Filmmaker Mira Nair will be the recipient of the Irving M. Levin Directing Award at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, honoring the director’s expansive body of work and celebrating her unique contributions to the art of cinema.
Mira Nair has been an exhilarating if lonely bridge between American and South Asian film traditions for more than thirty years. Her provocative work draws elements from classic Bengali cinema and Bollywood on one hand, Italian neorealism and Golden Age Hollywood on the other. Her greatest films – Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, The Reluctant Fundamentalist – passionately recount stories of the Indian subcontinent, perfectly attuned for a global audience. The award will be presented to Nair at Film Society Awards Night, Monday April 25 at Fort Mason Herbst Pavillion (2 Marina Blvd.).
Mira Nair will also be honored at An Afternoon with Mira Nair where a screening of her film Monsoon Wedding and an onstage conversation about her career highlights will take place.
Screening: 4/24 -4:30pm @ Castro Theatre
Monsoon Wedding Mira Nair, India/USA (2001)
Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion in 2001, Monsoon Wedding is a film of gigantic heart served with an ample dollop of social satire. Five romantic entanglements threaten to derail a high-end New Delhi marriage as the film effortlessly shifts between Bollywood expressionism and Altman-like character intrigue, gut-busting comedy and tender romance.
Two other South Asian Film Screenings at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival
– Thithi Raam Reddy, India (2016)
In a small South Indian village, a cantankerous centenarian keels over and dies, setting the stage for a capricious comedy of errors among three generations of dissimilar sons. Conflict, confusion, corruption and a series of ill-conceived actions all come to a head at the funeral celebration (the titular thithi). With its charming cast of non-professional actors—both human and ovine—director Raam Reddy’s feature film offers a playful portrait of intergenerational conflicts and differences.
4/30 – 3:30pm @ Roxie
5/1 – 3:15pm @ BAMPFA
5/4 – 9pm @ Alamo
– The Man Who Knew Infinity Matthew Brown, UK (2015)
Starring: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Stephen Fry, Toby Jones
Self-taught mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) seeks to burnish his talents at Cambridge’s Trinity College on the eve of the First World War in this entertaining fish-out-water biopic. Invited to study by don G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), the Madras, India, native faces prejudice and clashes with his new mentor over methodology, but remains committed to realizing his gifts. Writer/director Matthew Brown celebrates Ramanujan with a drama that encompasses the triumphs and the tragedies of his life.
4/24 – 1pm @ Catro
Tickets to An Afternoon with Mira Nair are $20 for SFFS members, $25 for the general public. Tickets for this special event are on sale Tuesday, March 29 for SFFS members, Friday, April 1 for the general public, online at sffs.org.