Miss India America, Ravi Kapoor.

Regent Square Theater, Melwood Screening Room, Carlow University

July 9 – 19
Various times

For the past decade (and counting), one local grassroots cultural organization has been putting Pittsburgh on the map in terms of Asian cinema. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Silk Screen Film Festival is presenting 30 feature films and eight shorts at Regent Square Theater and Melwood Screening Room over 10 culturally rich days and nights.

The only event of its kind in the region, the festival showcases Asian and Asian American art, life, society and history via films of many genres representing diverse countries and cultures around the globe—from Japan and Jordan, to India and the Philippines.

Theeb, Naji Abu Nowar.

Augmenting the festival’s diverse roster of movies are engaging Q&As with directors, actors and industry experts, sneak previews, post-show receptions, related entertainment and an always festive red carpet kick-off gala.

Don’t miss opening night featuring Naji Abu Nowar’s award-winning 2014 film, Theeb. Viewers will be transported to the year 1916 to meet Theeb (portrayed by Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat) and his older brother Hussein, who are members of a Bedouin tribe during a historic period of drastic upheaval. Set in the Arabian Desert, the engaging classic adventure tale explores human survival, familial bonds and Bedouin customs.

Dukhtar, Afia Nathaniel.

The festival’s centerpiece presentation this year is Pakistan’s official entry to the 87th Academy Awards, Dukhtar, which means “daughter” in Urdu. Directed by Afia Nathaniel, the visually stunning thriller documents the peril faced on a daily basis by women and girls living in tribal societies in Pakinstan’s mountainous villages. A favorite at the Toronto Film Festival, the gripping story follows former child bride Allah Rakhi who runs away with her daughter in order to escape a rival tribe leader.

The Silk Screen Festival wraps up on a lighthearted note with Ravi Kapoor’s 2015 comedy Miss India America starring Tiya Sircar, Hannah Simone and Meera Simhan. The closing night event will feature a Q&A with the film’s director.

Want to walk the red carpet? Don’t miss Silk Screen’s signature kick-off gala on Thursday, July 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology on the campus of Carlow University. Movie buffs can mingle with visiting dignitaries, local cinema celebs and Silk Screen staff, enjoy live entertainment from Pittsburgh’s premier Asian performers and savor tasty ethnic cuisine from Japan, China, India and Thailand.

View a complete festival schedule and see all ticketing options.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...