The MurthyNAYAK Foundation, which supports documentary work on important social issues, served as a proud sponsor of the seventh annual Washington D.C. South Asian Film Festival (DCSAFF), held over the weekend in Rockville, Maryland. This festival provides a platform for outstanding alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka while supporting several local charities that serve the South Asian community.
Among this year’s featured DCSAFF films was the Indian drama 5 Rupya, which generated excitement in the entertainment industry. It also was a favorite of Ms. Murthy’s and Mr. Nayak’s, and they consider it a must-see for the theater-going public, when it is released. The film stars Shabana Azmi, lauded as the “Meryl Streep of India” by festival director Manoj Singh in a recent interview with Culture Spot. Singh went on the praise the film’s director, “… Piyush Panjwani has woven together a beautiful film that captures the essence of Munshi Premchand’s Idgah, a story that’s considered one of the classics in Indian literature.” [See D.C. South Asian Film Festival Returns to Montgomery College-Rockville, by Barbara Trainin Blank, Culture Spot, 04.Sep.2018.]
Those slogging through the rain for this year’s DCSAFF were rewarded with an opportunity to attend a black-tie gala at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, and to listen in on a variety of panel discussion featuring prominent South Asian actors, directors, writers, and producers. Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, had the honor of serving as moderator for a discussion on women and gender issues and the importance of diversity and representation in film. In the era of #MeToo, these topics are more important than ever, and Ms. Murthy was proud to be part of such a critical conversation.
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