Saturday, April 6, 2013

Complete Line-Up:  13th  New York Indian Film Festival (April 30 – May 4)

Now in its 13th year …

The New York Indian Film Festival (originally the IAAC Film Festival) was started in 2001 by Aroon Shivdasani, who has steadfastly and vigorously promoted Indian culture and arts in New York city through the Indo-American Arts Council, and organization that she founded and heads.  She expanded her artistic showcasing in the Big Apple by introducing a section on new Indian cinema. This section screens Indian films and India related films made over the recent year. 
Her film selection committee is led by the Festival Director and noted film journalist Aseem Chhabra

NYIFF 2012  L-R (top) Aroon Shivdasani and Aseem Chhabra, L-R (bottom) Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor
This year the festival will screen 22 Indian features, all of them New York City premieres. In addition, the 2013 edition launches a new award, one that will honor student-created short films (five minute or less). Through open, no-fee submissions from film schools, one student will be selected to receive a special award at the Closing Night Award Ceremony

For more  information, visit

The complete line-up of the 13th New York Indian Film Festival
Opening Film      Feroz Abbas Khan's Dekh Tamasha Dekh
Centrepiece         Hansal Mehta’s Shahid

 Celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema
Rudradeep Bhattacharjee’s The Human Factor
M.S. Sathyu’s Garam Hawa
Jaideep Varma’s Baavra Mann (doc)
Uday Shankar’s Kalpana
Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro

 Special screening Amit Gupta’s  Jadoo

Closing Film Nitin Kakkar’s Filmistaan

The other features films being screened
Nikhil Mahajan’s Pune 52
Gajinder Ahire’s Anumati
Ajay Bahl’s B.A. Pass 
Manav Kaul’s Hansa
Goutam Ghose’s Shunyo Awnko
Jaideep Varma’s Baavra Mann
Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
Devashish Makhija’s Oonga
Dr. Biju’s Akashathinte Niram (Color of Sky)
Ratnakar Matkari’s Investment
Suparn Verma’s Aatma
Shivaji Lotan Patil’s Dhag
Avinash Kumar Singh’s Listen Amaya  
Uday Shanker’s Kalpana
Spandan Banerjee’s Delhi Diaries-To-Let
Sabal Singh Shekhawat’s Fireflies

Mirra Bank’s The Only Real Game
Geetika Narang Abbasi and Anandana Kapur’s Much Ado About Knotting 
Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin’s When Hari Got Married
Shashwati Talukdar and P. Kerim Friedman Please Don’t Beat Me Sir

Friday, April 5, 2013

Two new short films in the Telugu language …


Recently completed IKA, directed by Bangalore based director Raam Reddy, won the TOTO Funds the Arts award for Best Short Film in January 2013. Toto Funds the Arts is a non-profit trust set up in 2004 which nurtures and encourages young artists in India through awards, workshops and other events. IKA has also been selected to play next week at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

IKA (Feather)

India, 2012, 15 mins, HD, Telugu

Script, Direction, Camera, Editing Raam Reddy

Production Prspctvs Productions

Cast Rajesh, Prashanth, Suvarna, Vinod, G.R.Muniyamma, Srinivasulu, Redappa

Ika still 2Ika is about a slum boy in Bangalore who wants to make a film but does not have a camera. He builds a camera using a cardboard box, a magnifying glass and sticks, an old blank VHS tape on the side of it. He then sets out with his friend, searching for an idea for his film. He soon hears that a chicken belonging to a friend has been chased by a dog. The two set out to make a detective film on finding the missing chicken. But soon his friends desert him because they lose interest. Despondent, the boy makes his way home with his camera only to see his house in shambles, his mother crying and his father in a drunken stupor at its doorstep. After a brief conversation, a violent encounter takes place behind closed doors. In the middle of the night, the boy puts the VHS tape from his camera into an old VCR and turns on the TV. The TV is blank, but in the reflection inside his eye, the film that he had shot earlier in the day plays back to him, with a cut happening every time he blinks. Deceptively light, Ika is a short film about ideas, perception, and the nature of film as a medium.

Raam Reddy

23-year-old Raam Reddy is a writer-filmmaker based in Bangalore. He grew up pursuing poetry and photography, winning several college-level prizes in photography. While studying in St.Stephen’s College, New Delhi, he wrote his debut novel, It’s Raining in Maya, which was published in early 2012. The same year, he established his own production house called Prspctvs Productions. Upon graduating Reddy decided to pursue filmmaking. Since 2010, Raam has written and directed eight fiction short films. In May 2012, Raam graduated with a focus in Direction from Prague Film School. He is presently working on his debut feature Tithi (working title), likely to be complete mid 2014

Selected Filmography of Director:

Ika (Feather)

Bad Dream – Soley

The Dwaraka Story


Paroksh is a short film that featured in competition at the 2012 South Asian International Film Festival, New York.

