Mira Nair's The Namesake, a heartbreaking, funny and universal story of a Bengali family's life in the US, will kick-start the sixth annual Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) Film Festival starting on November 1 in New York.
Nair's film is a screen adaptation of Pulitzer prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri's book of the same name. The film, encompassing the tale of millions of people who left one home for another, is spread over 30 years and stars Kal Penn, Tabu, Irrfan Khan, Jacinda Barrett and Zuleikha Robinson in key roles.
"This film is a piece of my heart - a seesaw of two great cities of the world - New York and Kolkata," says Nair.
Both the director and the author are expected to attend the gala event along with some cast of the film. It will be followed by the theatrical release by Fox Searchlight Pictures on November 3.
"Fox Searchlight couldn't be more proud to be releasing Mira's beautiful film about the universal themes of love and loss within a family. We are all in love with this movie," said Nancy Utley, chief operating officer, Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Last year, Canada-based Indian director Deepa Mehta's controversial Water, about the plight of widows in India in the early 90s, was the opening film at the festival.