Season Six – 2011

The Lady   (Opening Night)The Lady

2011 / France, UK / Dir. Besson / 132 minutes
From director Luc Besson, The Lady is an inspirational biopic of Myanmar’s (Burma) pro-democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi. The film follows her triumphs, struggles and the love story with her husband, writer Michael Aris.

Trishna    (Closing Night)        

2011 / UK / Dir. Michael Winterbottom/ 117 minutes
[Advisory: Sexual content and violence]
In this tragic drama starring Slumdog Millonare’s Freida Pinto, director Michael Winterbottom reimagines Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles in contemporary India. Through the fragile heroine, the cruelties of sexual double-standards are exposed.

Sunny (Festival Finale and Party)

2010 / South Korea / Dir. Hyeong-Cheol Kang/ 124 minutes
[Advisory: Strong language and violence]
Like a South Korean version of Now and Then, Sunny flows through the past and present of seven women that recall and relive their high school glory days. Na-Mi works to reunite the members of her high school girl gang, “Sunny,” before the death of her friend Choon-Hwa.


2011/Kazakhstan, Russia, Germany/Director: Veit Helmer/95 min.
A cross-cultural sleeping beauty tale with a twist, Baikonur is framed by the Kazakh proverb “Whatever falls from Heaven, you may keep.”  So when a young radio operator named Iskander finds a beautiful French astronaut has fallen to the steppes from the Russian space station, Baikonur, he decides to claim her as his bride.


2010/India, Mali, Netherlands/Director: Sander Francken/72 min.
Driven by his curiosity in other cultures and the mysteries of human nature, director Sander Francken delivers a captivating trilogy of folk tales. Each story is based on a folk song from a non-Western culture and shows that it is old wisdom which unites people.

The Beetle Soldiers

Film Screening Sponsored by UPMC, Dignity  & Respect Campaign of Greater Pittsburgh
2011/Indonesia/Director: Ari Sihasale/106 min.
A powerful and uplifting tale for young and old alike, The Beetle Soldiers, captures a child’s struggle to follow his dreams amidst a world of adversity. The film follows the young Amek who struggles at school and is bullied for his cleft-lip, yet has big ambitions to one day race his horse.

Buddha Mountain

2010/China/Diretor: Yu Li/104 min.
[Advisory: Adult Language]
In this coming of age story, three twenty-something friends in China are forced to leave their apartment only to find themselves homeless. A trip to a mountaintop Buddhist temple and an encounter with a retired opera singer named Madam Chang renews their outlook on life.

Chronicle of my Mother

2011/Japan/Director: Masato Harada/108 min.
[Advisory:  ]
Directed by Masato Harada, Chronicle of my Mother, reflects the relationship between a man and his mother, whose health and mind are slowly fading. This heartfelt film comments on family roles in Japanese society while bringing together generations and rejoicing in the relationship between parents and their children.

Dekh Indian Circus

2011/India/Director: Mangesh Hadawale/101 min.
In this comedic satire, a group of young children in the rural deserts of Rajasthan want nothing more than to visit the circus. But without a rupee to spare, the children must find a way to get to the circus on their own. Their aspirations and heartbreaks provide a metaphor of corruption in India’s government and economy.

Delhi in a Day

2011/India/Director: Prashant Nair/88 min.
When Jasper, an idealistic British traveler, loses his wallet with all of his life savings while staying in a South Delhi mansion, he inadvertently causes chaos between the home and its servants. The sticky situation turns into comedic tale while also shedding light on stereotypes and class differences in modern Delhi.


2011/Indonesia/Director: Adilla Dimitri/100 min.
[Advisory: Sexual Content and violence]
A dark underworld of cops and criminals lies beneath the city of Jakarta, although no one knows, or wants to admit, the immensity of its vices. Through 5 short stories, Dilema brings to light Indonesia’s social problems of corruption, radicalism and gambling, and blurs the lines between good and evil.

The Front Line

2011/South Korea/Director: Hun Jang/133 min.
[Advisory: Violence]
In Panmunjeon, Korea 1953, the dramatic Korean War has finally reached an armistice. Only a single hill remains up for debate. The war is over, but one battle still continues. Hours before the official agreement is to be signed, one last attack is launched. Both North and South must fight to the death to control where the borders of the two countries will lay forever.

Good Night, Good Morning

2010/India, USA/Director: Sudhish Kamath/88 min.
[Advisory: ]
A boy, a girl, and a telephone: Good Night, Good Morning is a recipe for good old-fashioned romance. After a wild night of partying with the guys, Turiya gathers the courage to call the room of Moria, a girl he met briefly at the hotel bar. Paralleled on a split-screen in black and white, the ordinary conversation is transformed into a dream-like experience.