Paroksh (Indirect)

India, 2012, 30 mins, Hindi /Telugu

Director Kuldip Patel

Cast: Y. Jagan, Varun Abishai, Karthik Subrahmanyam, Kuldip PatelPAROKSH_AUTOWALA

Chance and fate play a prominent role in this short film that follows three interrelated storylines involving a taxi driver, a trio of criminals, and a discouraged screenwriter. As the characters intersect in seemingly inconsequential ways, Paroksh aims its focus on the concept of things beyond our immediate perception.

Kuldip Patel, originally from a very small town in Gujarat, is an independent filmmaker and actor, currently located in Hyderabad, India. He dabbles in making short films during weekends with the minimal resources available to him. Some of his earlier short films were showcased at PFCOne, an online one minute film festival. He also acts in his films and in plays organized by small theater groups in his city. He is currently writing feature length scripts. Kuldip works for Microsoft to earn his livelihood. He is a post graduate from IIT Kanpur in Computer Science where he was exposed to foreign films.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shabhash, Mira Nair!

Mira Nair inducted into NYFA Hall of Fame

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) have announced that filmmaker Mira Nair, author and co-director of the Acquavella Gallery, Michael Findlay, composer Elliot Goldenthal, and visual artist Fred Wilson will be inducted into the NYFA Hall of Fame on Tuesday, April 23rdin New York.
The NYFA Hall of Fame was created to both honor the work of artists to whom NYFA provided critical support early in their careers and recognize philanthropists and patrons of the arts who have had an impact of the City’s cultural community. Past honorees include: Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio; Todd Haynes; Christian Marclay; Kathleen O’Grady; Suzan-Lori Parks; Wendy Perron; Ben Rodriguez-Cubenas, and Andres Serrano.

Mira Nair (NYFA Fellow in Film, 1988) is the writer, director, and producer. At the University of Delhi she started out in the theater department acting, but turned to photography and eventually to documentary filmmaking at Harvard. She made four documentaries about Indian life and society. In 1988, Nair's first feature film, Salaam Bombay!, won the Camera d'Or for Best First Film at the Cannes Film Festival and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. In 2004 she launched a film lab called Maisha, based in Uganda as a home for East African and South Asian filmmakers to gather and learn new skills. Her other films include: Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake, Vanity Fair and Amelia; her latest film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, will be released by IFC Films in April. Ms. Nair will be introduced by filmmaker D.A. Pennbaker.
Michael Findlay  (Patron of the Arts) is the Co-Director of Acquavella Galleries, which specializes in Impressionist and Modern European works of art and post-war American painting and sculpture. In 1973 Findlay helped organize an art auction at Sotheby Parke-Bernet to benefit survivors of the Nicaraguan earthquake and since then has been involved in many such fund-raising activities. As Vice President of the Art Dealers Association of America, Findlay assisted in the recent appeal that raised over a million dollars to benefit non-profit and commercial galleries devastated by Hurricane Sandy. His book The Value of Art was published by Prestel Publishing in 2012. Mr. Findlay will be introduced by visual artist Billy Sullivan.

Elliot Goldenthal  (NYFA Fellow in Music Composition, 1989) creates works for orchestra, theater, opera, ballet and film. Most recently he scored Julie Taymor’s film version of The Tempest. In 2003, he was honored with the Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the score to Taymor’s film Frida. In 2006, Goldenthal’s original two-act opera Grendel, directed by Taymor, premiered at the Los Angeles Opera and was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in music. He was commissioned by the American Ballet Theatre to compose a three-act ballet of Othello, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in May 1997. Additionally, Goldenthal has been nominated for three Oscars, two Golden Globe Awards, three Grammy Awards and two Tony Awards. Mr. Goldenthal will be introduced by soprano Jessye Norman.
Fred Wilson  (NYFA Fellow in Sculpture, 1987, 1991) is an internationally renowned artist whose work has been exhibited in cultural institutions and public spaces throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including the 50th Venice Biennale at which Wilson represented the United States. Wilson received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant Achievement Award in 1999 and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 2000. He is the board president of Sculpture center, a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art and a board member of Creative Capital. He was born in the Bronx and lives and works in Manhattan, where he is represented by the Pace Gallery. Mr. Wilson will be introduced by curator and scholar Carin Kuoni.

About NYFA: One of the few not-for-profit organizations in the country to serve artists in all disciplines, the mission of NYFA is to empower artists at critical stages of their creative lives. NYFA serves artists through funding, professional development, information and resources. Since its founding in 1971, NYFA has awarded more than $30 million to individual artists and small and mid-size organizations. Artspire, its fiscal sponsorship program, is one of the oldest, largest and most respected in the country and, since 1973, has helped artists and emerging arts organizations raise and manage more than $50 million. NYFA also provides entrepreneurial training to over 2,500 artists annually, giving them the skills they need to create their own opportunities and take control of their careers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome News - Paris to get its very own Indian Film Festival

11th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles adds its finishing touches






The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) rounds off its impressive and wide-ranging 2013 programme.

