Asian American Film Festival is Ready for Its Close Up
4/18/2006 Filed under Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jodi S. Klebick, 412-977-2402, email@example.com
Harish Saluja, 724-969-2565, firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian American Film Festival is Ready for Its Close Up
Pittsburgh’s SILK SCREEN Festival Debut Features International Films & Filmmakers
Pittsburgh, PA – April 18, 2006 – The founders of Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival have spent the last 14
months preparing to put Pittsburgh in the international spotlight. Now they are ready for their close up: Silk Screen is
a unique multiple-day international film festival premiering in Pittsburgh, May 12-20, 2006. Showcasing more than 20
feature films in multiple venues, Silk Screen is the first ever Asian American Film Festival to be held in Pittsburgh. The
festival will be screening feature films made by Asians and Asian-Americans at the three Pittsburgh Filmmakers
venues: The Regent Square Theater, Harris Theater, and the Melwood Screening Room. Although individual tickets
may be purchased for $8.00 at each theater box office, patrons may buy $50.00 advanced tickets via a multiscreening
pass good for eight films per pass on the silk screen website: www.silkscreenfestival.org. A complete list of
the films and the screening schedule may also be found online.
Each film is feature length (60 minutes in length minimum), and tells a universally appealing story of human
emotions, joy and/or drama. Many of the films have won numerous awards, and several are scheduled for special
presentations that include question and answer sessions with the filmmakers.
According to Festival Director Harish Saluja, a film director whose movie “The Journey” recently aired on the
Independent Film Channel, “The world these days is a complicated place, but film is direct: not only are movies
entertaining, but they speak to all of us. Who wants to listen to a boring lecture on world affairs,” he adds, tongue in
cheek, “When instead one can have fun while gaining a true understanding of the world and its cultures through
Saluja continues, “Pittsburgh has a wonderful story to tell, and we feel it is important for our region to get the
attention it deserves form the international film community. We are excited to be bringing together the Asian
populations and also with them, the community at large. In doing so, we also expect to show economic
development results ancillary to the cultural awareness we can create with the festival!”
In addition to screening award-winning films, the festival organizers are excited to be showing off their hometown to
a variety of international dignitaries and film industry celebrities. Anticipated appearances include: Konkona
Sensharma, Lead Actress: “Amu;” Shuhei Fujita, Director: “Quiet Summer;” Manu Narayan, Actor: Broadway’s
“Bombay Dreams;” Erik Paulsson, Producer: “Eve and the Fire Horse;” Tanuj Chopra, Director: “Punching at the Sun;”
Neelam Deo, Consul General of India; Steven Mallorca, Director: “Slow Jam King;” Ham Tran, Director: “Journey
From the Fall;” Ahmad Razvi, Lead Actor: “Man Push Cart;” and Michael Kang, Director: “The Motel.” Many
filmmakers are scheduled to speak after their individual screenings, and most will be in attendance at the Silk
Screen Opening Night Gala.
Silk Screen’s Opening Night Gala fundraiser is being held at 7:30 PM on Saturday, May 13, 2006 at the Nine-Over-9th
Gallery and Rooftop Patio, 121 Ninth Street, Downtown, Pittsburgh. Dress is Ethnic/Black Tie optional. Tickets for the
Gala are $50.00/person and will provide attendees with the opportunity to sample the area’s best in Asian ethnic
cuisine, as well as to experience unique performances by: the Pittsburgh Chinese School Lion Dancers; Adam Liu,
Assistant Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; the Kala-Niketan Academy of Indian Classical
Dance; the Organization of Chinese Americans Youth Performance Ensemble; and the Royal Polynesians. Weather
permitting, gala-goers can also dance the night away over-looking PNC Park while grooving to the World Fusion
Dance Party presented by DJ Bonics. Tickets for the Gala may be purchased on the Silk Screen website at
www.silkscreenfestival.org or online at www.BlackTiePittsburgh.com.
Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival is a unique multiple-day International Film Festival premiering May 12-20
2006, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. With more than 20 feature films in multiple venues, and the Opening Night Gala,
Silk Screen will be an annual event showcasing the cultural heritage of Asia. Asia is defined by the Festival as Asianspeaking
countries east of the Bosporus, such as India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the
Philippines, and more. Simply put, Silk Screen will showcase films with universal themes that transcend political and
cultural boundaries. Silk Screen is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)3 non-profit media arts organization.
To purchase Multi-Screening Passes or Opening Night Gala tickets, and for full information about the films and the
festival schedule, please visit: http://www.silkscreenfestival.org. Silk Screen is proud to be sponsored by numerous
commercial and community entities. Silk Screen’s Premiere Partner is Wall to Wall Design Studios, Pittsburgh. For
general inquiries only, please contact Harish Saluja, Festival Director, at 724-969-2565 or email@example.com.
ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Opening Night Selection, Regent Square Theater, Friday, May 12, 8:00 PM:
“Amu,” an American film starring Konkona Shensharma, is the story of Kaju, a twenty-one-year-old Indian-
American woman who returns to India to visit her family, only to stumble against secrets and lies from her past,
including a horrifying genocide that may hold the key to her mysterious origins.
Special Presentation, Regent Square Theater, Saturday, May 13, 5:00 PM:
“Journey From The Fall” is a film from Thailand directed by Ham Tran, and is dedicated to the millions of boat
people and survivors of the communist re-education camps. It tells the stories of Long Nguyen, who chooses
to stay in Vietnam and fight for his beloved country, and his wife Mai, who together with her son and motherin-
law, reluctantly boards a tiny fishing boat bound for America to begin a perilous journey across the sea,
with nothing but hope to keep them alive.
Special Presentation, Regent Square Theater, Sunday, May 14, 5:00 PM:
“Eve and the Fire Horse,” is a Canadian film by Julie Kwan. Eve was born in the year of the Fire Horse, notorious
among Chinese families for producing the most troublesome children. Caught between her 11-year-old sister's
fantasies of sainthood and her own sense of right and wrong, Eve faces the challenges of childhood with
fanciful humor and wide-eyed wonder.
Centerpiece Presentation, Regent Square Theater, Friday May 19, 7:30 PM & 9:00 PM:
“Red Doors” is an American film that is often favorably compared to Ang Lee's early work. Director Georgia
Lee's phenomenal first feature tells the quirky and compelling story of a Chinese American family whose
disconnection with one another lays the foundation for a thoughtful exploration on the nature of happiness.
Closing Night Presentation, Regent Square Theater, Saturday, May 20, 4:00 PM:
From the courageous and provocative Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta comes “WATER,” the profoundly
moving and provocative story of India's widow houses, where women are taken to live (even today) apart
from society following the deaths of their husbands. Sprinkled with humor, rife with universal emotions and
alive with visual excitement, the story of 'Water' follows three widows who dared to stand up in the liberating
time of Mahatma Gandhi. Seven years in the making, 'Water' was fiercely political controversy when the film's
India based production triggered violent protests by Hindu fundamentalists and was forced to shut down and
remount the production- years later, under a shroud of secrecy in neighboring Sri Lanka. But at the film's debut
at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, Mehta's unflinching and passionate filmmaking resulted in a rousing standing
ovation and critical acclaim. "After making 'Water’,” Mehta said at the time, ”I feel I could retire. That is how
satisfied I am."