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US to get a taste of India via film festivals

entertainment Updated: Apr 27, 2007 13:18 IST

While a film festival in New York screens documentaries from India and Pakistan, a museum in New Jersey is all set to showcase antiques at an annual Asian heritage expo.

New York's Tribeca Film Festival, April 25 to May 6, will screen 159 feature films and 85 shorts, including two South Asian documentaries Shame and Salim Baba as well as a screenplay reading of A First Class Man, a film on Indian mathematics genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.

From India, Salim Baba, directed by Tim Sternberg, tells the story of Salim Muhammad from Kolkata who entertains people with an 1897 hand-cranked portable bioscope projector inherited from his father.

Directed by Mohammed Ali Naqvi, Shame is the moving story of Mukhtaran Mai, the woman from a Pakistani village who was publicly gang-raped to atone for an alleged crime by her brother. Instead of killing herself, as she was expected to do, she raised an outcry that became an international cause.

These films will be included in the 'Family Legacy' series - short films that "explore the heart and soul of places called home".

At the Newark Museum in New Jersey, the fifth Annual Asian Heritage Festival May 6 will introduce several cultures through special tours of its acclaimed Asian art collections and traditional music and dance performances.

The festival, which was started in 2002, will showcase the museum's collection of artistic treasures from India, China, Japan, Korea and Tibet. Performances by professional artists representing the cultures of these countries are also scheduled.

From India, the Trinayan Company - under the direction of Bani Ray - will give an Odissi dance performance.

The Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company will give a musical performance, blending martial arts and acrobatics.