Philanthropist Frank Islam Blesses DCSAFF, Hosts Dinner for Participants

(L-R) Director Huma Beg, Special Appreciation Award for Documentary - Veils and Walls with Immigration Attorney Sheela Murthy, Debbie Driesman & Frank Islam

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Washington, DC –Kadambari, a Bengali film about the suicide of Kadambari Devi, sister-in-law of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, in 1883, won the Best Film award at the recently concluded 4th Washington, DC, South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF).

Earlier, inaugurating the festival, well-known Indian American entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Islam spoke about the theme of this year’s festival.

“Art and culture transcend boundaries,” Islam said “even though we live in a deeply divided world” and “unsettling times” — dominated by “wars, refugees, terrorism, hate crimes of all types, boundary disputes” — art and culture “elevate and unite all of us.”

He added: “The fact that we have with us today some of the finest collection of talents from India and Pakistan under one roof is proof that art and culture indeed transcend all the boundaries.”

In all 14 features,10 short films and one documentary from India, Pakistan, the United States and Canada were screened at the three-day festival at the end of September. There were two workshops, one on acting and the other on script writing.

Frank Islam along with Debbie Driesman hosted an enjoyable evening dinner at their huge house for a select group of guests including Gauri Singh, who is the president and founder of the not-for-profit organization, the North Carolina International South Asian Film Festival (NCISAFF) and NC First in Aviation State’s Global Film Fest. She came all the way from North Carolina to attend.

On the overall success of the DCSAFF, festival Director Sangeeta Anand said, “Every year we have heard from almost all our guests, including the very famous ones and not-so-famous ones, that they feel very welcome and well-taken care of and enjoy being with our team … Not only guests but our audience has been full of praise at how everything was so well managed at and how much they loved it.”

“Besides the movies, all enjoyed the South Asian Mini Bazaar, good food, clothing, jewelry, and Henna Artists,” noted Manoj Singh, the Executive Director of the festival.

Jury Awards:

Best Film – Kadambari
Best Story – Rough Book
Best Director – Chaitanya Tamhane(Court)
Best Actor – Kishor Kadam (Partu)
Best Actress – Konkona Sen Sharma (Kadambari)
Best Short Film – Bonjour ji

Audience Awards:
Best Film – Partu
Best Short Film – Billu’s Flight

Special Awards:
Special Achievement Award – Aparna Sen
Special Appreciation Award Documentary – Huma Beg (Veils and Walls)
Special Award for contribution to Pakistan TV and Films – Sarmad Khoosat

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