New York Indian Film Festival 2017


17th Annual NEW YORK INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL
April 30-May 7, 2017


SCREENING SCHEDULE
 
Festival Pass: $250 general admission; $200 IAAC members.
Includes all regular screenings and special events, Centerpiece and Closing Night screenings & parties.
Does not include Opening Night & Shoot-a-Short Workshop.
Festival Pass
 
Lipstick Under my
Burkha
Lipstick Under my
Burkha
Lipstick Under my Burkha
 
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Sunday, April 30, 6.00 pm.
Village East Cinemas, 2nd Avenue @ 12th Street, NYC


Screening Tickets: Red carpet, cocktail party, film screening, post-screening discussion.
$100 general admission; $75 IAAC members.
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Individual Gala Dinner Tickets: Red carpet, cocktail party, film screening, post-screening discussion, Gala dinner & dancing.
$500 general admission; $380 IAAC members.
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Lipstick Under My Burkha
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 116 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Alankrita Shrivastava
Cast - Konkona Sen Sharma , Ratna Pathak Shah, Aahana Kumra, Plabita Borthakur
Winner: The Spirit of the Asia Award (Tokyo International Film Festival), Oxfam Award for Best Film on Gender Equality (Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star), Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film (Festival International de Films de Femmes)

Post-screening discussion w/Director Alankrita Shrivastava & Aahana Kumra

Trailer: https://youtu.be/KRmNNhKZ1rE

Synopsis: Trapped in their own worlds, four women claim their desires through secret acts of rebellion In a small town in India. A burkha-clad college girl struggles with issues of cultural identity and her aspirations to become a pop singer. A young two-timing beautician seeks to escape the claustrophobia of her small town. An oppressed housewife and mother of three lives the alternate life of an enterprising saleswoman. A 55-year-old widow rediscovers her sexuality through a phone romance. Caught in a conservative society, these women set forth to break the mold, in search of a little freedom.

Alankrita
ShrivastavaAbout the Director: Alankrita Shrivastava is a feature film director and screenwriter from Mumbai, India with a penchant for telling women’s stories. She likes to explore the complex, interior world of women through her films. Alankrita has written and directed two feature films - Turning 30 (2011) and Lipstick Under my Burkha. She has worked on several Indian feature films including Raajneeti as an associate director and Khoya Khoya Chand as an Executive Producer. She has also director short films, documentaries and music videos.

Doctor Rakhmabai
Doctor Rakhmabai
 
Monday, May 1, 6.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Doctor Rakhmabai
New York City Premiere
2017 | India | 124 mins | Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Ananth Mahadevan
Cast - Tannishtha Chatterjee, Prasad Oak, Santosh Juvekar, Kavita Medhekar, Bharat Dabholkar, Alex o’ Neil, Elena Kazan, Aditi Sarangekar


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/206004039?ref=em-share

Synopsis: Towards the end of the nineteenth century, around 1880, a revolutionary new force, that surprisingly emanated from the mind of a 20 year old girl, impacted Indian society like a thunderbolt and hasn’t diminished till today. Young Rakhmabai Raut was unaware that she would make history as India’s first practicing lady doctor, when she diligently followed her stepfather Dr Sakharam Arjun’s lessons to educate herself, much against the norms of the time. It was a move that shook up a lot of people in a conservative, orthodox society. What followed was a bigger upheaval, what became “the most shocking news of the time”. Young Rakhmabai refused to live with her husband, raising a storm of dust that ended up as a battle in the High Court of Bombay [then] under a British judge. In what threatened to change existing Hindu marriage laws and spark off a social upheaval on child marriage and abuse, Rakhmabai stood steadfast in her intentions and despite losing the case refused to bend down to her imbecile husband. Rakhmabai’s dream of obtaining a medical degree wasn’t easy to fulfill.

ANANTH NARAYAN
MAHADEVANAbout the Director: ANANTH NARAYAN MAHADEVAN is a prominent media personality in India actively involved as actor-writer-editor and director in theatre, television, commercials and feature films. As feature film Director, he has just completed his 15th feature. His Marathi film I am Sindhutai Sapkal won 4 Indian National Film Awards [including Film, Screenplay, Dialogue and Singer] and the award for Best Director in the Maharashtra State Awards. Amongst the films that have received worldwide acclaim are Staying Alive, Red Alert - The War Within [a true story of the Naxal uprising in India] , Gour Hari Dastaan - The Freedom File, a biopic on India’s oldest living freedom fighter who fought for 35 years for his identity, and Rough Book, a film that took the Indian education systems by the horns. Ananth also has an illustrious career in Theatre & Television in India.  

Poorna
Poorna
Monday, May 1, 6.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Poorna
New York City Premiere
2017 | India | 104 min | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Rahul Bose
Cast - Aditi Inamdar, Rahul Bose, S. Mariya


Post-screening discussion w/Director Rahul Bose
 
Trailer: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5cx2hd

Synopsis: Poorna(13), who comes from a poor tribal family of agricultural laborers in a village in Telangana, spends most of her time with her older cousin, Priya. Rather than being allowed to study, the two girls spend their days sweeping the school grounds as their parents haven’t been able to pay their fees.

Priya suggests that the two of them run away and apply to a government run social welfare residential school but Priya’s father catches the girls during their attempt to escape. The older Priya is then married off, while Poorna’s father eventually agrees to send Poorna to a social welfare school for a year so he can find her a husband in the meantime.

Praveen Kumar, is a compassionate but no-nonsense IPS officer whose own beginnings were very humble. He now applies for and becomes, the Secretary of Social Welfare. Praveen kicks off many innovative projects at the social welfare schools. One day the students are taken to Bhongir for rock climbing lessons, and Poorna and Anand (17), clearly emerge as frontrunners in this class. A number of students are shortlisted for the expedition, and are sent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling to prepare.

There the top two candidates, Poorna and Anand are selected for Operation Everest. Meanwhile, Priya, pregnant with twins, dies during childbirth. Poorna goes through an emotional breakdown, but eventually decides to climb anyway. Praveen tries to convince Poorna that it is best if she turns around and comes back, but Poorna insists on continuing. Her mind overcomes her body, and through a combination of pride, courage and willpower, she ultimately becomes the youngest girl ever to summit Everest.

Poorna and Anand have created a renewed world of self-esteem and hope. Praveen's sabbatical from the IPS is over and he greets Poorna in uniform, as both realize life will never be the same again for them.

Rahul BoseAbout the Director: Described as the ‘Indian art house icon’, by TIME magazine, Rahul Bose won the Best Actor award at the Singapore Film Festival in 2000 for his performance in Split Wide Open. Having started his directorial career on the stage with the path breaking Seascape With Sharks and Dancer in 1996, Rahul ‘s film debut as both, a writer and director was Everybody Say’s I’m Fine! in 2002, for which at the Palm Springs Festival he was awarded the runner-up prize, the John Schlesinger award for Best Debut Director. Formed in 2006, his NGO, ‘The Foundation’, works with children from underserved areas of India, and his second NGO, HEAL works with survivors of child sexual abuse. In 2009, he was voted the Indian Youth Icon of the Year - Social Justice. In 2010, he was awarded the Green Globe award for his work on climate change. In 2012 he was awarded NDTV’s Celebrity Sports Activist of the Year. In the same year, on India’s Independence Day, Rahul was conferred the Lt. Governor’s Commendation Award for Services to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In 2013 he was awarded the Hakim Khan Sur award for his work towards National Integration by the Maharana of Mewar Foundation. In 2014, Rahul was named on the prestigious Executive Council of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs' National Foundation for Communal Harmony. In 2015 he was named GQ's Philanthropist of the Year. A former international rugby player, Rahul represented India for eleven years, retiring from the Indian team in 2009. A prolific speaker, he has lectured on leadership, gender equality and Indian cinema at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, MIT, Columbia and Cornell University amongst others.

The Narrow Path
The Narrow Path
Monday, May 1, 6.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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The Narrow Path
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 97 mins | Malayalam (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Satish Babusenan & Santosh Babusenan
Cast - K Kaladharan, Sarath Sabha, Krishnapriya
Winner: Silver Gateway for Second Best Film (Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star), Second Best Prize (Kerala State Film Awards)


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/190883125

Synopsis: Young Akhil lives with his old and crippled father. The two share a difficult relationship. Akhil has decided to run away with his girlfriend Nina to another city and he is keeping this a secret from the old man. But his last day at home doesn't turn out the way he had planned it.

SATISH BABUSENAN & SANTOSH BABUSENANAbout the Directors: Satish and Santosh Babusenan are brothers. They started their career as cinematographers and producers shooting music, corporate and short films. In 2015 they made their first feature Chaayam Poosiya Veedu (The Painted House). In 2016 they made their second feature film Ottayaal PaathaTTAYAAL (The Narrow Path). Both films are jointly written, shot and directed by them. Satish has an M.Des from IIT Bombay and Santosh, a PhD in film studies.

