New York Indian Film Festival 2012

'Chittagong' to open Gotham's Indian fest

Sidebar includes retrospective of Benegal's films
By Shalini Dore
The New York Indian Film Festival celebrates the centenary of films in India with a retrospective of leading helmer Shyam Benegal. Opening-night pic on May 23 is "Chittagong," which also kicked off the L.A. Indian fest earlier this month.

Set during the 1930s, pic helmed by Bedabrata Pain centers around a schoolboy movement against the colonial British rulers.

The 12th edition's centerpiece is a colorized version of the late Dev Anand starrer "Hum dono." The unspooling of the 1961 film will serve as a tribute to the Bollywood multihyphenate.

An NYIFF sidebar is devoted to a retrospective of Benegal's films including "Mamoo," "Sardari Begum" and "Zubeidaa." The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director. While Benegal worked in Hindi cinema, his movies became part of a wave of non-Bollywood pics in the 1970s.

"To commemorate the 100th year of Indian cinema, our 2012 lineup celebrates all that NYIFF finds inspiring about great films -- depth, character study, ingenious plots and riveting messages," said Aroon Shivdasani, exec director of the Indo-American Arts Council, the nonprofit org that puts on the fest.

Pics unspool at lower Manhattan's Tribeca Cinemas. Fest ends May 27, but the closing-night film has yet to be announced.

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