IFFLA Schedule Arrives With The Best Of A Great Year In Indian Cinema

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
It is rare that I wish I lived in Los Angeles, but this year's Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles is making a good case for the city of angels. A few days ago we announced the opening and closing night features of IFFLA, and now we have the whole schedule to share. And It is damned impressive.

In addition to Gangs of Wasseypur and Midnight's Children, the IFFLA has rounded up some of the biggest critical and commercial hits of India's fantastic 2012, as well as a trio of classic films that I wish I could see on the big screen. The highlights for me are Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely, Vasan Bala's Peddlers (which I hope to finally be able to see and review), and my favorite film of 2012, SS Rajamouli's Eega (playing here in it's Malayalam dubbed form as EECHA). The rest of the line up brings festival hits from Cannes, TIFF, and beyond, including Shahid, Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Filmistan, and Celluloid Man.

You can find the full line up as well as further information about IFFLA in the links below.

THE 11th ANNUAL INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES FILM LINE-UP

Highlights include Mira Nair's THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST,
as well as MISS LOVELY, PEDDLERS, SHAHID, and SALMA

 LOS ANGELES, CA (March 7, 2013) - Today, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) proudly announced its 2013 lineup of narrative and documentary features and short films for this year's festival. The impressive 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. 

 Highlights include: a special screening of Mira Nair's THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, a political thriller based on the New York Times bestseller with a star-studded cast; MISS LOVELY by Ashim Ahluwalia, a dark look at the seedy underbelly of Bollywood C-movies and soft-porn during the 1980's, that premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes last year; PEDDLERS, Vasan Bala's directorial debut, which premiered at the 2012 International Critics' Week, a crime thriller following the desperation of young drug runners who are merely looking to survive; SHAHID, based on the true story of Shahid Azmi, a human rights activist murdered in India in 2010, directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap; and Sundance and Berlin favorite SALMA, directed by Kim Longinotto, a documentary about one South Indian woman's courageous journey in the face of mass oppression.

 The opening and closing night red-carpet galas were announced last week: Anurag Kashyap's GANGS OF WASSEYPUR will open the festival, while Deepa Mehta's MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN will feature as the closing night film.

 The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally.  Celebrating its 11th year, IFFLA will run April 9 to 14 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festival's home since its inception.

 "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. 

 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 EECHA, 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).

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


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

 EECHA
U.S. Premiere
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.
Malayalam with English subtitles

 FILMISTAN
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

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

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

 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

SHORTS

 ...OR DIE
Shorts Program 2
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2012 / 14min
Director:
Gregory Bonsignore and John Petaja

This is what happens in Hollywood when three 'brown' actors meet with an entertainment exec to pitch their latest internet masterpiece.
English

AFTERGLOW
Shorts Program 2
U.S. Premiere
India / 2012 / 19min
Director: Kaushal Oza

Fed up with entertaining a slew of annoying guests, Minocher defies her traditional Parsi community and mourns the loss of her husband in her own way.
English, Gujarati with English subtitles

DOSA HUNT
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2012 / 22min
Directors:
Amrit Singh, Sam Carroll

Searching for a connection to the motherland...through your stomach.
English

HERE AND AWAY
Shorts Program 1
Los Angeles Premiere
USA/India / 2012 / 11min
Director/Producer: Meena Nanji

A village, standing at the crossroads between tradition and modernity, is seen through the curious perspective of a young boy.
Hindi with English subtitles

HOMECOMING
Shorts Program 1
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2011 / 26min
Director/Producer: Gursimran Sandhu
Producer: Michael Candelori

When Nina Patel's strict Indian parents refuse to let her attend the eighth-grade homecoming dance, she resorts to emotional blackmail.
English

HUMBLE THE POET
Shorts Program 2
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2011 / 12min
Directors/Producers:
Brendan Nahmias, Ruth Paul

A bold and personal look at Sikh hip-hop artist, Humble the Poet, a second generation South Asian poet and musician defining his own cultural identity.
English

ENNAKUM ORU PER
Shorts Program 2
Los Angeles Premiere
Sri Lanka / 2011 / 12min
Director:
Suba Sivakumaran

A nun residing in a monastery hides her daughter from an approaching military as civil war ravages modern day Sri Lanka.
Tamil with English subtitles

IKA
Shorts Program 2
U.S. Premiere
India / 2012 / 15min
Director/Producer: Raam Reddy

Who needs a camera to make a film when you have a cardboard box, a magnifying glass, an old VHS tape and a chicken?
Telugu with English subtitles

QUEEN OF MY DREAMS
Shorts Program 1
USA/2012/3min/DCP
Directors:
Fawzia Mirza, Ryan Logan

Fawzia falls under the spell of Bollywood heroines and their promise of love and feminine perfection - in a queer light.
English

RAGS TO PADS
World Premiere
India/US / 2012 / 3min
WORLD PREMIERE
Director/Producer: Chithra Jeyaram

Fed up with his wife's lack of sanitary menstrual hygiene, a poor villager takes matters into his own hands, and unexpectedly starts a small revolution resulting in a million jobs for rural women.
Tamil with English subtitles

RECURRENCE
Shorts Program 1
World Premiere
USA / 2013 / 7min
Directors/Producers: Sonia Albert Sobrino, Miriam Albert Sobrino

A lush, visual exploration of the transcendental space between memory and dream.
English

RIPPLES
Shorts Program 2
Los Angeles Premiere
USA / 2012 / 4min
Director/Producer: Shreyasi Das

An elderly woman remembers her youth back home in Calcutta, India in beautiful animation.
English

TATPASCHAT
Shorts Program 1
World Premiere
India / 2012 / 15min
Director: Vasudev Keluskar

One odd day, every single boy at a reform school becomes obedient.
Hindi with English subtitles

UNRAVEL
Shorts Program 2
Los Angeles Premiere
UK / 2012 / 14min
Director: Meghna Gupta

Tall tales, dreams and stories are spun as Western society's least wanted clothes are literally unraveled a world away.
Hindi with English subtitles

Around the Internet:
blog comments powered by Disqus
​​