The 11th Annual Indian Film Festival, LA

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The 11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) celebrates the Centennial of Indian Cinema. Recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally, IFFLA will run April 9 to 14 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festival’s home since its inception.

This year’s program reflects the rich diversity of Indian cinema, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, as well as the future of Indian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers bringing their acclaimed films to Los Angeles.

The festival will showcase more than 35 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated opening and closing red carpet galas, and the closing awards ceremony. This year will again bring back the wildly popular “Bollywood by Night” series, and feature seminars as well as live music and dance performances. IFFLA will also host the 6th annual Industry Leadership Awards, honoring entertainment industry executives who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership within and in relation to the Indian entertainment industry.

“Our slate of films this year showcases path-breaking works of emerging and established Indian filmmakers that are making waves at top-tier film festivals around the world,” said Christina Marouda, IFFLA’s Founder and Chair of the Board. “This is a rare opportunity for Los Angeles audiences to not only catch films that are very hard to find outside the film-festival circuit, but also to engage with these talented filmmakers who are coming to Los Angeles to present their films. In fact, IFFLA has something for everyone – from cutting-edge films to Bollywood flair and thought-provoking documentaries, it is a unique, vibrant celebration of Indian cinema right in the heart of Hollywood.”

Attending the festival this year to present their films will be a host of celebrated filmmakers, including Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Hansal Mehta, Vasan Bala, Nitin Kakkar, and S.S. Rajamouli among others.

Director Anurag Kashyap will be present at the Opening night Gala screening of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR. Epic in scope, GANGS OF WASSEYPUR is a mafia revenge saga chronicling the violent and bloody decade long turf war between two mob families. Set in the tumultuous times of India’s Independence and industrialization, GANGS is a powerful and gritty portrayal of an era past. Part I will screen as the opening night film, while Part II will screen the following evening. GANGS made its world premiere at the 2012 Cannes’ Directors Fortnight, to rave reviews. Director Anurag Kashyap first came to IFFLA in 2005 with his film BLACK FRIDAY.

“I am happy to be back where I started my journey, before my films got released, before they went anywhere they came to IFFLA,” said Kashyap. “I have been missing IFFLA for many years and this year, no way in hell am I going to miss it.”

Oscar©-nominated Director Deepa Mehta will be present at IFFLA”S closing night Gala screening of “Midnight’s Children”. Her latest masterpiece, MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN, to IFFLA, taking audiences on a poetic and visual journey scaling time and space. At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims Independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched at birth. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of poverty, and Shiva, the offspring of upper echelon, are fated to live their intertwined destinies. With a star studded cast and lush cinematography, Mehta casts a spell of wonder, magic and delight. Narration is by Salman Rushdie, author of the epic and beloved Booker Prize winning classic novel. Deepa Mehta returns to IFFLA after her Oscar©-nominated film WATER had its Los Angeles premiere at the festival in 2006.

Jury and Audience Awards for best Feature, Short, and Documentary films.
will be announced during the festival’s Closing Night, prior to the Los Angeles premiere of Oscar©-nominated Deepa Mehta’s MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN.

Other titles of note include a documentary about India’s obsession with cricket called BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES, which will have its world premiere at the festival, and the Malayalam extravaganza EEGA, a delightful tale of love, rebirth, and revenge with dazzling special effects.

Two films at the festival this year celebrate the power of Indian cinema: CELLULOID MAN, a documentary about beloved Indian film expert and archivist P.K. Nair, and the charming FILMISTAN, the fictional tale of one man’s love of Hindi films and how cinema has the power to unite us all.

The festival’s popular Bollywood by Night series returns this year with three films by legendary director, writer, producer, and Hindi cinema’s ‘king of romance,’ Yash Chopra.: KABHI KABHIE (1976), SILSILA (1981), and CHANDNI (1989).

The 2013 feature film jurors are: International Director of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute Paul Federbush, director/editor/writer Kanika Myer (HALO, HEART OF INDIA), and Assistant Curator of Film Programs at LACMA Bernardo Rondeau.

The Best Documentary Award will be decided by The Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times film critic Sheri Linden, Senior Programmer at Film Independent Maggie Mackay, and Academy Award®:-nominated filmmaker Jessica Sanders (AFTER INNOCENCE).

Judging the short films are filmmaker and IFFLA alum Prashant Bhargava (PATANG), Film Curator and Director of Industry Programming at Palm Springs ShortFest Kathleen McInnis, and actress Sheetal Sheth (ABCD, LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD).

On Saturday, April 13, two Panel Discussions  will explore issues of importance to current Indian entertainment and cinema today.

