The 3rd i San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival is in its ninth year. It includes a documentary about the ascent of a Bollywood star, a film on sarod master Ali Akbar Khan whose famous school is located in San Rafael, and a work on the nature of time. The feature films include a family drama set against India's largest kite festival that Roger Ebert raved about, as well as a thriller about the rise of a gang lord in the slums of southern India. Films come from countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet, the U.K., and the U.S.
The festival's artistic director is Ivan Jaigirdar, who pulls it together with the help of associate festival director Anuj Vaidya and about 150 volunteers. Jaigirdar talked with us about going for controversy as well as eye candy, the importance of hearing from filmmakers and writers, and how accounting and Satyajit Ray drove him to film.