The Narrow Path
Monday, May 1, 6.00 pm. Theater 5, Village East, NYC.
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Gypsy
World Premiere
2016 | India | 56 mins | English, Hindi, Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Dhananjay Bhawalekar
Cast - Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay


Post-screening discussion w/Director Dhananjay Bhawalekar

Trailer: https://youtu.be/cQ1zZWr1o3c
            https://youtu.be/GTxUxCKeoIU

Synopsis: Born in a remote village in Maharashtra, Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay has come a long way. His intimate first hand understanding of real India shaped his career in places as diverse as Tokyo, Damascus, Moscow and New York. As the Consul General in New York, he was the pillar behind the Madison Square Garden event of PM Modi.This is the irresistible journey of the gypsy hidden deep within the man; the gypsy who persisted, propelled and inspired varied accomplishments. His domain goes much beyond diplomacy - he is an award winning writer, linguist, columnist and thought leader. He is deeply invested in sociocultural issues of our times and continues to inspire youth. In spite of his high position as Secretary to the Government of India, he remains a down to earth, a sensitive poet with infinite energy and compassion. The documentary captures his extraordinary pilgrimage.

Dhananjay BhawalekarAbout the Director: Worked as a director in Marathi and Hindi Theatre since 2001. Working with several well-known and legend theatre personalities from last 15 years.

  Sunil Sadarangani:  Future Shorts Media
Monday, May 1, 8.00 pm. Theater 5 Village East Cinema, 2nd Ave @ 12th Street, NYC.
RSVP RSVP essential.

Sunil Sadarangani in conversation with filmmakers and consumers about showcasing short content on his new platform and his vision on changing the game for this format.


About Future Shorts Media: Launching in the summer of 2017, Future Shorts Media is a low-subscription based digital streaming platform showcasing exclusive short content from original films, web-series, documentary shorts, docu-series and more. Founded by Sunil Sadarangani, Future Shorts Media aims to provide short content creators a voice and an opportunity for their content to be distributed, branded and be seen by people across the globe. It gives the audience an alternative user experience, watching curated, unique and short content of caliber otherwise lost in the vast digital ocean.

To know more please visit https://futureshortsmedia.com
YouTube https://youtu.be/MxQxqOd_rPs

Sunil SadaranganiSunil Sadarangani is a Los Angeles based award-winning Producer/Filmmaker and has over 10 years of experience as a Producer on international feature films, documentaries, short films, web-series, and PSAs for theatrical, TV and digital release. He has worked with entertainment professionals from the US, UK, India, Sweden, France, Australia, Lebanon etc. Highlighting some of Sunil’s work – his web-series, "Bollywood to Hollywood" won multiple awards in acting and producing at film festivals. In addition, Sunil's short films, “In Transit” and “Blind” have won awards in producing, directing and acting at international and local film festivals, including being awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the City Of Los Angeles, California.

Shab
Shab

Monday, May 1, 9.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Shab
World Premiere
2017 | India | 104 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Onir
Cast - Ashish Bisht, Simoné Frenay, Areesz Ganddi, Raveena Tandon, Arpita Chatterjee


Post-screening discussion w/Director Onir & Ashish Bisht

Trailer:
https://youtu.be/1Xe1R2cx-Fo

Synopsis:
SHAB is set in the unforgiving and cold city of Delhi where people from all over the country come to fulfill their dreams. For some, these dreams are realized, while others surrender to the city’s overwhelming powers. It is the story of their unrequited love, unfulfilled desires and helplessness at the hands of destiny.

OnirAbout the Director: Trained in film editing at SFB TTC, Berlin (1991), Onir directed and produced his first Documentary Film on painter Bijon Chaudhury Fallen Hero in 1992. In 1999 he worked as the film editor, song designer, and song director of the film Daman directed by Kalpana Lajmi. In 2004 with Sanjay Suri, Onir decided to produce his first film My brother…Nikhil which was to become the first mainstream that addressed the issue of homosexuality apart from dealing with issues of Human rights and HIV AIDS. In Jan 2006 he started shooting his second feature film Bas Ek Pal with Juhi Chawla, Urmila Matondkar, Jimmy Sheirgill, Rehaan Engineer and Sanjay Suri. In 2007 he started his third film Sorry Bhai! under his and Sanjay’s home production ANTICLOCK FILMS. Sorry Bhai! starred Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Sanjay Suri, Chitrangda Singh and Boman Irani.

In 2009, Anticlock Films started the unique citizen funded film project called I Am which was Onir’s fourth feature film. The film had four stories which are interlinked by characters and shot across four cities in India. The films deal with stories that have never been addressed by mainstream Hindi cinema. The funds for the films have been through Facebook and blogging. I Am is probably the first and largest crowd sourced film through social network in India. Over 400 people across 47 cities across the world have come together to make this film. I Am was released to wide critical acclaim on 29th April 2011. I Am won the National Award for the Best Hindi Feature Film and Best Lyrics in the 59th National Awards 2012. He recently completed an Indo-Australian documentary, Raising The Bar, about 6 youngsters with Down's Syndrome, which won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Award at the Indian Film Festival Melbourne (2016).

  Monday, May 1, 9.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Shorts A - Fathers, Sons, Caretakers & Other Bonds
I See You
I See You
I See You
World Premiere
2016 | USA | 10 mins | English
Directed by - Manjari Makijany
Cast - Shahaub Roudbari, Raegan Revord


Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgz_Vw9yw0Y

Synopsis:
"An eye for an eye would make the whole world blind," Mahatma Gandhi. The film explores this deep philosophical concept through the eyes of a terrorist. A suicide bomber struggles with his decision on a crowded subway after he meets an innocent child and realizes the notion of the enemy isn’t that simple.

Manjari MakijanyAbout the Director: One of 8 women chosen to participate in AFI's Directing Workshop for Women 2016, Manjari has written and directed award winning short films, The Last Marble and The Corner Table. As part of the DWW program she directed, I See You, a dramatic thriller about a suicide bomber who has a change of heart on the New York metro. Manjari completed UCLA's Professional Screenwriters Program, where she developed her feature screenplay, City of Gold. The script was nominated for the Nate Wilson's Joie De Vivre Award in 2015.

After her graduation, she worked as an Assistant Director on commercials and feature films including Bollywood features such as Wake Up Sid and Saat Khoon Maaf. She also worked on international and Hollywood productions including Disney's live action animation Lilly The Witch, and the Indian schedules of Mission Impossible 4: The Ghost Protocol and Christopher Nolan's Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. Her role as Director's Assistant on Gandhi of the Month starring, Harvey Keitel offered her the opportunity to work closely with actors for creative workshops and creatively contribute to the director's vision. Manjari heads Mac Productions, founded by her father. She directs narrative films and produces digital content for brands under the company banner.
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Patliputra Express
Patliputra Express
Patliputra Express
World Premiere
2016 | India | 12 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Raj Rishi More
Cast - Ravi Khanwilkar


Synopsis: Uday Shankar, a retired army personnel takes a train journey to visit his son. And, Uday's wife accompanies him through a series of mobile phone calls that she makes in short intervals. But there's something amiss between them.

Things unfold when Uday decides to share his seat with a young musician who is traveling without ticket. Their interactions reveal that Uday's son is currently hospitalized and Uday's wife is not aware of it. Though, Uday finds some solace in the company of the young musician but in the end, he must come to terms with the present situation of his son and find a way to reveal it to his wife.

Raj Rishi MoreAbout the Director: Raj Rishi More was born in a small town named Dumka in Jharkhand, India. He studied visual art and photography from Drishti School of Photography, Bangalore.

Raj’s film career commenced as an assistant director on the film The Lunchbox (BAFTA Nominated 2015, Rail’D Or Winner @Cannes 2013) directed by Ritesh Batra. After this Raj worked as an associate director on feature film Khoya (MAMI 2015). He also worked as a First Assistant director to Ritesh Batra on his short Masterchef commissioned by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that premiered in Sundance Film Festival 2014.

Raj’s first feature Pirates was part of Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab, India. Raj was also part of PJLF Three Rivers Artist residency in Trevignano, Italy. And, Artist in Residence in Berlin under Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH in collaboration with NIPKOW PROGRAM. End of 2014.
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The Stain
2016 | India | 15 mins | Urdu (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Munzir Naqvi

Synopsis: You can change your religion in India, but not caste. Your caste would remain with you till eternity. It won't change. This is the story of Haleem. Who is Muslim by faith but washer man by caste. Centuries ago his forefather changed their religion to escape the untouchability but they never run away from the stigma of caste. In india you belong to some caste, whether you are Muslim or Christian or a Sikh.
  
