Parshya is beloved by his local cricket team, gets excellent marks in school, and loves to read. Such qualities should have easily put him in the running for courting Archi, a smart, headstrong girl who enjoys her independence. Except Parshya comes from a Dalit family, and Archi is the daughter of a wealthy, upper caste political candidate. Despite this – or perhaps because of it – Archi soon gives in to Parshya’s advances, and they find ways to spend time together, as they fall in love.
When they are discovered by Archi’s family, Parshya and his friends receive a severe beating from Archi’s brother, leading the lovers to elope. Alone in the city, they must learn to live within their modest means, hoping that their love will guide them through the harsh realities of their situation.
Director Nagraj Manjule (Fandry, 2013) again casts non-actors to set the authentic tone of the film, which features singing, dancing and music composed by Indian director-composer duo Ajay-Atul. Sairat recently became the highest-grossing Marathi film in India.
There will be a 20 minute intermission during the film screening.
Following the screening, we will have a talk to discuss the themes and topics tackled in Sairat with esteemed guests including:
Dilani Rabindran is a marketing & sales consultant for South Indian films, representing many award-winning regional films that have traveled the world via film festivals over the past few years. She is also a well known writer within South Asian entertainment media for sites like Fully Filmy & TamilCulture and hosts a new podcast series called “1 BY 2” featuring South Asian artists from around the world. She also serves as an international programming associate for select international festivals, such as Toronto’s Reel Asian International Film Festival.
Indu Vashist is currently the Executive Director of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre). She was born and raised on Coast Salish Territories, on the land of the Cowichan peoples, where her community, the Punjabis have been settled for over a century. Drawing from her background, she went on to write her MA thesis, “Between Canadian Racism and Indian Repression: The Air India Bombing and Filmic Representations of Sikh Diasporic Identity in Canada” Prior to working at SAVAC, she had been equally splitting her time between India and Canada. In Canada, she programmed and hosted a weekly South Asian arts and culture radio show. In India, she worked with artist, queer and feminist circles in Bombay and Madras. Specifically, she worked for Bombay-based Queer Nazariya International Film Festival, and Madras-based Marappacchi Theatre Group.
Guneet Wadera is the creative editor at FilmiCafe, one of North America’s prominent South Asian entertainment websites. Born in Abu Dhabi, Guneet is a self-confessed and passionate cinephile. She has reported on the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival for nearly a decade and also covered the starry International Indian Film Academy Awards in Toronto. Over the years she has interviewed some of biggest names in Bollywood including Priyanka Chopra, Salman Khan and Sridevi.
Born and raised in Karmala, a small town in the Sholapur district in Maharashtra, Nagraj Manjule has closely witnessed rural India’s struggle for education. His award-winning short film Pistulva (2010) is a reflection of his own experience. Manjule is one of the most important poets in Marathi literature of the last decade. His Damani Literary Award winning collection of poems, Unhachya Kataviruddha, received a warm welcome among readers of contemporary Marathi literature. Manjule’s previous feature, Fandry (2013), had its Canadian premiere at Reel Asian in 2014, where it received the National Bank First Feature Film Award.