From July 10th to July 19th, the Silk Screen Film Festival will celebrate its tenth consecutive year with 30 feature films and eight shorts representing countries such as China, India, South Korea, and many more.
The festival kicks off on July 9th with an Red Carpet Gala at Carlow University‘s A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology. The evening includes live music by Silk Sound and a DJ dance party with Pandemic and Pete Spynda, as well as dance performances by Steel Dragon, Shravani and Subhashini Charyulu, Bee Law, Jen Gallagher and Kari Merlina, and Christine Andrews and Maria Hamer. The gala begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $125 and are available for purchase at the Silk Screen website.
The schedule begins with the opening night film Theeb at Regent Square Theater. Set in 1916 Wadi Rum, the story of brotherhood and betrayal follows Theeb, a boy who lives with his Bedouin tribe in a forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire. Having recently lost his father, it falls to Theeb’s brother, Hussein, to raise him. Hussein tries to teach Theeb the Bedouin way of life, but the young boy is more interested in mischief than mentorship. Their lives are interrupted with the arrival of a British Army Officer and his Guide on a mysterious mission. Unable to refuse help to his guests for fear of dishonouring his late father’s reputation, Hussein agrees to escort the pair to their destination, a water-well on the old pilgrimage route to Mecca. Fearful of losing his brother, Theeb chases after Hussein and embarks on a treacherous journey across the Arabian Desert. The screening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase at the Silk Screen website.
The festival continues with films such as the acclaimed Tangerines. Set in 1992, during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution, the story focuses on two Estonian immigrant farmers who decide to remain in Georgia long enough to harvest their tangerine crop. When the war comes to their doorsteps, Ivo (Estonian actor Lembit Ulfsak) takes in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides. The fighters vow to kill each other when they recover, but their extended period of recovery has a humanizing effect that might transcend ethnic divides. Tangerines will screen on July 11th and July 16th at Regent Square Theater.
Also showcased is Dukhtar, Pakistan’s official entry to the 87th Academy Awards. The road trip thriller – which serves as the directorial debut of Afia Nathaniel – follows a mother who goes on the run with her ten-year-old daughter to save the girl from an arranged marriage to a tribal leader. Dukhtar will screen at a special Centerpiece Presentation on July 16th at Regent Square Theater. Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase at Showclix.
The festival will also spotlight two films from Vietnam, including Nuoc 2030, a dystopian mystery about young woman seeking the truth about the murder of her husband, whom she suspects has been killed by the people of a floating farm. Also featured is Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere, a drama about a young couple in Hanoi who resort to desperate measures to raise money for an abortion. Both films will screen at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
The festival will conclude with Miss India America. The lighthearted selection follows Lily, an Orange County high schooler whose strict life plan involves becoming a brain surgeon like her father and marrying her boyfriend, Karim. But her plan is derailed when Karim runs off with Reshma, the reigning Miss India National beauty queen. Not happy about losing at anything, Lily decides that she herself must become the new Miss India National. Miss India America will screen on July 19th at the Melwood Screening Room. Tickets are $20 and are available at Showclix.
Also included is the Indian drama Chotoder Chobi, the episodic South Korean feature Futureless Things, and the Thai coming-of-age story How to Win at Checkers (Every Time). See a complete film schedule on the Silk Screen website.
Screenings will take place at the Melwood Screening Room and Regent Square Theater. Directions to the venues can be found on the festival website. Tickets are $20 for the opening night reception, and $15 for the closing film. Those interested can purchase a four-pack of tickets for $30. Individual films are $10, $5 with a student ID.