IFFLA ANNOUNCES 2016 DISTINGUISHED JURY MEMBERS
The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), running April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood, announced its 2016 distinguished jury. The festival also announced the additionof a tribute to legendary director Bimal Roy with a screening of his beloved SUJATA, a passholder only screening of THE TIGER HUNTER, and a community screening of KHOYA.
IFFLA will also host a Filmmaker Roundtable with all feature directors in attendance, moderated by Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer, John Nein.
Tickets and passes to all screenings, galas and the Filmmaker Roundtable are available at www.indianfilmfestival.org.
The 2016 narrative film jurors are: filmmaker Shonali Bose (MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW, AMU); Features Editor at Variety,Shalini Dore; and international consultant to independent filmmakers and film festivals,Alesia Weston.
Judging the short films are actor Rizwan Manji (NBC’S OUTSOURCED, Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming PATERSON),documentary filmmaker Laura Nix (THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING), and film director and editor Aldo Velasco (CHITTAGONG).
The Awards Ceremony will take place on April 10 at the festival’s Closing Night, prior to the North American premiere of AnuMenon’s WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin. Anu Menon and Kalki Koechlin will be in attendance.
Three exciting films have been added to the festival’s already impressive lineup, all screening on Sunday, April 10: a restored version of the classic film SUJATA, provided by the National Film Archive of India,will screen as a tribute to one of Indian cinema’s finest directors, Bimal Roy, on the 50th anniversary of his death; a passholder only screening of filmmaker Lena Khan’s feature debut THE TIGER HUNTER,a colorful recreation of the 1970s with a boisterous comic spirit that aims equally for the heart and the funny bone, with a stellar cast that includes Danny Pudi, Rizwan Manji, Jon Heder, and Iqbal Theba; and a community screening of KHOYA, Sami Khan’s story of one man’s search for his family in India, starring Rupak Ginn.
“With the recent explosion of Independent cinema gaining momentum, a new generation of filmmakers and talent now have a voice; this new wave cinema is drawing both audience and box office attention,” said Ivan Rana of Zee Cinema, the festival’s presenting sponsor. “Zee Network recognizes this space and continues to support both filmmakers and festivals across North America. We are proud to be associated with IFFLA in its 14th year and look forward to a great festival.”
A Filmmaker Roundtable will be presented on Saturday, April 9 at 12:00PM celebrating the record number of feature directors attending IFFLA this year. Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, John Nein, will moderate a discussion with the directors about the current state of independent filmmaking in India.
Filmmakers and talent attending IFFLA this year include: the producer of the festival’s opening night film ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES, Gaurav Dhingra, as well as stars of the film Sarah Jane Dias, Anushka Manchanda, Sandhya Mridul, Rajashri Balwant Deshpande, and Pavleen Gujral; the star and the director of closing night film WAITING, Kalki Koechlin and Anu Menon; the director of ALIGARH, Hansal Mehta; the director of UMRIKA, Prashant Nair; the director of BRAHMAN NAMAN, Q; the director of CRD, Kranti Kanade, the director of ISLAND CITY, Ruchika Oberoi; the director of KOTHANODI, Bhaskar Hazarika; the director of PARCHED, Leena Yadav; and the director of VISAARANAI, Vetri Maaran.
Tickets and Passes
The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Tickets and passes arenow available at www.indianfilmfestival.org. For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Twitter (@iffla).
Now in its 14th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.
The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.
Shonali Bose is a filmmaker and writer, born and brought up in India. Her debut feature, Amu, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, followed by TIFF and won the FIPRESCI and two National Awards. Penguin published her novel – Amu – which was based on her film. Her second feature, Margarita, with a Straw has won 32 international awards including the NETPAC Jury Award for Best Asian Film at its world premier in TIFF, and the Sundance Mahindra Global Filmmaker Award at Sundance. The film has played in 140 international film festivals, and opens in US theaters in May.
Shalini Dore, news features editor at Variety, has been with the bible of show business for almost two decades. She loves films, and grew up with not only Bollywood films but those of other Indian languages, particularly Tamil. At Variety, Dore has branched out from writing and editing about Indian entertainment to media from other countries. She loves film festivals and, besides IFFLA, has attended the Palm Springs and Cannes film festivals.
Alesia Weston is an international consultant to independent filmmakers and film festivals. During her decade as head of Sundance Institute’s year-round International Feature Film Program, she spearheaded the Screenwriters Labs in the Middle East, India, Turkey, Israel and South Africa, as well as theSundance /Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. In 2012, Weston was appointed Executive Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, Jerusalem Film Festival and Israel Film Archives and led both the 2012-2013 festivals. The same year, along with Michelle Satter, she was honored with IFFLA’s Industry Leadership Award.
RizwanManji is best known for playing scheming assistant manager Rajiv in NBC’s OUTSOURCED. The sitcom was the first of its kind: based in India, with a predominantly Indian cast. This year, Rizwan will be seen in Jim Jarmusch’s PATERSON with Adam Driver, and Drake Doremus’ EQUALS, a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated.