Munzir NaqviAbout the Director: Director, writer and editor Munzir Naqvi was born in Lucknow, India on 23rd May 1985. He was graduated in Computer Science from Shia P.G. College, University of Lucknow. Munzir also represented Cricket Association Lucknow in U-16 Cricket tournaments and also played club Cricket in early part of 2000s. He began his career in television/film industry as a Promo Editor and worked with Moving Picture Company, Zoom Entertainment (The Times of India group) and Zee Studio/Cafe (Essel group) for more than 10 years. He also wrote a film script about the struggle of a poet. The National Award winner Pankaj Kapoor is doing the title role in the said feature film. Dhabba (The Stain) is his first venture in direction. This short film is also selected in International Festival of Short films on Culture & Tourism, Jaipur, India.
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TheCobbler
TheCobbler
The Cobbler
World Premiere
2016 | India | 20 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Saqib Pandor

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlN-eIg6SmQ&t=2s

Synopsis: Story revolves around the relationship of a father and son trying to get by in the big city of Bombay. Working as a cobbler at a railway station, Gopal works day in and day out along side other cobblers trying to make ends meet. With a growing son and a minimum wage job, it becomes increasingly difficult for Gopal to keep up with his son’s requests. There comes a point where is daily struggles are heighten even more because of a careless mistake on his end.

Saqib PandorAbout the Director:Saqib Pandor, first time filmmaker from India. His journey in films began when he started working as an assistant with Anurag Kashyap, a noted filmmaker in India. Working on films like Ugly and Bombay Velvet gave him a great opportunity to polish his skills as a filmmaker and ultimately helped a great deal in his maiden venture.
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Kammattipadam
Kammattipadam
Almost
2017 | U S A | 20 mins | English
Directed By: Maahir Khan
Cast: Staffan Edenholm, Amy Lee Persaul, James Lyden, Jon Spano.


Synopsis: The film is about Jack, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who, after running rampant for years, has been in and out of institutions over the past two. Having finally reached a point of acceptance of the fact that he can never drink and use safely again, Jack is determined to make good on his sobriety this time, and both get his life back and undo the collateral damage he has done to his fiancee and family. Yet, although he has accepted the fact that he is an alcoholic and that he cannot drink, he is still trapped in delusion and denial sober, except without anything to numb himself out or blame his behavior on.

About the Director: Maahir Khan. A young filmmaker raised in Bombay but living in New York, Maahir Khan began his artistic journey primarily as a writer from an early age. Particularly interested in literature that dealt with the intricacies of the ordinary, after a spate of serious health issues that early in life forced him to question the validity of everything he thought he knew, Maahir took a left turn from a path to become a lawyer and put his energies in the arts. Although initially pursuing music but switching to film, Maahir has a particular penchant for humanizing the horrific and exploring the shadows of the psyche.
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The Thief
The Thief
The Thief
World Premiere
2015 | India | 22 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Aasmaan Bhardwaj
Cast - Chandan Roy Sanyal, Rahul Kumar, Aditi Sharma, Aasmaan Bhardwaj


Synopsis: Based on a short story by Ruskin Bond, also called The Thief, this is a story about a boy who cares for nothing and finally finds someone who changes that. But will that be temporary or permanent?

Aasmaan BhardwajAbout the Director: Aasmaan Bhardwaj, is an Indian film director, and writer. He has also assisted as part of the direction team in several Bollywood productions, and has also acted in one of the films (The Blue Umbrella). Aasmaan received his 12th grade Diploma in May 2014, from E´cole Mondiale World School, which is part of the International Baccalaureate. He then proceeded to take a gap year to make a few short films, and finally decide which path he wants to take. In August 2015 he left for his first year of college at School Of Visual Arts, in New York City, where he started his 4 year Undergraduate Degree for a Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Filmmaking. He is currently doing his second year, in which he is specializing in Screenwriting as his major.
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Zoya
Zoya
Zoya
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 27 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Sahirr Sethhi
Cast - Rajesh Tailang, Manjot Singh, Geeta Agrawal Sharma


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/164856967

Synopsis: Dr. Rajeev Kapoor is a hard-nosed wildlife conservationist relentlessly searching for a missing tiger in Kanha Tiger Reserve (India). She is feared dead by the authorities who’re ready to pull the plug on his mission, but Kapoor is undaunted. At the same time he is also desperately trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. Enter Armaan, a rookie biologist who is assigned as Kapoor’s intern and is too eager to please for his liking. Together this unlikely duo journeys deep into the jungles on a quest that becomes more and more personal.

Sahirr SethhiAbout the Director: Sahirr is a 'Student Emmy' winning filmmaker from Mumbai, India who recently graduated with an MFA in Film Directing from UCLA and is a post-graduate in screenwriting from the Film and Television Institute of India. He is a Tata Scholar, recipient of the Alfred P Sloan Production Grant, the Academy of Motion Picture Art & Sciences Internship Fellowship and is also a Telluride FilmLAB Fellow. He has served as a Director's Assistant to filmmakers Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris on multiple projects. Currently he's developing his debut feature while working as a Story Producer on an upcoming Netflix unscripted series - Ultimate Beastmaster.

Side A side B
Side A side B
 
Monday, May 1, 9.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Side A side B
World Premiere
2017 | India | 80 mins | English
Directed by - Sudhish Kamath
Cast - Shivranjani Singh, Rahul Rajkhowa


Post-screening discussion w/Director Sudhish Kamath

Trailer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ2pcK5oGVA
           https://twitter.com/SudhishKamath/status/846829976209018881/video/1

Synopsis: Aiban "Joel" Gogoi, a guitarist and activist who feels strongly about the ground reality in the North East, takes a 44 hour-long train journey to accompany his singer-girlfriend Shivranjani Singh who is moving to Mumbai with their cat to explore a life beyond the mountains, even if it means a nine to five job working for a multi-national corporation. In the course of the journey between Guwahati and Mumbai, they realise they are headed in different directions. This story of two Indias, separated by Distance and ambition, is a collection of eight musical moments from the journey. The actors, hence, have sung and performed all songs live on a train in eight long takes.

Sudhish Kamath About the Director:39 year-old Sudhish Kamath, a journalist and film critic with over 20 years of writing experience, has written, directed and produced three independent feature films. His debut film That Four Letter Word (2006) has been remade in Gujarati this year as Pela Adhi Akshar. In 2010, Kamath made Good Night Good Morning, a conversation film about two strangers falling in love over the course of a phone call on New Year's Eve in New York. The film had back to back premieres at the Mumbai Film Festival (2010) and the South Asian International Film Festival, New York (2010), played at the Transilvania International Film Festival, Romania (2011), Noordelijk Film Festival, Netherlands (2011), Habitat Film Festival, Delhi (2011) and Silk Screen Film Festival, Pittsburgh(2011). Good Night Good Morning released in January 2012 through PVR Director's Rare.

In 2013, Kamath brought together 10 other Indian directors with disparate styles of storytelling for the experimental serialized anthology X-Past is Present, to build a bridge between the different cinemas of India. X-Past is Present was the Opening Film at the South Asian International Film Festival (2014) and was selected in the World cinema section of the International Film Festival of Kerala (2014) before it released theatrically in November 2015. The film also played at the Habitat Film Festival, Delhi (2016), Bangalore International Film Festival (2016) and the Indie Meme Festival, Texas (2016) Earlier this year, Kamath decided to give up his flat in Mumbai to put the rent money to better use - to fund his films. Side A Side B, his fourth feature, is his first film made as a movie monk, living out of a suitcase.
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  Mobile Bollywood/ One-Minute Cell Phone Films
   

A Death in the Gunj
A Death in the
Gunj
A Death in the
Gunj

Tuesday, May 2, 6.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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A Death in the Gunj
(A Tribute to Late Om Puri)
2016 | India | 104 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Konkana Sensharma
Cast - Vikrant Massey, Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Tillotama Shome, Gulshan Devaiah, Jim Sarbh, Tanuja Mukherjee, Om Puri, & Arya Sharma

Post-screening discussion w/Director Konkona Sen Sharma

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XliKkuxa_nA

Synopsis: Set in 1979, A Death in the Gunj is a coming of age story, about a shy student Shyamal Chatterjee. He uses a family road trip to McCluskiegunj, an old Anglo-Indian town, as an escape from his failed semester. At the outset, the makings of a perfect family holiday are in place but something is amiss. In the week that follows, Shutu's quiet unraveling is overlooked by the family revelers, until the holiday ends with an implosion.

A Death in the GunjAbout the Director: Konkona Sensharma is an award-winning actor from India. A Death in the Gunj is her first feature film as writer and director. She is the daughter of Aparna Sen, an award winning filmmaker herself, and granddaughter of Chidananda Dasgupta, a film historian and critic and one of the co-founders of the Calcutta Film Society along with Satyajit Ray. Beginning her acting career at the age of 4, Konkona has acted in over 40 films in Hindi, Bengali and English. She has been felicitated with two National Awards and several industry awards. Konkona Sensharma debuted as a director in 2006 at the Kala Ghoda Film Festival in Mumbai in 2006 with her short film Naamkoron. The script for A Death in the Gunj was one of the 9 scripts shortlisted by the National Film Development Corporation of India, for their Script Lab and was mentored by Marten Rabarts (Creative director). Konkona was invited to be part of the jury at the Barcelona Film Festival in 2006. In 2013, she also served on the jury of the 15th Mumbai Film Festival. At the Satyajit Ray Memorial Lecture in Melbourne, Konkona gave a lecture on Arthouse vs. Mainstream. The lecture was organized in partnership with the Indian Film Festival (2014).

