'Venice' kicking off Indian fest

Los Angeles event will close with doc 'Yes Madam, Sir'

The seventh annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, running April 21-26, will feature five films making their world premiere, five features making their U.S. premiere and five features making their L.A. debut.

The six-day fest focusing on Indian cinema kicks off at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinemas with the world premiere of Anand Surapur's "The Fakir of Venice," a tale of two con men, and closes with Megan Doneman's "Yes Madam, Sir," a documentary about the first woman to join the Indian Police Service.

The fest program includes films from such female filmmakers as director Nandita Das, "Heaven on Earth"; Sooni Taraporevala, "Little Zizou"; and Nina Paley, "Sita Sings the Blues."

The fest also will feature a salute to Bollywood star Anil Kapoor, which will include screenings of his films "Lamhe" and "Virasat" as well as the world premiere of the English-language version of "Gandhi, My Father," which he produced.

The fest will pay homage to B.R. Chopra by screening his classic film "Naya Daur."

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Suneel Gupta will officially launch the Kahani Movement at IFFLA. The brothers are co-founders of the film project, which will capture and share stories from Indians who immigrated to the United States.

"These cherished stories are evaporating along with the people who lived them," Sanjay Gupta said. "It is our generation's responsibility to preserve those stories, so that they are never lost."

The process of collecting the stories has informally taken place for nearly a year prior to this official unveiling.

Other events will include a dinner honoring those selected for Korn/Ferry International's list of 25 most influential South Asian executives in the U.S. entertainment and media industry.

IFFLA festival director Christina Marouda observed that this year's festival should have added signficance in the wake of the success of "Slumdog Millionaire.

"IFFLA is solidifying itself as a key touchstone in the U.S. for the Indian entertainment industry at a time when the Indian film industry and the film business community in Hollywood are truly coming together," she said.
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