The Official DC Asian Pacific American Film Blog

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I for India, P for Party

I’m not sure what was more fun: the turnout and enthusiasm at the “I for India” screening on Friday night or the after-party at International Student House. The former had the film, but the latter had food! And beer. Sweet sweet beer.

The turnout for “I for India” at the Freer was a resounding success for us staffers. We filled the theater to a nice capacity, even to the point of running out of program books! We had to call Shawn (another staffer and our newsletteer guru), and he sped right over with another box of programs. Phew. Thanks, Shawn.
The film itself was well-received by the audience. It was actually the first time I had seen it, and I was most impressed by how well-documented the lives were of the Suri family (subject of the film). Decades of audio tapes, films, photos, etc, a true literal documentary. I especially liked how in some parts the director (Sandhya Suri) overlaid family audio recordings over different images, and not images necessarily on the topic of what was being said in the recording you heard. The story of the director’s family’s immigrant experience is something that I think any Asian American can relate with. I think this film was one of the high points of the festival.
After the film, we all headed over to the International Student House in Dupont for the post-screening party. I was looking forward to grabbing a Singha beer! (full disclosure: during festival organization, I helped with securing sponsorship and liaised with the Thai beer company Singha for this product donation for our festival; hence, I was especially looking forward to drinking some of my hard hard work).

The party was, as they say, off the hook (do people still say that? either way, I apologize). The crowd was a melange of festivalgoers and the international students who live in the house, as well as supporters of Asia Society, the event’s sponsor. The space was beautiful, a big old-fashioned wood-decorated hall, with carpets and couches, fireplace, chandelier, and large windows. The DJ played some groovin’ tunes, and the live bhangra dance performance and group lesson were a big hit! Girls lined up on one side, guys on the other, and the two dancers/teachers led the crowd in some bhangra booty-shakin’. I, uh, watched mostly the girl’s side. Josh (another staffer, the Guest Services czar) and I passed out free raffle tickets for a couple subscriptions to Giant Robot (Asian pop culture magazine, one of our sponsors, and in my opinion, the best magazine, like, ever). Some of the international students were a bit bewildered I think by all the Asian-ness going on around them. Yeah, anyway, Anna (festival board member) announced the winners, and we gave them away. The evening ended with some live, mellow electronic/hand drumming/electric violin musical stylings. Delicious tandoori chicken and veggie samosas were eaten ravenously by all, and the bottles of Singha beer flew out of the boxes, we gave it all away!
Wow, I just realized that this blog post makes me sound a bit alcoholic. I hope that’s not what you readers think. If so, I’ll just attribute it to the fact that I’m drunk right now.

A moving documentary, followed by a body-movin’ party. Rock!
See you at the next screening…Oliver


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