2010/Philippines/Director: Sheron R. Dayoc/78 mins.
[Advisory: ]
Halaw delves into the human trafficking operation between the seas of the South Philippines and Malaysia. Based on real life stories, the film chronicles the hardships of passengers who take the perilous crossing with hope for a better life amidst a world of uncertainty.

I am a Ghost

2012/USA/Director: HP Mendoza/74 min.
[Advisory: Violence]
Something seems to be haunting the girl living alone in a giant Victorian mansion, who monotonously repeats the motions of her daily life in strange ways. In a spooky twist, the girl learns from an unseen medium that the real ghost haunting the mansion is herself.

Lovely Man

2011/Indonesia/Director: Teddy Soeriaatmadja/76 min.
[Advisory: Sexual Content and violence]
When a 19-year-old devout Muslim girl goes searching her long lost father, she finds he is no longer the kind hearted man she remembers – instead, he is a woman in a red sequined dress and heels, working as a prostitute on the streets. In this dark and compelling drama, the two must learn how to forgive and understand each other.


Film Screening Sponsored by Prudential Financial
[pre film reception by invitation only]
Co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2012 film series. For more information, visit
2011/Iran/Director: Morteza Farshbaf/85 min.
Amidst a fight, Arshia’s parents flee into the night, leaving him behind in the care of his hearing impaired aunt and uncle. Using the sign language between the two as a narrative technique, the film builds suspense and dramatically relays the complex truth about Arshia’s parents.


Melwood Screening Room

Centerpiece Selection
Film Screening Sponsored by UPMC Health Plan
[Pre film reception by invitation only]
2011/India/Director: Prashant Bhargava/93 min.
“The storytelling is effortlessly made part of the hypnotically beautiful visuals, and woven into a kaleidoscope of colors, faces,music and a little romance. Bhargava is masterful in the way he allows his story to emerge from his mosaic, instead of spelling it out by thenumbers. Evokes the old and new Indias side by side as well as I’ve seen done.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
A Delhi businessman travels with his daughter to his childhood home in Ahmadabad to show her India’s largest kite festival. The return forces him to confront his past and mend broken relationships. Through a kaleidoscope of color, music and food, Patang is a story of renewal that captures the vibrant spirit of India.

Pearls of the Far East

2011/Vietnam, Canada/Director: Cuong Ngo/103 min.
[Advisory: Adult Language & Sexual Content ]
In his feature film debut, Vietnamese director Cuong Ngo captures the complexity of love from childhood to old age. Seven short chapters reflect moments of innocence, desire and heartbreak in the lives of different women.


2011/Israel/Director: Nadav Lapid/105 min.
[Advisory: Sexual Content and violence]
Chaos ensues when expecting father Yaron, an officer in an elite Israeli anti-terrorist unit, is faced with a hostage situation created by a group of young radicals plotting to bring class equality to Israel. The encounter forces him to face the realities of class war and confront his own internal battles.


Co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2012 film series. For more information, visit
2010/ Germany, Iraq/ Dir. Oday Rasheed/ 90 minutes
[Advisory: Violence]
A shattered family in modern-day Baghdad lives in a state of baited breath while a mysterious hit man lives in the room above their house. From Director Oday Rasheed, Qarantina follows a family in tragic circumstances and what happens when they reach the tipping point.


2011/India/Director: Sujay Dahake/105 min.
[Advisory: Sexual Content and violence]
Shala, meaning “school,” follows four rambunctious ninth grade boys looking for answers about learning, life and love. Set against the backdrop of the 1970s Indian Emergency, the youth try to make sense of the turbulent political climate while also dealing with puppy love and growing pains.

Toll Booth

Co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2012 film series. For more information, visit
2010/Turkey/Director: Tolga Karacelik/96 min.
[Advisory:  Adult Themes]
Toll booth worker Kenan is a “robot” according to his coworkers and at home, his aging father ridicules his every action. Mentally drained from the monotony and criticism, Kenan starts to lose his connections to reality. With the perfect blend of beauty, self-deprecation and intelligence, Toll Booth, tells the story of an automated man about to explode

War of the Arrows

2011 / South Korea / Dir. Han-min Kim / 122 minutes
[Advisory:  Violence]
Set during the Manchu War of 1636 in Korea, this trilling action film follows a brother’s courage and dedication to his sister as he fends off an invading army with nothing more than his wit and a bow and arrow. With its expansive cinematography and dynamic score, the action-packed film will be sure to pierce hearts and capture the indomitable spirit of Korea.

Woman in the Septic Tank

2011/Philippines/Director: Marlon Rivera/87 min.
[Advisory: Adult Themes]
Three independent filmmakers believe that they have what it takes to make an Academy Award winning film about poverty in the Philippines. Reminiscent of “Groundhog Day,” the film hilariously follows various repetitions on the same scene, revealing the real motives of the misguided filmmakers.