Late Om Puri
Late Om Puri Om Puri (18 October 1950 – 6 January 2017) was an Indian actor who appeared in mainstream commercial Indian films, as well as independent and art films. He is best-known for his author-backed roles in films like Aakrosh (1980), Arohan (1982) and television films like Sadgati (1981) and Tamas (1987) and also light-hearted roles in Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983) and Chachi 420 (1997). He had various collaborations with director Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. Puri also appeared in non-Indian productions in the United States, Britain and Pakistan. Puri was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 1990; and in 2004, was made an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire.


With This Ring
With This Ring
With This Ring
Tuesday, May 2, 6.15 pm. Theater 3 Village East, NYC.
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With This Ring
New York City Premiere
Documentary | 2016 | Canada | 91 mins | Hindi, Manipuri, English (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Ameesha Joshi, Anna Sarkissian


Post-screening discussion w/Director Ameesha Joshi

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/190781310

Synopsis: Filmed over the course of six years, With This Ring follows the meteoric rise of three Indian women who sidestep traditional roles to become world champion boxers. Worried that boxing will disfigure their faces and hurt their chances of getting married, their parents are reluctant to embrace their chosen careers. Facing pressure to conform, the women test boundaries as they become the primary wage earners in their families. While the team dominates at world championships, they continue to train in oblivion in India. Boxing becomes their lifeline, their source of income, and their community, and ultimately what rips them apart.

Anna SarkissianAbout the Directors: Born in Montreal, Anna Sarkissian is a filmmaker, writer, and anthropologist. Her work has been screened at the Canadian Parliament, in galleries, and on national television. She received her bachelor of fine arts from Montreal's Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and her master's in social anthropology from the University of Oxford. She is currently researching gender and equality in Hollywood for a doctorate in anthropology.

Ameesha JoshiAmeesha Joshi is a Toronto native, who graduated with a B.A. in psychology from Waterloo University in Ontario. She went on to work in the software industry for seven years before discovering her interest in filmmaking. Her first short film, The Red Glove, was about an amateur boxer and was made through the Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative’s FILM 5 development program in Nova Scotia. It was during the making of this film she developed an appreciation for the sport. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s of fine arts at Concordia University in Montreal and enjoys working in both documentary and fiction.

Feluda 50 Years of Ray's Detective
Feluda 50 Years of Ray's Detective
Tuesday, May 2, 6.30 pm. Theater 4 Village East, NYC.
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Feluda 50 Years of Ray's Detective
World Premiere
Documentary | 2016 | India | 112 mins | English, Bengali (w/ English subtitles)
Cast - Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Sandip Ray, Soumitra Chatterjee


Post-screening discussion w/Director Sagnik Chatterjee

Trailerhttps://youtu.be/vNyGN0KPMwE

Synopsis: FELUDA, a fictional detective, created by legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray , has stepped into his 50th year of existence. The film attempts to visualize this 50 year journey, across generations in India & abroad, traversing the literary journey and to preserve the heritage for future generations to come…. This film also unravels the unknown Satyajit Ray as a writer & illustrator. This is first of its kind documentation of a fictional literary character from India.

Sagnik ChatterjeeAbout the Director: A post graduate in mass communication from Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication in Pune, Sagnik Chatterjee started his career as an assistant director with Govind Nihlani and Sandip Ray. He was also the executive producer (programming) with Ennadu Television Network for four Hindi Channels. He has worked on a number of corporate films and won awards. He was the stage director for a musical Holy Motherland, based on Rabindranath's Tagore concept. Feluda: 50 Years of Ray's Detective is his debut film as a director and producer.

  David Taghioff:  International Markets
Tuesday, May 2, 6.30 pm. Theater 5 Village East Cinema, 2nd Ave @ 12th Street, NYC.
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David Taghioff in conversation with filmmakers about their creative options and production of local language films in key growth markets


Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is the world’s leading full-service entertainment and sports agency with offices around the globe. Founded in 1975, CAA represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, sports, and digital content, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients.

David Taghioff will speak to filmmakers, actors, musicians about their lives, their films and their careers.

David TaghioffDavid Taghioff is a Corporate Development Executive at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Taghioff is based in the Los Angeles office and works across the agency identifying new business opportunities for the agency’s clients, with an emphasis on the international marketplace.

The corporate clients Taghioff has advised on their international initiatives include Cirque du Soleil, Lionsgate, IMAX, QVC, Credit Suisse, Econet Media, Ivanhoe Media, the Indian Express Group, YES Bank, and Reliance Entertainment, among others.  He also works with film and television clients on cross-border opportunities, and most recently brokered multiple film slate deals for Blumhouse Productions and SK Global to produce local language films in India and Korea. Additionally, Taghioff packaged episodic deals for Netflix and Amazon in India, and is currently working on new financing options for the production of local language films in key growth markets.

Gurgaon
Gurgaon
Tuesday, May 2, 9.00 pm. Theater 2 Village East, NYC.
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Gurgaon
US Premiere
2016 | India | 108 mins | Hindi, Haryanvi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Shanker Raman
Cast: Akshay Oberoi, Ragini Khanna, Pankaj Tripathi, Aamir Bashir, Shalini Vatsa, Ashish Verma, Arjun Fauzdar, Yogi Singha, Srinivas Sunderraja
n

Post-screening discussion w/Director Shanker Raman

Synopsis: Kehri Singh reigns over crime in Gurgaon. Frustrated of constantly being sidelined by his father Nikki Singh, tries to score a major hit but instead finds himself in huge debt to a rival gang. To repay this debt, Nikki hires a hitman to kidnap his own sister - Kehri Singh's one and only beloved child and tentatively blackmail his father. But things don't go as planned.
 
Shanker Raman About the Director: Shanker Raman is an award winning cinematographer, writer, producer and director, having worked professionally over the last two decades on several documentaries, shorts, feature films and TV commercials. After completing his Bachelors in Physics he went on to major in inematography from the Film and TV Institute of India, Pune. Shanker has shot seven feature films, written and co-written several screenplays. “Frozen”, an original spectacle in black and white cinematography was awarded “Best Cinematography” at the prestigious Indian National Awards and at the Durban International Film Festival. In 2016, Shanker completed his first feature film as director, titled “Gurgaon”. A modern day noir set in the city of Gurgaon, it examines the theme of man vs man in his quest for modernity while chasing comfort and stability. Gurgaon, is an independent film at heart targetted for the widest mainstream release.

  Tuesday, May 2, 9.15 pm. Theater 3 Village East, NYC.
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Shorts B - Love, Romance of All Shades
Station
Station
World Premiere 2015 | USA | 10 mins | English
Directed by - Anshuman Sharma
Cast - Marina Pires, David Walters, Anshuman Sharma


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxxUSRaNUzA&feature=youtu.be

Synopsis: The world is immensely filled with people; while most of us are strangers to each other, we all share a connection with each other stitched together like a railway track. A little spark is all it takes to convert a stranger into someone you can deeply care for - one that is shared between the main characters of our film.

Brought together by fate to share a simple train ride to their destinations, the two characters feel an attraction towards each other right at the first glance. They begin to date, fall in love, accept each other’s culture, get married, and grow old together; a wishful life we all aspire to share with our true love.

Sadly, their life together was nothing more than a mere vision they had sewed on their journey as neither of them made an attempt to bring the dream to fruition. Fear and time - once again - made strangers out of two star-crossed lovers.

Anshuman Sharma About the Director: Working a full-time job in an Investment Bank, Anshuman has always aspired to be a filmmaker. However, coming from a traditional Indian background with no moral support to accomplish this goal, he chose to push his dream away. That is until now - at the age of 31; where he wrote, produced, directed and starred in his first film, Station.
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Two Cups of Tea
Two Cups of Tea
Two Cups of Tea
World Premiere
2017 | India | 12 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Rayit Qazi
Cast - Meher Mistry, Rahul Bagga


Synopsis: Two ex lovers meet after a few years to fulfil a promise and discuss their lives over a cup of tea.

Rayit QaziAbout the Director: Rayit Hashmat Qazi is an independent short filmmaker from Kashmir who is currently working in Mumbai, India. He has worked as an assistant to International as well as Indian directors on TVC’s for the last 4 years.

His debut short film Jamaalo (Loved One) (2013) was a 40 min. long film manifesting the various conflicts in the life of women. His second short film Other Rooms Other Wonders (2015) revolved around the lives of two actors who seamlessly break character to enter reality and vice versa. His latest short Do Cup Chai (Two Cups of Tea) sees the story of two ex lovers who meet each other to fulfill a promise over a cup of tea. 

Rayit has completed his graduation in Audio Visual Production from Symbiosis Institute Of Media and Communication.
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Sisak
 
Sisak
New York City Premiere
2017 | India | 15 mins
Directed by - Faraz Arif Ansari
Cast - Jitin Gulati, Dhruv Singhal
  

Synopsis: Two men meet in the Mumbai Local train over a period of many nights. Not a word is spoken, nor is there possibility for any sort of physical intimacy but what conspires between them is a wordless romance, so strong that it brings them closer to each other, night after night and perhaps, delivers them with transitory moments of fleeting happiness and solace from the unkind realities of the passing world outside. Sisak is India’s First Silent LGBTQ love story presented in the format of a short feature.

