FILMI SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL Rating: NNN
If the regions of the world ever duked it out over who was the most film-crazed, my money would be on South Asia. The Bollywood behemoth churns out over 800 movies a year, and that's just the mainstream.
The fifth annual Filmi Festival, in conjunction with Masala! Mehndi! Masti!, presents 20 indie Indian films over 10 days in four locations. Of the sample I watched, three-fifths concerned South Asian men who want to be filmmakers.
The best of those is the NFB-produced Cosmic Current (August 8, 3:30 pm, York Quay Centre), a wry, affectionate family portrait by north Saskatchewan native Anand Ramayya. When Ramayya's mother is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family goes on a pilgrimage to a religious site near her birthplace in southern India. Personal and spiritual revelations aside, the film's most engaging scenes involve Ramayya's complex relationship with his father, a gregarious psychologist who sinks every spare penny and moment into the production of feature films.
Thoughtful, smart and exceptionally honest.
The festival runs August 6-15 at York Quay Centre, the AGO, the ROM and the NFB.