Day 3 | Program 8
Monday October 3, 2011
DAY 3 – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5
PROGRAM 8 – CENTERPIECE PRESENTATION: ASHES
CINEPLEX ODEON INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE CINEMAS
What do you do when your world is falling apart and you are faced with difficult choices that affect those you love? In Ashes, two brothers live in a tough New york neighbourhood and feel that their lives are going nowhere. One brother, Kartik (Farah Tahir) is battling demons of dark depression that he can’t seem to get away from, and the other brother Ashes (Ajay Naidu) is making choices that lead him on a dangerous path towards hardcore crime. Ashes is caught between familial duties and a losing battle to maintain a sense of morals as a drug dealer. Ashes’s environment begins to close in on him as he watches helplessly while his brother fights and suffers in anguish. The film has standout performances by some of Hollywood’s best indie talents — Ajay Naidu, Faran Tahir, Piper Perabo, Heather Burns, and Samrat Chakrabati to name a few. And in Raju, an illegal immigrant in search of a work visa struggles with the morals of his job and a girl.
Director, Producer, and Cast in Attendance
DIRECTOR: Ajay Naidu
PRODUCER: Nina Spensley
WRITERS: Heather Burns, Ajay Naidu, Sidney Feldman
Narrative | HDCAM | Colour | 2010 | 77 min | USA | English
Previous Screenings/Awards: Best Actor – London Asian Film Festival 2011, Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival 2010; Best of Festival – Queens World Film Festival 2011; FILMI Toronto South Asian Film Festival; Chicago South Asian Film Festival; India Int’l Film Festival of Tampa Bay; Tongues on Fire; Boston Int’l Film Festival; Silk Screen Film Festival
How do we ignore the deterioration of a person or a neighborhood that is right in front of our eyes? Ashes is a cautionary tale of mental illness, greed, and the definition of family both real and imagined. The story of two brothers living in the inner city, as one descends into the grips of manic-depressive schizoid disorder, the other, Ashes, absconds from his responsibility and tries to become a wealthy drug dealer. Fraught with contradiction, the story is a meditation on how easy it is to fall through the cracks of today’s health care system and how we ultimately find grace in the face of suicide.
IN ATTENDANCE: Ajay Naidu
Ajay Naidu grew up in Chicago where he worked extensively as an actor in both film and theatre from a very young age. He is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre’s Institute for Advanced Theatre, training at Harvard University. He has acted in over 50 films and television projects. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 1996 for his performance in Rick Linklater’s film, Suburbia. Ashes marks his directorial debut.
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Nina Spensley (Producer) and Heather Burns (Executive Producer, Actor)
Part of VAFF’s Love Letters to Vancouver series
Director in Attendance
DIRECTOR / WRITER / PRODUCER: Anand Kanna
Documentary | Digital | Colour | 2011 | 3 min | Canada | English
Previous Screenings/Awards: VAFF Love Letters to Vancouver Presentation 2011; Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon 2011 Gala Screening
My Vancouver is Anand Kanna’s short Love Letter to Vancouver. Produced in celebration of Vancouver’s 125th anniversary, the short lists only a few of the reasons that makes Vancouver Anand’s favourite city on the planet.
Director In Attendance
DIRECTOR / WRITER: Shiva Bajpai
PRODUCERS: Samina Akbari, Anna Rose King
Narrative | HDCAM | Colour | 2011 | 12 min | USA | English
Previous Screenings/Awards: Official Selection – Clermont-Ferrand Int’l Short Film Festival 2011, San Francisco Int’l Asian American Film Festival 2011, New York Int’l Indian Film Festival 2011
During the credit crisis of 2008, Raju, an undocumented immigrant in New York City, works for a debt relief agency and must choose between his work visa and the girl he’s falling for.