Chicago: The 2nd Chicago South Asian Film Festival began here with the screening of Ketan Mehta's 'Rang Rasiya' on Saturday night at the Chicago Cultural Center.
   
The festival running for the second year had the red carpet welcome Saturday evening for actress Nandana Sen. Other celebrities who were expected to attend but could not were actors Gulshan Grover and Randeep Hooda.
   
"I'm really been impressed by how well organized this group has been," Rich Moskal, Director of Chicago Film Office said.
   
"Chicago is home to 28 annual film festivals," Moskal further informed.
   
Film festivals like Latino, Irish, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) are held here.
   
"In a short time this festival has attained such notoriety in this city. Indian film is reaching such a large audience. Indian cinema has crossed over to people," Moskal added.
   
He said that a large section of Chicago audience is paying attention to Indian cinema.
   
"Indian cinema has crossed over to a larger audience," Moskal, who has seen the 'Dhoom' series himself, said.
   
Moskal said that he was hoping that Chicago became a conduit for South Asian films and that such films were shot here.
   
"I hope that Chicago becomes or builds bonds to make Indian films here," Moskal said.
   
Moskal said that he wanted to invite Indian filmmakers to explore Chicago as a film direction location - with Indian directors already shooting in New York and Los Angeles.
   
He said  he wanted to increase business partnerships between the Indian film industry and Chicago.
   
Nandana Sen, the actress of'Rang Rasiya' was present at the Red Carpet welcome. This was Sen's first visit to Chicago. Sen said that she was working on future films.
   
The three-day festival from Sep 30-Oct 2 will showcase 30 films, shorts and documentaries including 'I Am Kalam' directed by Nila Madhav Panda and 'Stanley Ka Dabba'.
   
The festival will also feature a free musical performance by tabla percussionist group Talavya on Sunday. The festival is one in the series in Chicago.
   
After this the 47th Chicago International Film Festival begins on October 6-20 with a World Cinema Spotlight on South Asia and gala presentation of 'Mausam' directed by veteran actor
Pankaj Kapur.
   
The 28th Annual Chicago International Children's Film Festival will be held from October 21 to October 30.


(Agencies)