Mahindra Group to back IAAC fest


NEW DELHI -- The seventh annual Indo-American Arts Council Festival, which focuses on the promotion of South Asian filmmakers in North America, will have the backing of leading Indian business conglomerate the Mahindra Group, organizers said Tuesday.

The Mahindra IAAC Film Festival will be held Nov. 7-11 in New York, with the goal of giving alternative and independent South Asian films a global platform.

Said IAAC executive director Aroon Shivdasani, "We are excited about the partnership with the Mahindra Group because they play an integral role in supporting the infrastructure and rapid growth of the festival. Their continued support and dedication will enable the IAAC to present the work from the most diverse and original filmmakers from around the South Asian diaspora."

The first annual IAAC Film Festival, held in 2001 in the aftermath of Sept. 11, introduced New Yorkers to films and artists from South Asia.

Over the years, the festival has featured films by such leading Indian filmmakers as Mira Nair, the late Ismail Merchant, Deepa Mehta, Gurinder Chadha and Nagesh Kukunoo.

Submissions for entries are being called for in two main categories: diaspora films, made by people of Indian origin living outside India or by non-Indians with Indian content; and independent films, those made in India with a unique message.

New York-based IAAC is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of Indian artists in North America in the performing, literary, visual and folk arts.

The $4.5 billion Mahindra Group is among the top 10 industrial houses in India, with interests in the automotive and financial services sectors, among other areas.