Silk Screen Film Festival 2012 opens with Aung San Suu Kyi film

Festival director Harish Saluja and his team

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Pittsburgh – Silk Screen, an Asian arts and cultural organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, featured 25 films at its seventh annual Asian American Film Festival, May 11-20. The festival, a showcase of Asian films and filmmakers with origins in Asian cultures was attended by thousands, said festival director Harish Saluja.

The festival began with a star-studded gala and opening night screening of the film, “The Lady,” the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma’s democracy movement who spent 15 years under house arrest before her election to the Burmese parliament in 2012. The film follows her triumphs, struggles and the love story with her husband, writer Michael Aris.

Suu Kyi is played by Michelle Yeoh, a Malaysian-born actress from Hong Kong who went to extraordinary lengths to perfect the character of the famous Nobel Peace Prize winner. Yeoh studied the Burmese language, perfected her piano playing, lost weight, and watched hundreds of hours of video of Suu Kyi to perfect her uncanny portrayal.

After the screening, guests were invited to enjoy exotic cuisine and performances by Pittsburgh’s premiere Asian entertainers at the gala at the Rivers Club. Manu Narayan, the star actor of the film “Good Night, Good Morning,” was one of the celebrity attendees of the gala along with the festival director, artist, and filmmaker Harish Saluja.

The closing night film was “Trishna,” the story of a young Indian woman caught between family tradition and the rapidly closing in modern world, starring Frieda Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire fame.

Silk Screen, a nonprofit Asian arts and cultural organization, promotes diversity and multicultural appreciation of the Asian and Asian American experience through cultural events like its Silk Screen Film Festival. (IATNS)

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