IFFLA schedules 14 premieres


NEW DELHI -- The fifth annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles on Thursday unveiled a 36-film lineup that will include 11 U.S. and three world premieres over its six-day run at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.

Festival director Christina Marouda said this year's event, which runs April 17-22, also will introduce a film series titled "Bollywood by Night," which will highlight some of India's most popular films. The series will include the 20th anniversary screening of Shekhar Kapur's musical hit "Mr. India."

"Even in the last year, there has been a tremendous growth and awareness of Indian cinema in the U.S.," Marouda said. "This year's lineup reflects that with the participation of films from eight different countries in eight different languages."

The festival lineup includes 13 features, eight documentaries and 15 shorts. Among the emerging filmmakers showcased will be Anish Ahluwalia's "Are You There" (Kya Tum Ho), about a lonely housewife, a university professor and an Internet cafe owner trying to overcome their past. Mridul Toosidas and Vinay Subramanian's "Missed Call" will receive its U.S. premiere at the festival. It centers on a filmmaker who lives his life through his camera, which becomes threatened when he finds love.

Documentaries include "Are You Alright Afghanistan" by Indian filmmaker Soumitra Ranade, who grew up in Afghanistan and returned with his camera more than two decades later.

"Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath" by Sharat Raju follows a Sikh American who drives across the U.S. after Sept. 11.

This year's jury members include producer Mary Sweeney, actor Ravi Kapoor and Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. member Meher Tatna.

The festival will open with Jag Mundhra's "Provoked" and close with Rajnesh Domalpalli's "Vanaja."