Faraz Arif Ansari About the Director: Faraz started his film career as a co-writer with Amole Gupte (Writer & Creative Director, Taara Zameen Par). Since then, he has worked as a Writer, Associate Director, Casting Director and Executive Producer on films like Fox Star’s Stanley Ka Dabba, Deepa Bhatia’s Award Winning Documentary Nero’s Guests, Karan Johar’s Gippi’, Zee Telefilms' Silvat (for Zeal For Unity). Apart from feature films, he has also made a short film Siberia that has travelled to more than 30 international film festivals and won the Best Actress & Best Director Awards. Sisak is Faraz's second independent short film.
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Riff Raff
New York City Premiere
2016 | Pakistan | 15 mins | Urdu (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Ahmed Arif
Cast - Sara Bhatti, Ahmed Zawar, Iman Sara Ahsan, Joshinder Kaur Chaggar, Malika Zafar, Qamber Kazmi, Saif Noorsumar, Sana Imdad-Ali, Sunil Shankar, Zeevar Scheik


Synopsis: One evening in upper-middle-class Karachi, a forty-year-old man manoeuvres between the deceptive allure of his social scene, and the reality he has at home.

Ahmed ArifAbout the Director: Ahmed worked as a professional actor in Karachi during the early-to-mid nineties, performing lead roles in several major stage and television productions in Pakistan. In 2008, he co-founded the ‘Kinky Fish Theatre Company’ in London, England and played Prospero in an Artaudian production of the Tempest which ran commercially for 3 nights at London’s Candid Arts Centre in 2009. He left England for Pakistan that year, but the Kinky Fish is still performing.

Ahmed later started Cinema Pure in Karachi, in 2013, as an independent platform for Pakistani film professionals to come together from time to time, as a collective, to work on projects that are not commercially motivated. The platform aims to (1) demonstrate that strong cinema can be produced on a limited budget, and (2) to explore the human experience with a focus on the narrative-power of light, movement and sound in the frame, rather than on expensive film technology. Mailay (Riff-Raff) is the second film made under the Cinema Pure banner.

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Water Baby
Water Baby
 
Water Baby
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 15 mins | English, Konkani (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Pia Shah
Cast: Suhas Ahuja, Pravishi Das, Chitra Palekar, Viraj Khemani, Gracy Singh


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/164128072

Synopsis: The arrival of a new girl in school, forces a shy 11yr old boy, to face his fear of water head on. A mysterious drawing book, a water-controlling superhero and an unlikely pet accompany him on a little journey of courage.

Pia ShahAbout the Director: City girl by birth, mountain girl at heart, Pia Shah* is a vociferous reader, compulsive traveller and a passionate storyteller.

Having grown up in a fairly traditional home, nestled in the heart of a major Indian metro, she often finds herself exploring the cusp of old-world and new age.

Pia completed her Bachelors in Mass Media Degree from Jai Hind College, Mumbai and subsequently the One-year film-making conservatory from New York Film Academy, New York. Her thesis short I’m Afraid I am Hitler won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short at the Rhode Island International Film Festival'10, Best Student film at the Magnolia Independent Film Festival'11 and was screened at various International Film Festivals around the world.
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A Secret Heart
A Secret Heart
A Secret Heart
World Premiere
2016 | UK | 16 mins | English
Directed By: Cary Sawhney
Cast: Feryna Wazheir, Kingsley Amadi, Ann Queensbury, Claire Farrington, Joanna Thompson, Mitchell Kirkham, Sampha Sisay, Victoria Ashford


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/156670969/8e081fcae4

Synopsis: A young man meets a mysterious woman who takes him on an extraordinary journey through time where he discovers true love is possible.

Cary SawhneyAbout the Director: Cary Rajinder Sawhney has written and directed three short films, his debut Looking For You (2010) was screened at 12 international festivals. His second film Khanna went on to win Best Short Film and New York Indian Film Festival (2013) and Future Filmmaker Award at Palm Springs Short Film Festival and showed at 19 film festivals. A Secret Heart is his current and most ambitious short. He has written two feature scripts and one is expected to go into development in 2017. Cary is also a film festival programmer including advising BFI London Film Festival and heading up London Indian Film Festival. He is a member of the British Film Academy (BAFTA).
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Let Some Clouds Float In
Let Some Clouds Float In
US Premiere
2016 | India | 29 min | Marathi (with English subtitles) Short Fiction
Directed by - Mayuresh Gotkhindikar
Cast - Devika Daftardar, Niranjan Pedanekar, Sayali Phatak, Ramaa Nadgauda, Bhushan Patil, Shreyas Indapurkar, Bobby Adhale


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjOavzAc3xA

Synopsis: A susceptible spinster on the verge of losing hope, torments herself to find relationships with purity and innocence. Eventually goes through metamorphosis of sorts in mid-1990's gradually liberating India.

Mayuresh Gotkhindikar About the Director: Mayuresh Gotkhindikar (born 1985) is an independent filmmaker based in Pune, India. Aaye Kuch Abr / Let some clouds float in is his second short film. He's editor, screenplay writer and director. He has a keen interest in learning the craft of cinema and storytelling. He's would like to explore complexities of human relations happening in specific times, tracing his roots.
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Shanivar Ko Do Bajey
Shanivar Ko Do Bajey
Shanivar Ko Do Bajey
World Premiere
2016 | India | 33 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Parimal Aloke
Cast: Nayani Dixit, Parimal Aloke


Synopsis:
Shanivaar Ko Do Baje is based on the play by the same name by eminent Hindi author Surendra Verma. It is the story of an extra-marital affair between two office going people. They have a clandestine rendezvous, practically every Saturday at two, at a borrowed nest; or is it just that?

While the sexual aspect of a man–woman relationship is being fulfilled between the spinster and the married man, what binds them together is not merely the physicality of the relation but even more, the ''family'' bond that they have developed. It is a bond that is lost in their respective families but exists in this relationship that society likes to label ' illegitimate'. It is a bond where they still enjoy 'talking' to one another.

The story explores the connection that has formed between the two within and despite the restrictions imposed by the clandestine nature of the relationship.

Shanivar Ko Do BajeyAbout the Director: Parimal Aloke is just two films old as a Director so he does not have a big Biodata. His first film was Saari Raat (duration 23 min) and it was selected at 17 film festivals including NYIFF where it earned a nomination for Best Short Film.

Parimal Aloke is an actor and director, known for Sadda Adda (2011), Saari Raat (2013) and Shanivaar Ko Do Baje.

Arunagiri Perumale
Arunagiri Perumale
 
Tuesday, May 2, 9.30 pm. Theater 4 Village East, NYC.
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Arunagiri Perumale
World Premiere
2016 | India | 76 mins | Tamil (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - V Pradeep Kumar
Cast - V. Pradeep Kumar, Kasi Visweswaran, Susha, Sean Roldan, Kalyani Nair


Trailer: https://youtu.be/UGQYGUNMFSU

Synopsis: The central theme of Arunagiri Perumale is the most celebrated tamil literary work, Thiruppugazh, which in the film, serves as a bridge spanning two different time periods. One era takes us 600 years back in time to explore the life of Arunagiri, a great mystic saint and troubadour from Tamil Nadu who wrote this masterpiece. A contemporary musician whose quest leads to discovering the essence and relevance of Thiruppugazh in our current changing times retells Arunagiri Nathar’s story through a collection f tales.

V. Pradeep
KumarAbout the Director: Pradeep Kumar is a musician from Trichy, India and spent his early years learning the nuances of Carnatic Music (traditional classical music of South India). His early exposure to the traditional Indian music began with the introduction to many historic works in Tamil literature by his Guru, J Venkatraman. "Thiruppugazh" a collection of Tamil poems by a mystic saint/poet Arunagiri Nathar left a strong impression on him. Though these poems were written in interesting and complex rhythmic patterns they were open to melodic interpretation. The documentary not only features music, but turns out to be a journey in literature, history and philosophy, giving us an idea of the life led by this great 15th century troubadour poet.

An Insignificant Man
An Insignificant Man
An Insignificant Man
 
Centerpiece
Wednesday, May 3, 6.00 pm. Theater 2 Village East, NYC.
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An Insignificant Man
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 96 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla
Cast - Arvind Kejriwal, Yogendra Yadav, Santosh Koli


Post-screening discussion w/Director Khushboo Ranka & Vinay Shukla

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZvC50Za9sM

Synopsis: At the heart of An Insignificant Man is the most polarizing man in India today – Arvind Kejriwal. The film follows Kejriwal and his Common Man’s Party – an insurgent new political party, as they wield basic public issues like water, electricity, and graft against the country’s oldest and most powerful two politic l establishments. It gives an insider’s view into Kejriwal’s brand of politics, which has split popular opinion into two prominent factions. One labels it selfish and anarchic, while the other insists on seeing it as a major shift in the Indian political paradigm.


The 100-minute film has been distilled from 400 hours of behind-the-scenes footage shot over a course of two years with a fly-on-the-wall approach. We gain a premium, all-access pass to the backstage of a new brand of politics, finding strength all over the world, transporting us smack dab in the middle of party offices, daily meetings, heated arguments, inside jokes, campaign strategies and the true events and ideologies that inform rhetoric in public space.

With never-before-seen footage, the film offers a unique insight into the fledgling political party’s battle between survival and extinction in the largest democracy in the world. It follows activists, politicians, and academics on their best days and their worst, as they navigate the absurdities, trials, and chaos of Indian politics; and as they reveal their agendas, intentions and ambitions. Capturing moments of triumph and despair, the film is a moving cinematic journey through the narrow lanes of Delhi’s slums to the closed corridors of political power.

Khushboo RankaAbout the Directors: Khushboo has had experience in the fields of journalism, graphic design and writing for a number of years, before she moved to filmmaking. Continuum, a short film she wrote and directed at the age of 20, won the best short film at the Hannover Film Festival. She next co-wrote the internationally acclaimed fiction feature film Ship of Theseus. Her versatility gave rise to her latest projects, An Insignificant Man, her first feature documentary film, and Right to Pray, a unique virtual reality experience, the first of its kind from India. Both films are set to premiere at TIFF 2016.

Vinay Vinay’s persisting fascination with the Indian politics has shaped two acclaimed narrative projects for him: Bureaucracy Sonata, a short film he wrote and directed in 2011, which premiered at 42nd International Film Festival of India and won the HBO Best Short Film Award in New York at SAIFF 2012; and An Insignificant Man, a feature documentary film he shot, wrote, and directed, which will play at major international festivals in 2016. A theatre actor in the past, he featured in the internationally acclaimed film Ship of Theseus.


Wednesday, May 3, 6.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Shorts C - Comedy, Dance & Music
Cowboy and Indian
Cowboy and Indian
Cowboy and Indian
World Premiere
2016 | U S A | 8 mins | English
Directed By: Sujata Day
Cast: Sujata Day


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/201384724

Synopsis: A young Bengali bride materializes out of the barren, desert landscape like a mirage. Our Indian protagonist collapses in the dry heat. The bride wakes up in a cowboy’s bedroom. The cowboy attempts to help her, but gets nowhere because she doesn’t speak English. The unlikely pair discover things aren’t always what they seem.

Sujata Day About the Director: With her infectious personality and unique sense of humor, Pittsburgh native Sujata Day has established herself in Hollywood as a multi-talented actress, creator/writer, producer and director. She currently produces, writes, and stars in the dance sci-fi series Larry & Lucy. She honed her comedy skills at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, graduating from the improv program. Sujata is known for her starring role as CeCe in Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Recent onscreen credits include a recurring role on HBO’s Insecure, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Life in Pieces and The Grinder. She is a 2016 Sundance | YouTube New Voices Lab fellow for her project Soda Shop. Sujata makes her narrative directing debut with the short film Cowboy and Indian. She is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, Talentworks, and Myman Greenspan.
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Urban Nritta
Urban Nritta
Urban Nritta
2016 | U S A | 9 mins | English
Directed By: Jesse Newman
Cast: Sonali Skandan, Kumari MayShark Patel, Maya Kappil, Njideka Emenogu, Poulomi Das


Trailer: https://youtu.be/OowVaKSezmI

Synopsis: Urban Nritta depicts the dance of the Mayura, the mighty peacock and the vehicle of the Lord Murugan, as it prepares to go into battle. Nritta is the expression of rhythm through the body in dance, and in this setting we express the rhythms of Indian classical dance and music as well as the beat of the city where we live and create.

Jesse Newman About the Director: Jesse is a filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York. He has a passion for directing – though he's often wearing many hats as a cinematographer, editor and music composer for his own work. His ambitions are aimed at short and feature narrative films, but he continues to build on his skill set by creating music videos and brand videos in the meantime.

He values unique storytelling above all else, giving him a style that’s recognizable across all his projects, attracting clients such as Google and Concord Music Group. Jesse’s ongoing collaboration with branding agencies has lead to distinguished brand videos for organizations such as Pepsi Co., HARMAN, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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La Lune Folle
La Lune Folle
La Lune Folle
World Premiere
2016 | UK | 10 mins | English
Directed By: Meneka Das
Cast: Yazmin Joy Vigus, Sian Phillips, Ashok Klouda, Emma Purslow, Francina Moll Salord, Paul Fuller, Tara MacGowran


Synopsis: After a loss of a love one, timid Carly struggles to face her audition at a music conservatoire. Seeing a picture of a 19th Century young confident woman on the wall, Carly escapes into a fantasy world to help find a way to overcome her fears.

Meneka DasAbout the Director: Meneka was born India and trained as an actor at the Lee Strasberg Institute in London and has had the privilege of working with directors such as David Yates, Mike Leigh and Tim Supple. Her theatre credits include the role of Amina in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.

Her passion for stories with strong female voices especially those that reflect her own culture inspired her to turn to writing and directing to help bring them to the screen. She studied courses in writing and directing at the National Film School and with Emmy award- winning writer Jan Hartman.

Her first 35 mm short The Audition opened Mira Nair’s film Hysterical Blindness at the Bite the Mango Film Festival in Bradford. She went on to write and direct her first low budget feature Little Box of Sweets starring British actor Joe Anderson, which was filmed in North India and for which she was awarded the Grand Jury Award for Emerging Talent at The South Asian Int. Film Festival, New York. Her feature script Summer of Our Lives was selected at BAFTA Rocliffe in London & Tribeca All Access in New York. La Lune Folle is Meneka’s second short film. She is currently developing other feature scripts and a theatrical production of her late father’s songs.
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Fanny Pack
Fanny Pack
Fanny Pack
World Premiere
2016 | U S A | 10 mins | English
Directed By: Uttera Singh
Cast: Brian George, Dorothy Blue, Uttera Singh


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/177632323

Synopsis: Fanny Pack is a comedy about a young Indian-American woman who wants to follow her dreams, and a fanny pack clad Indian father who chases his daughter through an airport hoping that she will follow his.

Uttera Singh About the Director: Drama has always been a part of Uttera Singh’s life. On the day she was born, her 9 months pregnant mother was hit by a firecracker, and her father rescued the mother and rushed her to the hospital. That’s how this real life firecracker was born. That fiery spirit is still very much alive in her. Uttera is an MFA graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She is the recipient of the Ryan Murphy Diversity Fellowship and just finished directing her thesis film Fanny Pack a proof of concept for a half hour TV show starring Brian George from Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld. Her one-woman show “ Indian Lady Shakespeare wears Underwear” is set to premiere in Los Angeles in the fall. Uttera was chosen as one of the directors on the USC/James Franco feature film Mad Whale starring Camilla Belle, Dominic Rains, Summer Phoenix and James Franco. 

Uttera lives in Los Angeles and spends her time going on adventures and then writing about them.
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The Hideout
The Hideout
The Hideout
World Premiere
2016 | U S A | 10 mins | English
Directed By: Rippin Sindher
Cast: Greg Standifer, Melody Trice, Rippin Sindher


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/196056871

Synopsis: Sammy Kaur wishes life was like a Bollywood movie. When an unexpected notice shakes up her mundane world, she is forced to make a life-changing decision.

Rippin SindherAbout the Director: Rippin Sindher grew up in Selma, California. After graduating from UCLA, she began working at the Directors Guild of America. In 2012 she adapted her short story, The Man of Mystery into a web series. Her poetry has been published in Emotional Maps of Los Angeles. The Hideout is her first short film, heavily inspired by her Bollywood musical background and obsession with dreaming.
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Arranged
Arranged
Arranged
2016 | U S A | 11 mins | English
Directed By: Kholi Hicks
Cast: Mayank Bhatter, Anita Kalathara, Andrew Devitre, David Cade, Hannah McIaLwain

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzVjAxG4e-Y
             https://vimeo.com/169629803

Synopsis: Two Indian American 20 somethings meet under family pressures to get an arranged marriage that neither wants but they both need.

Kholi HicksAbout the Director: Mentored by veteran DGA Members with extensive experience, Kholi then moved into the cinematography field, shooting low to medium budgeted short films and EPKs. Hicks currently works as a colorist in Santa Monica and also directs National branded content and narrative. As resident director for Yes Please! Comedy, he remains very active in the online community and moderates two of the largest filmmaking forums online. Kholi has written articles for many filmmaking printed publications, been featured on No Film School, and was named Movie Scope Magazine’s ONE TO WATCH.
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Vegas
Vegas
World Premiere
2015 | U S A | 15 mins | English
Directed By: Saj Pothiawala
Cast - Riley Soloner, Sunita Mani, Siraj Huda, Leon Morgan, Tarik Lowe, Nate Miller, Shez Sardar, Justin James Lang, Elyse Brandau

Synopsis: After being stood up by a Tinder date, Riley, an awkward, young Brooklyn bachelor, encounters Vegas, an eccentric prostitute, at the bus stop on his way home. A funny examination of how loneliness and frustration can cause us to reach for connections in places we never thought we'd go.

