New York Indian Film Festival 2012

May 5 - 10, 2014

Your guide to the 2014 New York Indian Film Festival
May 5, 2014

The 2014 New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) kicked off in Manhattan on Monday, May 5, with an impressive array of independent, alternative and art house movies from or about the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora.

The films, ranging from feature-length productions to documentaries, shorts and children's films, are culled from the best of Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Naga, Nepali, Sri Lankan and Pakistani cinema. The works showcased are directed by a mix of notable names on the indie circuit, like Anurag Kashyap (Ugly) and Nagesh Kukunoor (Lakshmi), to debutantes like Nagraj Manjule, whose movie Fandry is nominated for Best Film.

NYIFF 2014, organised by the Indo-American Arts Council since 2000, also features panel discussions with internationally known Indian directors like Gurinder Chadha and Aparna Sen, as well as discussions on the more practical aspects of film-making, like casting and distribution. For the full schedule and more on each film, click here.

Here's the list of nominees for Best Film, Short and Documentary (the fest also includes awards for Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress), and some sneak peeks:

Best film

Astu: Appa -- Dr Chakrapani Shastri, is suffering from dementia, as his family tries to cope. One day Appa disappears, only to be found by a tramp couple and their elephant, while Appa's daughter Ira panics. What happens next?

Fandry: Jabya, a young Dalit boy, falls in love with Shalu, his classmate who is from a higher caste. As Jabya struggles to express his feelings, the film shows the battle between his aspirations and inferiority complex.

Goynar Baksho: Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay's famous tale of three generations of women and their changing position in society, seen in relation to a box of jewels, handed down from one generation to the next.

Liar's Dice: The film follows Kamala, a young woman from Chitkul village and her girl child Manya, who embarks on a journey leaving their native land in search of her missing husband.

Ugly: A tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence starts when the 10-year-old daughter of an aspiring actor disappears.

Best short

Bar Stools: A grumpy middle-aged man falls in love with a fellow bar patron, but is completely baffled by the idea of striking up conversation with her.

Blouse: Shyam, a village school teacher, lives apart from his new wife, Roopa, because of his job. She asks him to buy her a blouse, but when he goes to the tailor, he realises he's lost his wife's sample blouse and does not have her measurements. The tailor suggests a risky but clever solution.

The Corner Table: Aisha, a 23-year-old waitress in Mumbai, befriends a customer, an old foreigner who is visiting India after almost 24 years. A journey they take one night to see the city reveals many layers to their personalities.

Give Into the Night: A film about grief, isolation, companionship and the immigrant experience in America.

Nightlife: A nuanced glimpse into the life of male sex workers of Lahore, told through the eyes of two young boys who are each other's partners, lovers and co-protectors.

Best documentary

An American in Madras: The film traces the journey of American-born filmmaker Ellis R. Dungan in India. Born in 1909 in Ohio, Dungan came to India in February 1935, intending to stay for six months, but ended up staying for 15 years, revolutionising the Tamil film industry.

Gulabi Gang: A chronicle of the exploits of the Gulabi Gang in Bundelkhand, a group of rural women who fight for the rights of women and Dalits in the face of resistance, apathy, corruption and ridicule. 

Rangbhoomi: Rangbhoomi follows the film makers as he attempts to trace the contours of Dadasaheb Phalke's life in Varansasi after he withdrew, disillusioned, from the world of cinema and decided to take up theatre.

The Auction House: Two brothers, living on different continents, are trying to save their family business -- the oldest auction house in India.

The Unseen Sequence: Exploring Bharatanatyam through the art of Malavika Sarukkai. Exclusively filmed performances, historical re-creations and in-depth interviews explore not just the history of the dance but also the connections and departures that Malavika makes from a hallowed and, often, unforgiving tradition.


New York Indian Film Festival
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