LAUGHING AT OURSELVES: A Conversation with Actors and Creatives features actors Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), Sarayu Rao (Monday Mornings), and Hannah Simone (New Girl), as well as Producer Sunil Nayar (Revenge) and writer/producer Luvh Rakhe (New Girl). The panel will be moderated by actor Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced), and is presented by SAG-AFTRA National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee, EEO & Diversity Department and SAGIndie.

A second panel, TODAY’S PIONEER VOICES CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF INDIAN CINEMA, features some of the most innovative directors leading the independent movement in Indian cinema today, all of whom have films at the festival this year: Vasan Bala (PEDDLERS), Anand Gandhi (SHIP OF THESEUS), Hansal Mehta (SHAHID), and Nitin Kakkar (FILMISTAAN). The panel will be moderated by film critic Lisa Tsering. One $14 ticket grants access to both panels and can be purchased at the IFFLA website.

OPENING NIGHT GALA-GANGS OF WASSEYPUR I
Los Angeles Premiere
India/2012/159 minutes
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Writers: Zeeshan Qadri, Sachin Ladia, Akhilesh Jaiswal, Anurag Kashyap,
Producers: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga, Sunil Bohra,
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chaddha, Reema Sen, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui,
Epic in scope, GANGS OF WASSEYPUR I and II is a mafia revenge saga that chronicles the violent and bloody decade-long turf war between two mob families. Hindi with English Subtitles

CLOSING NIGHT GALA-MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN
Los Angeles Premiere
Canada/United Kingdom/2012/148 minutes
Director: Deepa Mehta
Writer: Salman Rushdie
Executive Producers: Deepa Mehta, Dilip Mehta, Salman Rushdie, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Steven Silver, Neil Tabatznik, Elizabeth Karlsen, David Hamilton, Stephen Woolley
Producer: David Hamilton
Cast: Satya Bhabha, Shahana Goswami, Rajat Kapoor, Seema Biswas, Shriya Saran, Siddharth, Ronit Roy, Rahul Bose, Anita Majumdar, Zaib Shaikh, Anupam Kher
Oscar©-nominated director Deepa Mehta brings us her latest work, MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN, a poetic and visual journey scaling time and space. English and Urdu with English subtitles

FEATURE FILMS
EEGA
India / 2012 / 134min
Director: S.S Rajamouli
Producer: Korrapati Sai
Screenwriter:  S.S Rajamouli
Cast: Sudeep, Nani, Samantha Ruth Prabhu
EECHA flies into our hearts and proves that with true love, even the most unlikely of heroes can conquer any adversity, no matter how large – or in this case, how small. Telugu with English subtitles

FILMISTAAN
Los Angeles Premiere
India / 2012 / 116min
Director: Nitin Kakkar
Producer: Nitin Kakkar
Screenwriter: Nitin Kakkar,
Cast: Sharib Hashmi, Inaamulhaq, Kumud Mishra, Gopal Datt
FILMISTAN is Nitin Kakkar’s feature-length directorial debut, and has won hearts across the globe at festivals like MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, Gothenburg Film Festival, Jaipur International Film Festival, and the International Film Festival of Kerala. Hindi with English subtitles

MISS LOVELY
Los Angeles Premiere
India / 2012 / 110 minutes
Director: Ashim Ahluwalia
Producers: Shumona Goel, Sanjay Shah
Screenwriters:  Ashim Ahluwalia, Uttam Sirur
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh, Anil George, Zeena Bhatia
The story of two brothers immersed in the seedy underbelly of Bollywood C-movies and soft-porn during the 1980’s. MISS LOVELY made its world premiere in competition in the Un Certain Regard at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Hindi with English subtitles

PEDDLERS
Los Angeles Premiere
India / 2012 / 116min
Director: Vasan Bala
Producers: Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
Screenwriter: Vasan Bala
Cast: Gulshan Devaiya, Nishikanth Kamath, Nimrat Kaur
PEDDLERS, debuting at the 2012 International Critics’ Week, which runs parallel to the Cannes Film Festival, is a crime thriller following the desperation of young drug runners who are merely looking to survive. Hindi with English subtitles

THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST
USA / 2013 / 128min
Director: Mira Nair
Producer: Lydia Dean Pilche
Screenwriters: Ami Boghani, Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Meesha Shafi, Shabana Azmi
Based on the best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid, THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is a riveting thriller about the story of Changez, a young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street in the era of globalisation. English

SHAHID
U.S. Premiere
India / 2012 / 126min
Director: Hansal Mehta
Producers: Guneet Monga, Sunil Bohra
Screenwriter: Sameer Gautam Singh
Cast: Raj Kumar Yadav, Prabhleen Sandhu, Baljinder Kaur, Vipin Sharma, Mohb Ayyup Mohd Ayyub
Shot in secrecy, SHAHID is based on true events and the life of Shahid Azmi, a defense lawyer and human rights activist who was murdered in 2010 at the age of 32, in retribution for his defense of a man accused in the Mumbai terror attacks. Hindi with English subtitles