Four films added

Ship of Theseus makes its US premiere – the acclaimed film reveals an original and razor sharp directorial voice in this debut director and playwright Anand Gandhi

The much awarded environmental documentary Pad Yatra: A Green Journey - a stunning documentary about a treacherous journey to spread the word about global warming shot with solar power by Ladakhi monk Ngawang Sodpa and narrated by Daryl Hannah

The Walt Disney animated film Arjun: The Warrior Prince, a spectacular animated film from Walt Disney and UTV Motion Pictures that will be the centerpiece of the festival’s Family Day activities

The short film Iron Tracks (Lohpath) - an ode to the innocence corrupted and humanity lost in the vicious victimization of children.

Three juries will separately judge Feature, Short, and Documentary films
in addition to the Audience Award.

Feature Film Jury
* Paul Federbush - International Director of the Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute
* Director/editor/writer Kanika Myer (Halo, Heart of India)
* Bernardo Rondeau, Assistant Curator of Film Programs at LACMA.

Award winners will be announced on Closing Night prior to the Los Angeles premiere of Oscar--nominated Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children.

Best Documentary Jury

Sheri Linden - The Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times film critic

Maggie Mackay - Senior Programmer at Film Independent

Jessica Sanders - Academy Award-nominated filmmaker (After Innocence).

Short Films Jury

Director Prashant Bhargava (Patang)

Kathleen McInnis - Film Curator and Director of Industry Programming at Palm Springs ShortFest

Actress Sheetal Sheth (ABCD, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World).

Two Panel Discussions

Exploring issues of importance to Indian entertainment and cinema today

Saturday, April 13.  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).  Moderated by actor Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced). Presented by SAG-AFTRA National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee, EEO & Diversity Department and SAGIndie.

TODAY’S PIONEER VOICES CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF INDIAN CINEMA, featuring 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). Moderated by film critic Lisa Tsering.

"This year, as we celebrate the centennial of Indian Cinema, there is an incredibly exciting independent movement flourishing within India,” said IFFLA’s Head Programmer Terrie Samundra. “Our dynamic and diverse line up, panel discussions, as well as the jury, reflects this movement, and provides a platform for the deeply passionate voices of our new story tellers.”

More information about the festival can be found at

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 St Tropez Int. Film Festival does India proud

India nominations at 2013 St Tropez competition films
The 2013 St Tropez International Film Festival will be hosted in Nice in the south of France from the May 16 to 18. 

This unusual and hospitable film festival offers its screenings free to filmmakers and their guests. And this festival  offers a gamut of competition sections – as many as 23. Almost every aspect of filmmaking is covered –  Best Film of the Festival, Best Director, Best Director of a Short Film, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Audience Award, Best Feature Film, Best Short Film, Best Foreign Language Feature Film, Best Foreign Language Short, Best Producer, Best Director of a Documentary, Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, Best Foreign Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Editing of a Feature Film, Best Unproduced Feature Script, Best Unproduced Short Script, Best Costume and Best Music

Three Indian films and one India-related film have scored high in the nominations for competition sections at this year’s St Tropez. They are Question Mark (directed by Allison  Patel and Yash Dev), Siddharth Sharma’s Arjun & Alison and  Sanjay Talreja’s Surkhaab. And from Sri Lanka, A Common Man (directed by Chandran Rutnam, on which Tamil Nadu’s Radhakrishnan is a collaborator and co-producer.

The feature film ‘Question Mark’ garners eight nominations!
Best Film of the Festival
Best Director
Best Lead Actor (Akhlaque Khan)
Best Lead Actress (Kiran Bhatia)
Best Supporting Actress (Sonam Mukherjee)
Best Foreign Language Feature Film
Best Cinematography (Allison Patel)
Best Editing of a Feature Film (Udhaya Rajni). 

The feature film ‘Arjun and Alison’ has for four nominations
Best Film of the Festival
Best Actress (Monique Sequeri)
Best Feature Film
Best Editing of a Feature Film (Mick Johnson)

The feature film,’Surkhaab’ has three nominations
Best Director
Best lead actress (Barkha Madan)
Best Foreign Language Feature film

And from Sri Lanka  (with S Radhakrishnan from Tamil Nadu as one of the co-producers)
The feature film, ‘A Common Man’ has three nominations
Best Film of the Festival
Best Feature Film
Best Producer

Monday, April 1, 2013

Call For Entry: Toronto Talent Lab 2013




Toronto International Film Festival is calling for entries for the 10th edition of its Talent Lab. The Talent Lab is an intensive four-day artistic development programme that guides participants in group discussions on a range of topics focused on the artistic side of filmmaking. Each year four artistic governors are selected to mentor the participants.

Held during the first half of the Toronto International Film Festival (September 5 – 15, 2013), the programme invites filmmakers who have either one feature or two short films to their credit as a director, producer or writer. Applicants will need to send a one minute excerpt from any one of their previous works.

Last date to send applications is June 5, 2013. For further details write to

In 2012, Manjeet Singh (Mumbai Cha Raja) from India was one of the selected participants at the Talent Lab.