New York Indian Film Festival Announces 2013 Lineup

4:23 AM PST 04/04/2013 by Nyay Bhushan
"Shahid" by director Hansal Mehta.

The festival's 13th edition will open with Feroz Khan's political satire “Dekh Tamasha Dekh” and close with the National Award-winning “Filmistaan,” from director Nitin Kakkar.

NEW DELHI – The 13th New York Indian Film Festival will run from 30 April to 4 May and open with social and political satire Dekh Tamasha Dekh by director Feroz Khan.

Organized by the Indo American Arts Council, NYIFF focuses on independent, art house, alternate and diaspora films which have a connection with the Indian subcontinent. This year's event will screen 22 features which will all have their New York City premieres.

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The festival's closing film is National Award-winning title Filmistaan by director Nitin Kakkar, which revolves around a wanna-be actor who fantasizes about becoming a heart-throb star.

The festival's centerpiece film is the acclaimed Shahid by director Hansal Mehta, based on the true story of Mumbai-based slain human rights activist lawyer Shahid Azmi.

”The film in its festival run has never failed to move audiences around the world with its narrative, characters, form and performances. I am hoping the New York premiere of the film will spread the word about this engaging story,” said Mehta.

Other festival highlights include Amit Gupta’s light-hearted Jadoo -- about two competing restauranter brothers brought together by a wedding -- and Marathi filmmaker Ratnakar Matkari’s hard-hitting social drama Investment. Returning to the festival for a second time is South Indian Malayalam filmmaker Dr. Biju with his latest work Akashathinte Niram (Color of Sky) which follows the story of a sixty-year-old man who lives on an isolated island.

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Documentary highlights include the world premiere of Mirra Bank’s The Only Real Game, about the once princely state of Manipur in Northeast India struggling to counter gun violence, poverty, corruption, drug traffic, and HIV/AIDS with its surprising passion for baseball. Another documentary to catch will be the U.S. premiere of When Hari Got Married by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, about a small-town taxi driver embarking on a new trip towards an arranged marriage.

Among the feature debuts are teen-cricketer-turned-director Ajay Bahl’s B.A. Pass, an erotic human drama based on Mohan Sikka’s short story The Railway Aunty. The film follows the loss of innocence of a young smalltown boy who moves to Delhi to stay with his aunt and finish college. Additional feature debuts include Nikhil Mahajan’s romantic thriller Pune 52.

“We are delighted to welcome these filmmakers to the New York Indian Film Festival, one of the most exciting Indian film festivals in the United States," said IAAC founder Aroon Shivdasani. "We present New York with an amazing breadth of cinematic experiences through independent and alternate masterpieces of English, Hindi, regional and diaspora films.”

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