With what promises to be its most ambitious slate yet, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles has announced its impressive 2012 lineup. 33 features, documentaries, and short films will be screened from filmmakers throughout the world including Canada, Italy, India, Germany, South Africa, UK, and the U.S. Among the offerings are three world premieres, nine U.S. premieres and twelve Los Angeles premieres. This is a banner year for the festival as it celebrates its 10th anniversary, running April 10-15 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the home of IFFLA since its very first year.
"We look back on our first decade with a sense of exhilaration and pride. From the very beginning, our mission was to establish a film festival that would not only pave the way for a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture in the U.S., but also serve as the portal between the two largest entertainment industries in the world-- the U.S. and India. Today, IFFLA stands as the barometer of Indian cinema worldwide and has become the gateway to India in Hollywood. I look forward to the next decade with zeal and I anticipate what IFFLA's board and staff will be able to achieve as the dialogue between these two film industries continues to flourish and content is being created," Christina Marouda, IFFLA's founder stated.
IFFLA programmer Stacey Marbrey noted, "now that we are in the centennial of Indian cinema, we have found that the medium has reached a global crossroad. From traditional to masala to neo-realism, this year IFFLA has seen an amazing breadth of submissions. We painstakingly choose films that represent the full spectrum of the diaspora and are very excited to introduce artists whose voices will be heard for years to come."
Opening and closing night red-carpet galas showcase the first feature works of two directors, Bedabrata Pain and Prashant Bhargava. Opening night is the world premiere of Bedabrata Pain's drama "Chittagong" and stars award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee The film is set against the backdrop of 1930's British-occupied Chittagong on the brink of a youth led revolution, and tells the story of 14-year-old Jhunka who comes of age as he is faced with the ultimate questions of sacrifice, love, and the quest for true freedom.
Closing night's festivities will begin with the screening of director Prashant Bhargava's richly woven award-winning drama Patang that tells the story of Delhi businessman Jayesh and his daughter as they journey back to his childhood home in Ahmedabad for a family reunion during India's largest kite festival. Under the kaleidoscope of colorful kite-filled skies, a Pandora's box of family drama and past conflict is exposed. Patang has become a festival favorite playing to sold-out audiences worldwide and is making its Los Angeles premiere at IFFLA.
Among the eight feature films screening will be India's 2011 official submission in the Oscar™ foreign language category, Salim Ahmed's poetic drama Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam). US premieres include Rajan Khosa's critically acclaimed Gattu which won a special mention this year at the 62nd Berlinale for capturing the ironies, the complexities and the vitality of India, and Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni's inspirational satire Deool (The Temple).
Documentaries include the world premiere of Ruchika Muchhala and Faiza Khan's fascinating look into Indian society with The Great Indian Marriage Bazaar and the US premiere of Raffaele Brunetti's Mother India which intertwines four distinct stories about India's booming fertility industry. Back by popular demand are two shorts programs consisting of 13 films, including the world premiere of Anirban Roy's Aaspordha (Audacity).
In honor of its 10th year, the festival is bringing back three of its past award winners as part of a 10th Anniversary Retrospective. Throughout 2011 the festival asked the public to vote online for their favorite film from the past decade. The films that received the most votes and selected by the public to be screened in the retrospective are past Jury Award winners for Best Narrative Feature Udaan (2011) and Black Friday (2005) as well as Audience Choice Award winner for Best Feature Loins of Punjab Presents (2008).
Also returning is the crowd pleasing Bollywood by Night sidebar which includes the highly anticipated Agent Vinod directed by Sriram Raghavan and starring Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor and Abhinay Deo's Delhi Belly produced by acclaimed Indian actor/director/producer Aamir Khan.
Wells Fargo returns for the seventh year as one of the fest's main sponsors and this year IFFLA welcomes new corporate sponsor Turkish Airlines.
Now in its 10th 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, honoring entertainment industry business executives and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. For more information: www.indianfilmfestival.org.
ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, represents an evolution in the movie going experience. ArcLight Cinemas with locations in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena and El Segundo offers an unprecedented combination of technology, amenities, comfort, and customer service. Facilities include the historic Cinerama Dome (only at the Hollywood location) and state-of-the-art "black box" auditoriums as well as a cafß bar and a cinema-focused gift shop. Tickets can be purchased online without a fee and printed at home and at the theaters' automated ticketing kiosks. For more information about ArcLight visit www.ArcLightcinemas.com.