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August 28, 2002

Heeraz Marfatia

Cinema graduate student Heeraz Marfatia (right) is one of 14 young Bay Area artists "on the verge" of a major breakthrough, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

Marfatia's film "Birju," made for an SFSU class, screened at the 2002 Sundance, San Francisco International and San Francisco Asian American film festivals. It also was nominated for a student Academy Award.

The film follows a 4-year-old boy (below) meandering through a crowd of lively street performers and vendors in Pushkar, India -- near where Marfatia grew up -- as he searches for something unknown.

Vijju Parasher (right) plays the film's title character

"'Birju,' a lovely, lyrical 14-minute short reflects Marfatia's visual assuredness as well as his ingenuity," writes Chronicle movie writer Carla Meyer.

One of three filmmakers featured in the Datebook section's cover story on young Bay Area artists "on the verge," Marfatia, 26, is more than "a very gifted filmmaker with a great eye," Cinema chair Stephen Ujlaki was quoted as saying. "He's such a gentleman that you want to help him. He couldn't have accomplished the production values he had (in 'Birju') without people wanting to help."

The SFSU Cinema Department was also featured prominently in the Chronicle Sunday Datebook's Aug. 18 cover story on Bay Area film schools.

For more, see the "Campus Beat" interview with Heeraz.

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Last modified August 28, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs