New York Indian Film Festival 2015

May 4 - 9, 2015

Vishal Bhardwaj Shakespeare Trilogy on New York Indian Film Fest Lineup
April 8, 2015
Lisa Tsering

San Leandro, Calif. — An intriguing documentary about Salman Khan fans, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Bollywood Shakespeare trilogy and two promising children’s films are among the highlights of this year’s New York Indian Film Festival.

The NYIFF, now in its 15th year, runs May 4-9 at various venues around New York City.

Shonali Bose’s “Margarita, with a Straw” is the opening night film (read India-West’s coverage here); while the Centerpiece film is Aparna Sen’s “Saari Raat,” based on a three-act play by Bengali theatre personality Badal Sircar and starring Sen’s daughter, Konkona Sen Sharma. Festival organizers are waiting until April 15 to announce the closing night film.

Programmer Aseem Chhabra told India-West in an e-mail that this year’s documentaries are worth a special look, including Ravi and Geeta Patels’ “Meet the Patels,” an award-winning comic documentary which was recently picked up for theatrical distribution later this year. Chhabra also recommends “Being Bhaijaan,” which delves into the unique devotion that Salman Khan’s most obsessed fans — most of them men from underdeveloped corners of India — hold for the muscled Bollywood superstar.

“I am particularly thrilled to show two children's films — ‘Elizabeth Ekadashi’ (which I saw at the Goa Film Bazaar) and ‘Kaakaa Muttai’ (which I saw last year at TIFF),” said Chhabra. “Both are adorable films and as luck would have it both won the National Award for Best Children's Film.”

In addition to a robust lineup of live events and audience-sourced fare (including some one-minute cell phone films shot by NYU students), this year’s NYIFF has curated a tribute to Vishal Bhardwaj that includes an onstage appearance by the prolific filmmaker and screenings of his three Shakespeare-themed Hindi films: “Maqbool” (2004), “Omkara” (2006) and the multiple National Award-winning “Haider” (2014).

“We are really excited that Vishal has agreed to screen and discuss all three films in their Shakespearean context at our festival," Indo American Arts Council artistic director Aroon Shivdasani.

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