'Flowers' wins top prize at L.A. Indian Film Fest


NEW DELHI -- The fifth Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles concluded Monday night at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood with the U.S. premiere of Rajnesh Domalpalli's South Indian film "Vanaja."

The screening was followed by the awards ceremony during which director Pan Nalin's epic love story "Valley of Flowers" won the grand jury prize for best feature while the audience choice award went to John Jeffcoat's romantic comedy "Outsourced."

Revolving around a young girl who battles odds to become a classical dancer, "Vanaja," which received a special mention for debut feature, received the Berlin International Film Festival's best debut feature award in February.

"Q2P" directed by Paromita Vohra won the grand jury prize for best documentary, and best short went to "Tea Break" by Srinivas Sunderrajan. The animated short "Printed Rainbow" by Gitanjali Rao received a special mention.

Audience award winners were the documentary "Divided We Fall" by Sharat Raju and the short "Monsoon" by Shyam Balse.

"Over the past six days, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from filmmakers, audiences, sponsors and press," festival director Christina Marouda said. "In fact, we have received many requests to take the festival to other parts of the country, which we are going to look into."

The festival showcased 36 films, including 11 U.S. premieres and three world premieres.