VegasAbout the Director: Saj Pothiawala is a comedy writer and director who lives in Brooklyn. He's written, produced, or directed over 90 comedy sketches since 2008 for his own company/YouTube channel, LandlineTV, other clients like AOL or MSN, or as an in-house producer at CollegeHumor and BuzzFeed, where he had the distinct displeasure of directing Ted Cruz in a video. In 2012 he co-created and sold an animated pilot to Comedy Central. This is his first short film.
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Beast
Beast
Beast
World Premiere
2016 | India | 22 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Sumer Tiwari
Cast- Rajesh Ahuja, Anny Singh, Gauri Sharma, Sonam Sharma


Synopsis: Beast explores the sexual undercurrent running in a society that is rife with sexual ignorance and illiteracy. We follow the story of a lingerie store owner whose charitable and selfless acts are left open to interpretation, in a city where women are subject to victimization. Is he a good samaritan? Or is he a product of his environment?

Sumer Tiwari About the Director: Sumer Tiwari is an independent filmmaker who moved to Mumbai in 2014 to work under acclaimed director Ashim Ahluwalia. Sumer had a lot of experience working in theatre as the the President of the english dramatics society at Delhi University. He had won numerous awards for his plays and public productions including winning the prestigious Thespo Theatre Festival in Mumbai. Without having any prior experience as a filmmaker, Sumer quickly rose to become Ashim's personal DA in charge of handling all his commercial/ advertising projects. From conceptualizing the treatment to the shot breakdown, Sumer rapidly developed a keen sense for storytelling. He has since then left Ashim and has embarked on a journey to explore the world of cinema.
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Qalandar
Qalandar

Qalandar
World Premiere
2016 | India | 26 mins | Punjabi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Rohit Sharma
Cast- Sidharth Sen, Sumer Dhiman


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/210580229

Synopsis: Qalandar* a 35 years old man from a village in Punjab, India has to learn riding a Bicycle to get closer to his fleeting dream. A dabbler by nature. Music, cinema and books interest him and thus make him a complete misfit in his village and family.

His age and intellect becomes his biggest roadblock in learning cycling and such a trivial pursuit becomes the chase of his life.

To live up to his name, he has to find his way or his way would find him…
*Qalandars are wandering ascetic Sufi dervishes.

Rohit SharmaAbout the Director: Rohit Sharma hails from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. He did his Masters in Indian Theatre from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India. He has been working as a Script Supervisor in Hindi Film Industry in Mumbai. He has co-directed a short film Darwaazon Wala Ghar (2012) (House of Doors). He is one of the founding members of Ambal and has been directing and editing web episodes for Ambal Dogri Channel, on YouTube apart from producing plays.

Red Butterfly Dream
 
Wednesday, May 3, 6.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Red Butterfly Dream
World Premiere
2016 | Sri Lanka | 86 mins | Singhalese (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Priyantha Kaluarachchi
Cast - Mahendra Perera, Dharmapriya Dias, Niranjani Shanmugraja, Shyam fernando


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/191338690

Synopsis: Samantha and Ajith lives in a flat close to Colombo. Ajith is a contract killer with connections to the underworld. Samantha is his friend. He gets occasional attacks of epilepsy. His uncle is a preacher at a shrine of gods. Samantha and Uncle hold an ancient script. It is said in the script that a treasure can be attained by sacrificing a virgin with four birthmarks lined in her neck. Samantha meets a young Tamil girl with four birth marks placed accordingly on her neck. Her name is Rajini. She comes to Colombo in search of her lost sister. Her sister has been a member of L.T.T.E. Even though there are four birthmarks on neck Samantha is doubtful of her virginity. Samantha goes against the sacrificing of Rajini for the treasure that does not reveal itself. Samantha goes insane and meets the Rajini’s spirit. He entangles himself in her spirit with love.

Priyantha KaluarachchiAbout the Director: Priyantha completed the Film and Appreciation course held by Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in 2006 and has seven years of experience as a Programme Producer at MTV and Young Asia Television, leading TV Stations in Sri Lanka. Further, he was active in Theatre in Sri Lanka and directed stage dramas, which won many national level awards. He also directed the documentary about Tsunami caught train, Peraliya and which was selected at the Berlinale Talent Campus at the 57th Berlin International film Festival in 2007 and shortlisted at the 15th edition of Cinerail International Festival in Paris in 2007.

Bilu a Demon Within
Bilu a Demon Within
Wednesday, May 3, 9.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Bilu - A Demon Within (Bilu Rakkhosh)
US Premiere
2016 | India | 129 mins | Bengali (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Indrasis Acharya
Cast - Joy Sengupta, Koneenica Banerjee, Pradip Mukherjee , Debaprasad Haldar, Anjishnu Banerjee


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/176929253

Synopsis: The film portrays a journey of a modern IT executive who has an inclination towards music but due to rapid changing scenario of our socio-economic structure along with technology and values  finds himself in isolation as he does not fitting in this journey . It’s a story of different psychological situations through a man’s mundane daily life and how he loses is soul. He wants to love everybody wants to pacify every need of others without having much strategy inside him. He is dreamer and then there was no path to return. A backdrop against a hollow modern, impatient generation and monotony of life. The trend (Urban alienation) is prominent now all over the world

Indrasis AcharyaAbout the Director: Indrasis Acharya Bilu-A Demon Within is Indrasis's first feature after his 4 short films. All of the short films have been awarded and received accolades from multiple film festivals around the world. After this, he felt to take his writing and film-making skills to the next level.He is currently working on his next film Pupa. Passion was the main impetus which just made it possible for all of Bilu the demon's team.It has started getting very positive responses from the festivals and critics around the world. It's a sincere effort to make a unique Indian cinema and to create a magical world of a loner (who has nothing special in him to bring a non cinematic character a cinematic one) with his mental states of aspirations, dreams, agony and anticipation of coming out of it. We hope the unique locations, architecture of old houses, and changing cultures, nostalgia and a strong psychological journey with the past and present simultaneously in the changing society would relate to anyone in the world irrespective of country and language. Indrasis completed his B.Tech from Jadavpur university and currently works as an Associate Director in one of the leading consulting MNC firm

Jeevan Haathi
Jeevan Haathi
 
Wednesday, May 3, 9.15 pm. Theater 3 Village East, NYC.
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Jeewan Hathi
New York City Premiere
2016 | Pakistan | 60 mins | Urdu (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Meenu Gaur, Farjad Nabi
Cast - Naseeruddin Shah, Hina Dilpazir, Samiya Mumtaz, Kiran Tabeer, Saifee Hassan, Nazarul Hassan, Adnan Jaffer and Fawad Khan


Post-screening discussion w/Director Meenu Gaur, co-director Farjad Nabi and actress Samiya Mumtaz
 
Trailer: https://youtu.be/PNZKvsMLhQI

Synopsis: Jeewan Hathi or Elephant in the Room is a black comedy about the topsy-turvy universe of television in Pakistan. An ideal, loving, lower middle class couple’s marriage is on the brink of collapse when they find themselves part of a TV game show, lured in by the prize of a gigantic flat screen TV!

Meenu & FarjadAbout the Directors: Jeewan Hathi (Elephant in the Room) is the second feature of Pakistan’s director duo Meenu & Farjad. Their first feature, Zinda Bhaag (Run For Your Life, 2013) won fourteen national and international awards, was theatrically released in three countries and went on to be Pakistan’s entry to the Oscars for the first time in fifty years. 
fifty years.

Meenu holds a PhD in Film Studies while Farjad has made several award winning documentaries. Mazhar Zaidi is at the forefront of the revival of cinema in Pakistan having produced three features for Matteela Films including Pakistan's 2013 Oscar entry Zinda Bhaag.
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Lala Begum
Lala Begum
 
Lala Begum
New York City Premiere
2016 | Pakistan | 58 mins | Urdu (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Mehreen Jabbar
Cast -Marina Khan, Sonia Rehman Qureshi, Syed Mohammad Ahmed, Humayun Saeed, Shehryar Zaidi, Jehan Ara Hai, Abeeha Khan


Post-screening discussion w/Director Mehreen Jabbar

Trailer:
https://vimeo.com/179376468

Synopsis:
Set in the ‘70s, Lala Begum is a story of two estranged sisters Meher and Seher, who parted ways over personal issues which they never confronted. It’s a story about two people coming to terms with the past and trying to move ahead in life. What happens when after 20 years of estrangement, both the sisters are forced to have a face-to-face confrontation? With the tragic demise of her husband, Seher has no option but to return her hometown and live with her older sister Meher. But Meher has made it clear that Seher is not welcome in their home. After all, she had been tending to the house in her sister’s absence for all these years. And furthermore, she cannot find it in her heart to forgive Seher for running off with the man she believed was in love with her. But the reality of what actually transpired is revealed through the story as both sisters try to find the right moment where they can come together and start a conversation. The movie has been written by Mohammad Ahmed, who had also written Ramchand Pakistani. Lala Begum has won accolades at recently concluded Third I Film Festival,San Francisco and Mosaic International South Asian Film Festival (MISAFF). It will also be shown at the DFW South Asian Film Festival in Dallas, USA.

