Film Notes: Silk Screen fest plans gala opening
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The Silk Screen film festival will open May 7 with a screening of "Cooking With Stella" along with a gala at the Omni William Penn that will feature celebrants in ethnic dress and singers, fire-eaters, belly dancers and Bollywood performers as entertainers.
Photojournalist, production designer and documentary maker Dilip Mehta, brother of respected director Deepa Mehta, makes his feature film debut with "Cooking With Stella." It will play at the Harris Theater, Downtown.
When Canadian diplomat Maya (Lisa Ray) and her stay-at-home husband, Michael, (Don McKellar) are relocated to exotic New Dehli, they inherit a household of Indian servants ruled by the sweet and charming Stella (Seema Biswas).
An out-of-work chef back home, Michael implores Stella to impart her culinary wisdom and help him spice up his own repertoire. She agrees to mentor the wide-eyed Westerner, but Stella isn't who she appears to be.
The film, in English and Hindi, will screen at 7 p.m. The gala will start at 8 p.m. and feature Indian, Korean, Japanese and other ethnic cuisine.
If purchased before Saturday, tickets for the gala are $100, with the gala and film $115. The price increases by $20 after that date. To order, go to www.silkscreenfestival.org or call 724-969-2565.
Silk Screen, now in its fifth year, is a nonprofit organization honoring Asian culture through film and cultural events.
The Asian American film festival will be May 7-16 and the balance of the films, to screen at the Harris, Regent Square Theater in Edgewood and Melwood Screening Room in Oakland, will be announced soon.
If you missed "Speedy Delivery," a dandy documentary about David Newell and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," you can see it for free this week at St. Vincent College.
The price of admission: Reservations for the 7 p.m. Tuesday event (call 724-805-2177) and a sweater for donation to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The movie will be shown at the Fred M. Rogers Center at the college, courtesy of the Ad Club.
"Speedy Delivery," made by filmmaker Paul Germain, focuses on the man who played Mr. McFeely on and off the set of the "Neighborhood." It won best feature at the 2009 Children's Film Festival in Seattle and the IndieFlix Audience Award at the 2009 Hollywood Feel Good Film Festival.
The audience will have the chance to ask questions and talk with Mr. Newell and Mr. Germain, both of whom will discuss the film and Mr. Rogers' legacy.
The film, not rated but G in nature, earned a three-star rating from the Post-Gazette when it premiered.
Tony Buba's "Lightning Over Braddock" will open a monthly movie series sponsored by the Battle of Homestead Foundation. It will screen at the Pump House, site of the 1892 Battle of Homestead, just east of the Pemicky rail bridge on Waterfront Drive.
"Lightning," which has never been timelier, chronicles the decline of Buba's hometown and mixes fiction, fantasy, autobiography and documentary.
It revisits the shutdown of the famously productive Dorothy 6 blast furnace and the ripple effect.
After the showing, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Mr. Buba and others will talk about the film and bring the story of Braddock up to date.
The series is sponsored by the foundation, a charitable and educational organization.
It also has scheduled the following, all at 7:30 p.m.:
May 20: "What Does Trouble Mean? Nate Smith's Revolution" -- This documentary weaves together archival footage, eyewitness accounts and reenactments as it follows the evolution of the black laborer into a charismatic, effective leader who forced integration of Pittsburgh's construction trade unions in the 1960s and '70s. Discussion to follow.
June 24: "I Compagni" or "The Organizer" -- Set in Turin, Italy, in the 1890s, this subtitled film examines the efforts of poor, exploited textile workers to improve their lives, wages and working conditions. Marcello Mastroianni plays an idealistic professor turned union organizer.
July 29: "I'm All Right, Jack" -- Satirical spoof of labor-management relations in post-World War II England. Cast includes Peter Sellers, Ian Carmichael, Terry Thomas and Margaret Rutherford.
Aug. 26: "The Price of Sugar" -- Paul Newman narrated this film about Haitian sugar cane workers who live and work in quasi-slavery in the Dominican Republic. Richard Gosser, who has worked on behalf of economic development in Haiti, will talk about the island nation since the January earthquake.
Sept. 30: "At the River I Stand: Martin Luther King and the Memphis Sanitation Workers" -- A look at the sanitation workers strike and extensive footage of the memorable "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. It will be followed by a discussion about what occurred in Pittsburgh in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination.
Oct. 28: "Women of Steel" and "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl" -- Short films documenting the lives of working women, the first in the 1970s, and the second during the New York shirtwaist strike in 1909. Filmmaker Steffi Domike, a producer of "Women of Steel," will take questions afterward.
First Published April 25, 2010 12:00 am