SHIP OF THESEUS
U.S. Premiere
India/2012/140min/DCP
Director: Anand Gandhi
Producers: Mukesh Shah, Sohum Shah
Screenwriter: Anand Gandhi
Cast: Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Shah, Aida El Kashef, Faraz Khan, Vinay Shukla, Amba Sanyal
The stories of three disparate people collide, as they struggle through trials unbeknownst to each other. Relying on her remarkable intuition and the help of her boyfriend, a blind woman enjoys a successful career as a photographer. When she starts to regain her eyesight, she is confronted by her own artistic limitations and an ever-changing sense of identity. A man of unshakable principles has committed his life to fighting pharmaceutical companies against animal abuse. When he is diagnosed with a severe illness, he must choose between standing by his long held moral beliefs and his own survival. An aimless stockbroker who has recently received a kidney transplant discovers a sense of purpose when he meets a man whose kidney was unlawfully stolen. As the three characters grapple to redefine themselves in the face of their new realities, the film raises the question of what constitutes identity when integral parts of us change. The three narratives gracefully converge into a soulful finale that reveals our wondrous interconnectedness in the ephemeron of life.

Elegantly layered in its themes, evocatively photographed, and featuring beautifully understated performances, SHIP OF THESEUS reveals an original and razor sharp directorial voice in this feature debut from playwright Anand Gandhi. English, Hindi (English subtitles)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
CELLULOID MAN
Los Angeles Premiere
India / 2012 / 150min
Director: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
Cast: P.K. Nair
An exploration of the life and work of the legendary guardian of Indian cinema, P.K. Nair.
English

BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES
World Premiere
India / 2013 / 96min
Director/Writer: Sushrut Jain
Eat, sleep, breathe cricket.  Hindi with English subtitles

PAD YATRA: A GREEN ODYSSEY
Los Angeles Premiere
USA/India/68min/2012
Director: Wendy J.N. Lee
Producers: Wendy J.N. Lee, Michelle Yeoh
Narrator: Darryl Hannah
PAD YATRA: A GREEN ODYSSEY takes us on an incredible journey with 700 souls who set out to trek across the Himalayas with a single passion, to spread their message of ecological compassion and global warming. Shot with solar power by Ladakhi monk Ngawang Sodpa, the documentary features notable supporters including actor Aamir Khan. Michelle Yeoh serves as Executive Producer, and the film is beautifully narrated by Daryl Hannah. English, Tibetan (English Subtitles)

MOHAMMED TO MAYA
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2012 / 74min Director/Producer/Editor: Jeff Roy
Cast: Maya Jafer
Meet Maya: a 42 year-old from Chennai, India, who goes through a life-changing sexual- reassignment surgery. English

SALMA
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2012 / 91min
Director: Kim Longinotto
Master documentarian Kim Longinotto returns to IFFLA with her latest compelling work, SALMA, the extraordinary story of one South Indian woman’s courageous journey in the face of mass oppression. Hindi with English subtitles

With -IRON TRACKS (LOHPATH)
World Premiere / Screens with SALMA
India/2012/24min
Director: Rupesh Aggarwal
Producers: Deep Singh Kakkad, Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt Ltd
IRON TRACKS is an ode to the innocence corrupted and humanity lost in the vicious victimization of children.

IFFLA FAMILY DAY FILM
ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE
India/2012/96min/DCP
Director: Arnab Chaudhari
Producers: Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
Screenwriters: Rajesh Devraj
Cast: Yuddvir Bakolia, Ila Arun, Anjan Srivastav, Sachin Khedekar, Vishnu Sharma
ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE is the retelling of a beloved tale from the epic Mahabharata: the remarkable coming-of-age story of Arjun, the exceptional archer, who grows from timid prince to fearless warrior. This brilliant collaboration between UTV Motion Pictures and Walt Disney vividly captures the lavish grandeur and bloodthirsty intrigues of the time in stunning animation. Exhilarating battle scenes, catchy musical sequences, and a delightfully unexpected final act make ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE an engrossing cinematic experience for children and grownups alike.

ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE screens Saturday, April 13, 12:00 PM as part of a series of activities appropriate for children of all ages at IFFLA’s Family Day. Tickets are free for the screening and all related events. More information about Family Day is available at www.indianfilmfestival.org/events.php  Hindi (English subtitles)

Following the film, guests are invited to the ArcLight Hollywood Courtyard for activities including arts and crafts, a fight choreography demonstration by Peter Berube, a Bollywood dance-along with Stuti Kejriwal of the Dancing Buddhas, and more. This event will be directly followed by IFFLA’s music and dance program, Rhythm Village curated by Rukus Avenue. In addition, grab a delicious meal from IFFLA’s favorite food truck, No Tomatoes: An Indian Cafe on Sunset Boulevard throughout the day.

