This traveling festival of documentaries from South Asia runs Friday, March 23, through Friday, April 13, with screenings this week at Chicago Filmmakers and Columbia College Ludington Bldg. Admission to Columbia College programs is free, and discussions with local

academics follow most screenings.

City of Photos and Team Nepal What’s fascinating about City of Photos (2005, 60 min.) is how photos taken in neighborhood studios illuminate people’s lives: a young man poses “heroically”; a painted backdrop depicting a plane flying into one of two towers proves popular with customers; photos of the deceased are repainted to “open” their eyes. But director Nistha Jain’s overly poetic form and narration, failing to rise to Chris Marker’s level, muddles the picture. Girish Giri enlivens an ordinary subject–a Nepalese soccer team traveling to India for a tournament–in his Team Nepal (2005, 37 min.), whose striking camera angles and lively rhythms convey the crowding on their train and the players’ passion for the game. (FC) a Fri 3/23, 7 PM, Chicago Filmmakers.

Dirty Laundry and The Legend of Fat Mama Directed by Sanjeev Chatterjee, Dirty Laundry (2005) looks at Indians in South Africa; Rafeeq Ellias’s The Legend of Fat Mama is about the Chinese community in Calcutta. 65 min. a Thu 3/29, 6 PM, Columbia College Ludington Bldg.

The Life and Times of a Lady From Avadh: Hima Shireen Pasha’s 2005 documentary focuses on the Awadh region of India following the decline of the Mogul Empire. 135 min. a Sun 3/25, 7 PM, Chicago Filmmakers.

Teardrops of Karnaphuli and The Great Indian School Show From Bangladesh, Tanvir Mokammel’s Teardrops of Karnaphuli (2005) documents the displacement of the Buddhist ethnic groups referred to as the Jumma nation. Avinash Deshpande’s The Great Indian School Show (2005) examines an Indian school with nearly 200 surveillance cameras. 113 min. a Thu 3/29, 7:30 PM, Columbia College Ludington Bldg.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): City of Photos.