LOS ANGELES, CA - Chaired by Christine Marouda and celebrating its 14 th year in the city, The Indian Film Festival Los Angeles had a record attendance and was held at Arc Light Theater from April 6-10.The five day festival showcased 27 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe including...
The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short was presented to ‘Playgrounds’, directed by Shamik Sen Gupta and Pallavi MD. Honorable mentions were given to Payal Sethi’s ‘Leechies’ for the performances by its two lead actors, Sayani Gupta and Preeti Golacha, as well as ‘The Manliest Man,’ for director Anuj Gulati’s cinematic vision.
The Audience Choice Award for Best Feature went to ‘ Parched’ and Best Short to ‘ Daaravtha’(The Threshold).
“India’s independent filmmakers are taking bold risks, defying convention, and responding to injustice in each of these visionary films, and the results are breathtaking,” said Mike Dougherty, Director of Programming.
The distinctive clutch of the 27 films, intelligently and thoughtfully curated out of 300 submissions, explored the capacity of the human spirit and body with passion, ferocity and power. Los Angeles film goers were treated to a sumptuous whirlwind of originality, style and provocation.
The films screened were unforgettable, eclectic, and will endure as a seminal piece of film history in the making. Abuse of power, displacement, love and longing,were woven into strong, incredible stories. As Shonali Bose,(Director Margarita with a Straw, Amu) and member of the Jury said on stage,“ judging was a beastly business as every film was excellent and deserved an award.”
Pan Nalin’s ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ opened the festival on April 6 in its U.S. premiere after winning awards at festivals around the globe. The closing night gala on April 10, was attended by directors, film makers, actors and the movers and shakers of the film industry and featured a Red Carpet session followed by a screening of Anu Menon’s ‘Waiting,’ starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin. At a Q& A session, the stunning gifted Kalki expressed her interest in all kinds of roles and said this film about two desparate people connecting over grief and loss, finding a glimpse of survival and hope through the absurdities and humor of life, made her take the role.
The SHORTS program captured a wonderful immediacy, pushing boundaries and priding itself on showcasing integrity. These directors are impassioned provocateurs.
The Festival had the support of the sponsor Zee Cinema.
The narrative film jurors were: filmmaker Shonali Bose; Features Editor at Variety, Shalini Dore; and international consultant to independent filmmakers and film festivals, Alesia Weston.
Judging the short films were actor Rizwan Manji (NBC’s Outsourced); documentary filmmaker Laura Nix (The Yes Men Are Revolting); and film director and editor Aldo Velasco (Chihittagong).