In a way, Deepa Mehta has come full circle with the Silk Screen Film Festival in Pittsburgh. "Water," the final installment in the spiritual trilogy from the Indian-born Toronto-based director, closed the inaugural event in 2006.
Fast-forward to 2013, when her "Midnight's Children" will help to open the celebration, a showcase for Asian films and filmmakers with origins in Asian cultures. It will screen at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave.
The festival kicks off Friday with a gala at the Rivers Club at One Oxford Centre, Downtown. VIP tickets are $150 and will include access to a reception from 7 to 8:30 p.m., with standard gala tickets, $100, providing food, beverages, entertainment and more. Tickets at the door, $185 for VIP or $135.
Go to www.silkscreenfestival.org to purchase or find full festival details.
In addition to screening movies at the Regent Square Theater and Melwood Screening Room and Classroom, 477 Melwood Ave. in Oakland, the event will use the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Earth Theater, 4400 Forbes Ave., which is accessible from a rear portal entrance.
Tickets for the opening night film are $20, for closing night film, $15, with others (available at the door) $10 or $5 for students with valid IDs. A four-film pass can be purchased for $30; an eight-film pass, $60 (not valid for opening or closing films).
Most movies will screen twice. Here is the schedule for the first week, with the festival to conclude May 19.
Noon: "Valley of Saints" (India/USA) -- A young man plans to run away from the war and poverty surrounding his village in Kashmir, but a woman researching a dying lake leads him to contemplate a different future in this 2012 Sundance Film Festival winner. Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Earth Theater.
1:30 p.m.: "Cha Cha for Twins" (Taiwan) -- Identical twins find themselves forging separate paths in this comedy. Regent Square.
1:30 p.m.: "The Guardian" (Georgia) -- An ex-convict watches over his godson to prevent him from joining the family's criminal ranks in this crime drama. Melwood.
2:30 p.m.: "Present Tense" (Turkey) -- Story of the quiet desperation of a newly divorced Turkish woman dreaming of starting over in America. Earth Theater.
4:30 p.m.: "Midnight's Children" (India/Canada) -- Salman Rushdie adapts his novel following the destinies of two children, born the moment India claimed its independence and switched at birth by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Regent Square.
4:30 p.m.: "Beijing Flickers" (China) -- A young man left behind by Beijing's new wealth experiences moments of euphoria amid despair as he roams the city with other misfit dreamers in this darkly funny, gritty portrait of disaffected youth. With Oscar-nominated short "Buzkashi Boys" from Afghanistan. Melwood.
5:30 p.m.: "Nightmare" (China) -- Haunting ghost story from veteran director Herman Yau. Melwood Classroom.
8 p.m.: "Key of Life" (Japan) -- Comedy about an out-of-work actor who steals the identity of an amnesiac stranger, unaware the man works for ornery gangsters. Melwood.
8:30 p.m.: "Pune 52" (India) -- The life of a private detective undergoes a dramatic change when he takes up a case that is deeply personal and highly complex. Set against the financial upheaval of 1992. Regent Square.
8:30 p.m.: "The Sleepless" (South Korea) -- Horror movie in which the veil between the living and the dead is lifted. Melwood Classroom.
12:30 p.m.: "Sita Sings the Blues" (USA) -- Return of winner of audience choice award from 2009 festival. Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Earth Theater.
1 p.m.: "Gattu" (India) -- A young boy growing up as an apprentice to his uncle, a junk yard owner, will stop at nothing to defeat his rival at flying kites. Regent Square.
2:30 p.m.: "Two Shadows" (Cambodia/USA) -- A Cambodian-American hipster wannabe travels to her birthplace to look for the siblings who disappeared 20 years earlier. Screens with "The Perils of Growing Up Flat-Chested" short. Melwood.
3 p.m.: "Parizod" (Uzbekistan) -- When a strange woman appears from the mist along a remote mountain road, dark and mysterious events befall a nearby village. Earth Theater.
4 p.m.: "Kshay" (India) --Story of a childless housewife and her obsession with buying a statue of a goddess with the hope of conceiving. Regent Square.
5 p.m.: "Tatsumi" (Singapore/Japan) -- Film chronicling the life of Japanese manga artist Yoshiro Tatsumi. Melwood Classroom.
5:45 p.m.: "Headshot" (Thailand/France) -- A disillusioned cop becomes a hitman who sees his world upside down, literally, after a bullet wound to the head. Melwood.
7:30 p.m.: "Asura" (Japan) -- Raised by wolves and surrounded by desolation, the cannibalistic child Asura struggles between his appetite for flesh and desire for human companionship in this animated feature. Melwood Classroom.
5:30 p.m.: "Modest Reception" (Iran) -- Two sibling-sophisticates from Tehran travel the mountainous northern countryside, maniacally pushing bags of money on locals. Regent Square.
6:30 p.m.: "Foreign Letters" (USA/Israel/Vietnam) -- Based on the director's experiences and early impressions of America after coming here with her family from Israel. Melwood.
8:45 p.m.: "B.A. Pass" (India) -- A suddenly orphaned 19-year-old is lured into sex and work as a gigolo in this movie based on the short story "The Railway Aunty" by Mohan Sikka. Regent Square.
9:10 p.m.: "Beijing Flickers." Melwood.
6 p.m.: "Gattu." Regent Square.
8:30 p.m.: "The Thieves" (South Korea) -- Caper that brings together Korean and Chinese cat burglars for a diamond heist in Macao. Regent Square.
5:30 p.m.: "Highway" (Nepal/USA) -- As if the mountain terrain wasn't challenging enough, travelers on a bus to Kathmandu must confront civil disobedience blockades on their journey. Melwood.
6 p.m.: "Chittagong" (India) -- In a little known incident in 1930s British-occupied India, a handful of untrained teens, led by a school teacher, handed the British their first military defeat. This is the story of the youngest and most unlikely participants, a frail, diffident 14-year-old. Regent Square.
8 p.m.: "Cairo 678" (Egypt) -- Three women from different backgrounds warily unite to combat sexual harassment, but their unconventional response provokes a dogged police hunt. With "Buzkashi Boys." Melwood.
9 p.m.: "The Empty Home" (Kyrgyzstan) -- Uncompromising window into the lives of Central Asian women and the impossible choices they confront. Regent Square.