intriguing and compelling documentary films that also dominate the program: “Marginalizing Minorities” by Dipti Gupta, “Women Beyond Bollywood” by Rahila Bootwala, and “This Stained Dawn ” by Anam Abbas, to name some of them. “Kicking Balls” by Vijayeta Kumar, “Humanity our race, Love our Religion” by Sonali Devnani, and “Kekee Manzil: House of Art” by Dilesh Korya, featuring Salman Rushdie and music by Talvin Singh, round up the documentary film category.

CSAFF, founded by Ketki Parikh (also president) and Amit Rana, has the solid support of the Indian film and media industry with veterans Shabana Azmi, Aparna Sen, Vishal Bhardwaj, Lillete Dubey, Bhawana Somaaya, and Deepti D’Cunha, comprising the honorary board of directors. Throughout the festival, there will be mini events, discussions, filmmakers lounge series, press conferences and after-party events. The festival will close on Sunday, Sept. 25 with an Audience Choice Awards ceremony for best feature and best short film.

For additional information on CSAFF 2022, including screening times, locations, featured guests, and ticketing details, visit

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