Laura Nix directed THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING (Toronto Film Festival 2014, Berlinale 2015). Her other feature directing credits include the documentaries THE LIGHT IN HER EYES (IDFA premiere, POV broadcast), WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, and the award-winning fiction film THE POLITICS OF FUR. Nix’s nonfiction work has appeared on HBO, IFC, New York Times Op-Docs, Planet Green, and the History Channel.
Aldo Velasco is a filmmaker and playwright born in Guadalajara, Mexico and currently living in Los Angeles. His short films have screened atSundance, SXSW and the Los Angeles Film Festival, among others. He is the editor of CHITTAGONG, the opening night film of IFFLA 2012 directed by Bedabrata Pain, and is currently preparing to direct his first feature GOD LOVES STU.
A Tribute to Bimal Roy
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 12:30PM
India / 1960 / 161 min / Blu-ray / Hindi
Director: Bimal Roy
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of one of Indian cinema’s finest directors, Bimal Roy. To mark the occasion, IFFLA is proud to present a restored version of one of Roy’s most beloved classics.
As they celebrate the first birthday of their daughter Rama, men from a local village bring a baby girl to the home of government engineer Upendra and his wife Charu. The baby’s parents were “untouchables” and both died from cholera, leaving the girl an orphan with no one willing to take her in. Being of high Brahmin castes, Upendra and Charu reluctantly agree to take in the baby and eventually give her a name: Sujata.
In a powerful portrayal and denunciation of the caste discrimination that destroyed so many lives, Roy tells a story about real people struggling with social expectations, bigotry and the feelings of love and compassion that bind us together. Showcasing memorable performances by Sunil Dutt and Nutan, with moving music by composer S.D. Burman, SUJATA premiered at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. Along with celebrating the new wave of Indian filmmakers, IFFLA is honored to pay tribute to a classic of Indian cinema.
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 11:00AM
India, Canada / 2015 / 82 min / DCP / English and Hindi
Director: Sami Khan
Rog Moreau lives anonymously and aimlessly in a small town in Ontario. When his adopted mother unexpectedly dies, Rog loses his last tie to his Canadian upbringing and identity. Realizing he is dangerously spiraling, Rog decides to travel thousands of miles away to India to find the birth family that gave him up for adoption nearly thirty years earlier. His arrival is jarring, however, when he steps off the plane into the crowded sweaty streets of Mumbai and is confronted by his own foreignness in a strange, new land.
While eager to be reunited with his family, complications immediately threaten Rog’s search;a Catholic orphanage reveals his documents are forgeries. More desperate than ever, Rog sets out on a quest heading into Madhya Pradesh — the impoverished, rural heartland of India — to find the one local official who can help him solve the mystery surrounding his adoption. Rog’s journey takes him into the dark alleys, dusty roads and cramped train cars of India’s underclass as he tries to connect the threads of his own story. Ultimately he is pushed to his physical and emotional breaking point, forced to confront the ghosts that have been haunting him his entire life. Only then is he able to discover the truth.
THE TIGER HUNTER
Passholders Only Screening
SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 3:45PM
USA / 2015 / 93 min / DCP / English
Director: Lena Khan
Writer-director Lena Khan’s debut feature boasts a stellar cast, a colorful recreation of the 1970s and a boisterous comic spirit that aims equally for the heart and the funny bone. In this wholly original take on the immigrant experience, the incomparable Danny Pudi stars as Sami Malik, a young Indian who travels to 1970s Chicago to become an engineer. He’s determined to land a lucrative career in order to live up to the legacy of his late father—a legendary tiger hunter. However, Sami finds that success in America doesn’t come easy. When his job falls through, he takes a low-paying gig in the company basement and joins a gang of oddball friends in hopes of convincing his childhood sweetheart that he’s far more successful than he truly is… or perhaps ever could be.
Khan deftly conducts her ensemble in a story that finds huge laughs and pointed commentary on the treatment of immigrants in the American work force. Along with a star turn by Pudi – who earns leading man status with effortless charm – the film’s gifted cast includes scene- stealing performances from IFFLA alum RizwanManji (MISS INDIA AMERICA), NAPOLEON DYNAMITE’s Jon Heder, Glee’s IqbalTheba and many, many more.
SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 12:00PM
With a record number feature directors in attendance this year, we’re taking the opportunity to bring them all together to discuss the state of independent Indian cinema. Moderated by John Nein, Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, these directors will discuss the difficulties of producing independent content in India, how the filmmaking landscape has improved for filmmakers in the last few years, the challenges ahead and more. This is a rare and exciting opportunity to see the elite of India’s filmmaking community in one room – an event not to be missed!
John Nein, Senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival
John Nein is a Senior Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, where he has worked since 2001, dealing extensively with narrative films, the international program and the festival’s panels and conversations. He curates the Institute’s film preservation initiative, the Sundance Collection at UCLA. Outside of Sundance, he is the curator of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ Lost & Found at the Movies cinema culture series.