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The 14th Annual South Asian International Film Festival Announces Its Glittering 2017 Film Line-Up

NEW YORK (FNN NEWS) — The South Asian International Film Festival, presented by HBO, is celebrating its 14th year by showcasing the very best in South Asian independent cinema to the New York City cinephile community with all screenings taking place at Landmark Sunshine Theater at 143 East Houston Street in the East Village, New York CityWith over 50 percent world premieres this year and over 25 percent North American premieres, along with three New York premieres and one international premiere, SAIFF ’17 takes on epic proportions with critically acclaimed filmmakers, international actors and celebrated film personalities in attendance. Additionally, there will be an inaugural Opening Night Presentation hosted by the New York film industry. With star-studded premieres, thought-provoking interactive sessions, networking opportunities for industry professionals and Tinseltown members from both corners of the world, SAIFF ’17 promises to be a cultural force to reckon with.

The festival throws open its doors with the opening night world premiere of Long Live Brij Mohan, before going on toshowcase its centerpiece filmNa Maloom Afraad 2 and celebrates a successful close to its 14th year with the New Yorkpremiere of Ribbon on the closing night with cast and crew in attendance.

OPENING NIGHT FILM: Long Live Brij Mohan
Directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat / 2017 / India / In Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / World Premiere / 105 mins.
Wednesday, Dec. 137:30 p.m.
Brij Mohan, a hosiery shop owner in a busy middle-class market in Delhi, is fed up with his ball-crusher wife and mounting debts. In a desperate attempt to escape his wretched life, he changes his appearance and adopts a new identity as Amar Sethi … but in the process, ends up committing a botched-up murder. He then runs off with his younger girlfriend, hopeful of making a new beginning. But instead, as luck would have it, he finds himself trapped in a web of his own karma.

CENTERPIECE FILM: Na Maloom Afraad 2
Directed by Nabeel Qureshi / 2017 / Pakistan / In Urdu (with English subtitles).
Narrative Feature / North American Premiere / 118 mins.
Saturday, Dec. 167:30 p.m.
Na Maloom Afraad 2 is an upcoming sequel to the 2014 Pakistani hit thriller film Na Maloom Afraad. The leading cast returning includes Fahad MustafaJaved SheikhMohsin Abbas Haider and Urwa Hocane, along with Hania Amir in the lead and Marina Khan in her debut performance. The film is a hysterical comedy of errors when an extravagant Sheikh arrives in Cape Town with his precious and infamous “Gold Pot” – a toilet bowl made of gold! The Pot mistakenly finds its way to the three misfits – who call themselves Na Maloom Afraad – and are clueless about what to do with it. The movie unfolds as the South African police, smugglers and the Sheikh’s entourage start looking for the Gold Pot as the three misfits do their best to escape unscathed.

Directed by Rakhee Sandilya / 2017 / India / In Hindi (with English subtitles).
Narrative Feature / New York Premiere / 105 mins.
Sunday, Dec. 177:30 p.m.
After a sudden pregnancy, a young urban couple is overwhelmed by their baby girl and discover that parenthood comes with its own challenges. And it takes more than just love to stick through all of life’s curveballs.

SAIFF 2017’s Feature Competition line-up includes the following highly anticipated titles:

Mona Darling
Directed by Shashi Sudigala / India / 2017 / In Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / International Premiere / 111 mins.

In English We Say
Directed by Harish Vyas / India / 2017 / In Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / World Premiere / 104 mins.

Half Widow
Directed by Danish Renzu / India / 2017 / In Urdu (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / World Premiere / 91 mins.

Maacher Jhol
Directed by Pratim D. Gupta / India / 2017 / In Bengali and French (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / New York Premiere / 108 mins.

Code Name Abdul
Directed by Eshwar Gunturu / India / 2017 / In Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / North American Premiere / 114 mins.

SAIFF 2017’s Feature Spectrum line-up includes the following highly anticipated titles:

Directed by Rehan Sheikh / Pakistan / 2017 / In Urdu (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / World Premiere / 121 mins.

Coma Café
Directed by Avi Vasu / India / 2017 / In English and Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Feature / North America Premiere / 104 mins.

SAIFF 2017’s Short Film & HBO Competitors line-up includes the following highly anticipated titles:

Please Don’t Call The Cops
Directed by Kartikye Gupta / United States / 2017 / In Hindi (with English subtitles)
Narrative Short / World Premiere / 15 mins.

Safeword (HBO Competitor)
Directed by Mukesh Vidyasagar / United States / 2017 / English
Narrative Short / World Premiere / 3 mins.

Cobbler’s Dream (HBO Competitor)
Directed by Sydney Chandrasekara / Sri Lanka / 2017 / In Sinhalese (with English subtitles)
Narrative Short / World Premiere / 15 mins.

Diwal’oween (HBO Competitor)
Directed by Shilpa Mankikar / United States / 2017 / English
Narrative Short / World Premiere / 33 mins.

The Pits (HBO Competitor)
Directed by Shetu Modi / Canada / 2017 / English
Narrative Short / New York Premiere / 6 mins.

The Language of the Ball (HBO Competitor)
Directed by Ramón Rodríguez / United States / 2017 / English
Narrative Short / New York Premiere / 9 mins.

The Fourteenth (14th) Annual South Asian International Film Festival runs from Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, to Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017in New York City. For additional information on SAIFF 2017, including screening dates, locations, featured guests and ticketing information, please visit

2017 Festival Sponsors & Patrons: HBO, SANA, ZEE CINEMA, Air India, Microsoft, The New York Times and 20+ South Asian community organizations and associations.

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