Tickets for this event are FREE and will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

BOLLYWOOD BY NIGHT
KABHI KABHIE
India / 1976 / 178min
Director: Yash Chopra
Producer: Yash Chopra
Screenwriter: Pamela Chopra (story), Sagar Sarhadi (screenplay)
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rakhee, Neetu Singh, Rishi Kapoor
KABHI KABHIE remains one of Hindi cinema’s most beloved films. Sweeping several awards, it began a definitive tradition of romance in Hindi cinema, which Mr. Chopra mastered to perfection and his fans came to love.
Hindi with English subtitles

SILSILA
India / 1981 / 183min
Director/Producer: Yash Chopra
Screenwriters: Preeti Bedi, Yash Chopra, Sagar Sarhadi, Romesh Sharma
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Shashi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Kulbhushan Karbandha
A melodrama in the best sense of the word, SILSILA is stunningly shot in spectacular locations. It is remembered both for its pairing of Amitabh and Rekha and its evocative poetry. A must-see for lovers of mainstream Bollywood cinema. Hindi with English subtitles

CHANDNI
India / 1989 / 187min
Director/Producer: Yash Chopra
Screenwriter: Kamna Chandra, Umesh Kalbagh, Arun Kaul, Sagar Sarhadi
Cast: Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna
Shot in beautiful locations in Switzerland, the CHANDNI was a turning point for Chopra and established him as the successful commercial director of the 1980s. Sridevi was to become the star of the decade and the film launched what was to become Bollywood’s signature style: a musical genre combined with an ensemble cast.  CHANDNI must be seen on full screen in order to appreciate Chopra’s signature elements: stunning sets, costumes, colorful landscapes all mingled with a star cast. Hindi with English subtitles

Two shorts programs will feature 14 l shorts. Shorts Program 1: DOSA HUNT, HERE AND AWAY, HOMECOMING, QUEEN OF MY DREAMS, RAGS TO PADS, RECURRENCE, TATPASCHAT.

Shorts program 2: AFTERGLOW. HUMBLE THE POET, ENNAKUM ORU PER,  IKARIPPLES, …OR DIE, UNRAVEL

Shorts Highlights include AND AFTER THAT (TATPASCHAT), is a dark Indian short about a sudden change in behavior throughout an entire reform school. An IFFLA World Premiere.
RAGS TO PADS, a documentary about one man’s vision to change a village by producing disposable sanitary napkins, HOMECOMING about intrigue and scandal linked to getting permission to go to an 8th grade dance. DOSA HUNT features every desi indie darling of today- from the minds behind Stereogum, Vampire Weekend, Das Racist and more- on their search for the perfect Indian snack.

Special musical events include
RHYTHM VILLAGE BY RUKUS AVENUE- FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 6:00PM
ArcLight Hollywood Courtyard  6pm-9:30pm
IFFLA’s Rhythm Village presented by Rukus Avenue celebrates the intimate relationship between music and cinema.  Held annually since 2008, the Arclight courtyard is transformed into a colorful vibrant display of music and dance, designed to enhance the filmgoers experience.

From April 12th to April 13th Rhythm Village’s outdoor musical program promises to entertain with world class musicians, enchanting singer songwriters, eclectic fusion bands, groovy dj sets, and a variety of captivating dance forms.

Don’t miss IFFLA’s Rhythm Village Unplugged, an afterhours acoustic session created to allow for a more intimate experience. These up close and personal performances reveal the deeper side of the artist and their journey through music. Grab a drink and get cozy in the IFFLA’s Rhythm Village Lounge.

Performances by Brainstorm and M safir,  Elephants with Guns, prize-winning  a cappella  group Asli Baat , DJ Duke Westlak,  singers Sonia and Vinita, keyboardist, composer Varshini , Musiv video dancer Kamal,  Khanand Raqs Sharqi dancer Reshama Damle and classical dancer Pooja Admane.

Bollywood dancing duo Shyamala Moorty and Shivani Thakkar and Bhangra performance group Chak De Phatte, specializing in  the Punjab “Harvest dance” will perform in the courtyard on April 13, 4:00PM

More information about all the films in the line-up can be found below and at http://www.indianfilmfestival.org.

Tickets and Passes
The 11th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 9-14 at ArcLight Hollywood located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Festival Passes, Gala tickets and Individual screening tickets are on sale at the festival’s website.  For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org

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Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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