Coming Soon: Outdoor Bollywood Film Fest at SAAM

It’s an idea whose time has come, which makes sense, as the Bollywood Panorama Outdoor Film Series is sponsored by Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas. (The four Friday screenings are set to happen at the Volunteer Park amphitheatre unless it rains, in which case they’ll take place inside the museum.)

Excitingly, the outdoor film festival comes with food trucks on July 22 and July 29: I Want Curry Now will pull up on both dates,with a side of Sweet Treats on July 22.

Here’s where it gets really hot: Bollywood actress Tabu is kicking things off on Wednesday, July 6, at the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. That event comes with a special screening of Meenaxi, “a film featuring a writer enduring a creative dry spell who meets Meenaxi, a unique and mysterious muse.” Tabu plays the lead (she’s also starring in Ang Lee’s The Life of Pi, based on that book you saw everyone reading a few years ago).

It’s 5:30 p.m. social hour, 6:30 p.m. Tabu-time, and 7:45 p.m. Meenaxi screening; tickets are $10 for SAM members, $15 non-members. Order by phone at 206-654-3121 or by email at The fest itself is free.

Outdoor Films at Volunteer Park Amphitheatre

July 15: 9:30 p.m. Black (director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2005, 123 mins) Black portrays a blind and deaf girl (Rani Mukherji),and her relationship with her teacher(Amitabh Bachchan). Winner of the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. Free.

July 22: 9:30 p.m. Taal (“Music,” director Subhash Ghai, 1991, 181 mins) This story of love made complicated by the couple’s families revolves around a young singer and dancer (Aishwarya Rai). With an outstanding popular soundtrack, Taal was the first Indian film to reach Variety’s Top 20 in the U.S. Free. Plus: Brandon McIntosh on sarod with Chaz Hastings on table prior to the start of the movie.

July 29: 9:30 p.m. Chandni Bar (director Madhur Bhandarkar, 2001, 150 mins) Tabu stars as a displaced village woman forced to become a dancer in a Bombay bar. Free.

Aug. 5: 9:30 p.m. The Namesake (director Mira Nair, 2007, 122 mins) The son of Indian immigrants (Kal Penn) struggles with his parents (Tabu and Irffan Khan) and his own identity. Free.

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