Indian film fest to kick off in LA
The fourth Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), the only festival in the US dedicated to presenting Indian cinema, is set to open Wednesday with Deepa Mehta's Water.
The film will be screened at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. This year, a total of 33 films from 13 countries will be screened, apart from features, documentaries and short films from and about India.
At the opening ceremony, IFFLA will co-present with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra a lifetime achievement award to sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
Acclaimed actor Naseeruddin Shah will also be honoured with the Los Angeles premiere of his latest film, Parzania, and the screening of two of his earlier films, Monsoon Wedding and Manthan.
"There has been tremendous growth in Indian cinema and our 2006 programme reflects that with the participation of films from 13 countries, including 12 films from Britain and five films from Canada," the IFFLA festival director, Christina Marouda said.
The three world premieres at the event include two documentaries - Men of Burden, which takes a compassionate look at the lives of cycle-rickshaw drivers in Pondicherry as they try to survive in a dwindling trade and Bombay Calling, which focuses on the call centre culture in India.
There will also be a KidsFest section showing Prakash Kovelamudi's feature, Belly Full of Dreams, which tells the story of nine-year old Ramu, a ragpicker who has a simple dream - to go to school.
Seminars are also being planned, which will focus on issues like the fast growing animation sector of the Indian entertainment industry, film financing through co-productions and tax incentives.
The festival will conclude on April 23 with the screening of Rajat Kapoor's marital comedy Mixed Doubles.
IFFLA is a non-profit body devoted to paving the way for greater appreciation of India's cinema and diverse culture by providing the public in the US with a selection of films from and about India by Indian and international filmmakers.