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New York Indian Film Festival Gets New Dates, New Name

Along with a new name, the festival also gets a new director in Aseem Chhabra.

NEW DELHI -- New York's 11th Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival will see a new name, new dates and a new director.

Instead of its usual November dates, the renamed New York Indian Film Festival will now be held May 4-8. The event will also see a new film festival director in film writer and long-time IAAC Film Festival selection committee member Aseem Chhabra.

Created in 2001 in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City, the film festival was started to create a better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian subcontinent by showcasing feature films, shorts and documentaries from that region and its diaspora. 

Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding closed that year's festival ahead of its worldwide theatrical release and was joined over the years by films such as Deepa Mehta's Oscar-nominated Water, Nair's The Namesake, the Academy Award-winning documentary Born Into Brothels as well as the New York premiere of Danny Boyle's multiple Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire.

While this year's lineup is still to be announced, the festival's opening-night red carpet will again be held at the Paris Theatre in Manhattan, while festival screenings will take place from May 5-8 at Tribeca Cinemas.

In addition, the festival will also host an exclusive celebrity-filled celebration honoring the 150th anniversary of the birth of India's legendary Nobel Prize-winning artist and poet Rabinranath Tagore at the Asia Society on May 8.

A call for submissions has been announced by organizers Indo-American Arts Council with a deadline date of Feb. 20, 2011.

“We start 2011 with a whole new energy for our annual IAAC Film Festival -- a new name, a new film festival director and a move to spring," said Indo-American Arts Council executive director Aroon Shivdasani.

"I am thrilled to have been appointed as the director of the festival. I have been a part of the IAAC family for several years and its events have been my one-stop shop as an entertainment writer and a New York-based consumer of Indian arts," festival director Aseem Chhabra added.