Mehreen JabbarAbout the Director: Mehreen Jabbar is a prolific and critically acclaimed Pakistani director and producer. Her extensive two decade long television career includes drama serials such as Daam, Doraha, Kahaniyaan, Mera Naam Yousuf Hai, Jackson Heights as well a number of made for TV films. She has earned numerous accolades for her work, which has consistently brought her both commercial and critical success. Mehreen's first feature titled Ramchand Pakistani premiered in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in 200 . It was awarded the FIPRISCI Prize by the International Federation of Film Critics, the Satyajit Ray Award at the London Film Festival and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for a week long run. It was released theatrically in Pakistan, India and the United Kingdom. Her second feature film Dobara Phir Se was released in Pakistan, the UK, USA and the UAE in November, 2016. Mehreen has been a member of the National Board of Film Censors in Karachi, a founding member of the KaraFilm Festival in Karachi, Pakistan and a founder member of the NGO WAR (War Against Rape). In 2012 She was invited to the Maisha Film Lab in Uganda - a non-profit training lab founded by director Mira Nair to be a directing mentor. She is the recipient of several awards for her work on Television and has served as a jury member in many local and international film festivals and film awards. Mehreen lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Shreelancer
Shreelancer
 
Wednesday, May 3, 9.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Shreelancer
World Premiere
2017 | India | 97 mins | English, Hindi, Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Sandeep Mohan
Cast - Arjun Radhakrishnan, Salmin Sheriff, Monica Mahendru, Cesar Lorente Raton, Francesca Emilia Papale, Ajay Srivastava


Post-screening discussion w/Director Sandeep Mohan

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkM2WWU5kyY

Synopsis: SHREE, a freelancer copywriter is battling with self doubts about his artistic abilities. He loves to work out of the Cafes in Bangalore, the shining face of the New India. Just like many youngsters in this world, Shree’s worldview is shaped through t e social media, not having travelled much in the ‘real’ world. As luck would have it, he gets a call to attend an all-expenses paid trip to a college friend’s wedding in the Northern part of India, a part of the country where he has never been before. And what was supposed to be a peaceful getaway trip soon turns into an amusing adventure full of excitement, danger and quirkiness.

Sandeep Mohan About the Director: Sandeep Mohan grew up in Trivandrum in Kerala before moving base to Mumbai. His debut film,Love, Wrinkle-free released theatrically in 9 Cities in India through PVR Director's Rare in 2012. His second feature film 'Hola Venky' released in limited screen s in US. Prior to that, he had travelled with his movie to 90 alternative spaces around the world to screen it. Sandeep came up with an innovative concept called "The Great Indian Traveling Cinema" to take his film Hola Venky to his audience. He travelled with his own projector and screened the film in many cities in India, US and Singapore - he screened in Cafes, Bars, Art Galleries, Restaurants, Homes, Corporate offices, Church halls, Town halls, Coworker space,in fact any space.

Sandeep is also one of the 11 filmmakers who was part of the collaborative feature film X- Past is Present that released theatrically in November 2015. In the initial years in Mumbai, he had worked as an Assistant Direct or to Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. He has written Siddhanth, a TV series for Star One. He also worked as a Copywriter in a few ad agencies in Bangalore. He has also directed ad commercials and music videos. Shreelancer is his latest film.

Wrong Side Raju
Wrong Side Raju
Wrong Side Raju
Thursday, May 4, 6.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Wrong Side Raju
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 140 mins | Gujarati (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Mikhil Musale
Cast - Pratik Gandhi, Kimberley Louisa McBeath, Asif Basra, Kavi Shastri and Hetal Puniwala

Post-screening discussion w/Director Mikhil Musale

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_SW2jgq-s

Synopsis: Raju Ambani, a driver by day and bootlegger by night, is a simple and charming guy who dreams of opening up his own travel agency someday. He falls in love with Shaily Asher, a French girl who has come down to Ahmedabad at the behest of her friend Tanmay Shah. Life was seemingly perfect for Raju till he finds himself unwillingly stuck in a hit and run situation involving Tanmay, who happens to be the son of an affluent lawyer, Mr. Amitabh Shah. The case intensifies as Raju gets more and more embroiled in a web of lies and deceit where nothing seems right or wrong.

Mikhil Musale About the Director: MIKHIL MUSALE Creative Director at CineMan Productions Ltd (Feature & Ad Films) Mikhil Musale (27) was born & brought up in Ahmedabad. While pursuing Engineering in the field of Electrical & Electronics, he started making short films & exploring, growing & exhausting through various art forms. In the year 2010, he got together with likeminded people & was quite instrumental in forming "CineMan Productions Ltd" - mainly into Feature & Ad Films in Ahmedabad, where as a Creative Director he was assigned the prestigious position of heading the creative functioning of the company. It involved actions from client briefing to creative steering, scribbling thoughts to conceptualizing & also directing a lot of Ad Films. He has directed more than 25 Television Commercials up till now for various category of brands from all over the world. He has worked as a Associate Director in feature films Kevi Rite Jaish (2012) & Bey Yaar (2014) both produced by CineMan where his job role was not just limited in the directional department but was quite instrumental as a creative director, visual promotions, strategizing as well as directing few songs for the film which went on to become a path breaking films for the Gujarati film industry. It ran for more than 100 days in the multiplexes across Gujarat & USA. Directing makes him feel alive and complete. Hence, when people see his work, he hopes they are able to connect with it and it becomes a cynosure.

Ventilator
Rajesh Mapuskar
 
Thursday, May 4, 6.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Ventilator
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 143 mins | Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Rajesh Mapuskar
Cast - Jitendra Joshi, Raja Bapa, Sulbha Arya, Sukanya Kulkarni, Tanvi Abhyankar, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Satish Alekar, Sanjeev Shah


Post-screening discussion with Director Rajesh Mapuskar & Producer Madhu Chopra

Trailer: https://youtu.be/uh3ZsqZA84c

Synopsis: Every year, the occasion of ‘Ganesh Utsav’ mobilizes the large Kamerkar clan at their native village in Konkan. It’s the one festival they religiously celebrate due to its cherished ancestral tradition, merriment and their ‘family prestige.’ The arrival of their Ganpati idols is a mere three days away now, but the sudden news of the critical condition of Gajanan Kaka in Mumbai brings their fervent preparations to a sudden halt. Gajanan Kaka has played a pivotal role in overseeing the family affairs for the Ganesh Utsav all these years. His condition not only dampens the preparatory spirit but also puts a big question mark on the very arrival of Ganpati itself. Tongues start wagging about the impending ‘mourning period’ in case of his demise and how it would impact their festival arrangements. Gajanan Kaka is put on a ventilator and though the end is imminent, ‘officially’ it’s not over yet. Slowly the family members in Mumbai gather at the hospital and the Konkan clan gets wind about the ‘ventilator’ and its direct bearing on Ganpati’s arrival. Prasanna, Gajanan Kaka’s son, his sister and some close family members refuse to accept the truth about their father's life span. It’s Dada, the most sensible one in Mumbai, who relentlessly brings the gravity of the situation to the fore. Another family member, Raja (RK), who is the ‘pride’ of the clan owing to his success as a Bollywood director, arrives at the hospital and it galvanizes the cinema crazy Kamerkar clan even in this somber atmosphere...

Rajesh MapuskarAbout the Director: Rajesh Mapuskar has spent a third of his life on film sets, training and leading some of the best film crews in India. He has worked as a Production Head with the foremost directors in advertising and films. Rajesh was the Associate Director on Rajkumar Hirani’s three blockbusters. Carrying forth his years of learning, Rajesh debuted with Ferrari Ki Sawaari produced by Vinod Chopra Films in 2012. Since then, Rajesh has been working tirelessly to develop several feature film scripts and has directed commercials in India and internationally. Two of his Hindi language scripts are in advanced negotiations with studios. His Marathi language script, Ventilator has already secured the interest of many cast and crew members. In 2015-2016, Rajesh is geared to direct two of his features and is looking forward to a rewarding experience, both creatively and at the box office.

When the woods bloom
When the woods bloom
Thursday, May 4, 6.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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When the woods bloom
2016| India | 105 mins | Malayalam (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Dr. Biju Damodaran
Cast - Indrajith Sukumaran, Rima Kallingal, Indrans, Prakash Bare, Camp, Irshad, Krishnan Balakrishnan, Master Govardhan


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoRkBIF_vlY&t=3s

Synopsis: A special battalion of police is deployed by the government to do away with Maoist menace (a banned left organization) in a tribal village near forest. The police forcibly occupy a tribal primary school for their camp. One day, the police are on lookout for some people in the forest near the school at night. A policeman follows a person deep into the forest and nabs the person. The person arrested happens to be a woman. He tries to come out of the forest with the arrested person, but he loses his way in the wild. The woman knows the path to get out of the forest but she is not willing to show him the way. Thus, both the hunter and the hunted are stranded in the thick forest. Power, Crime, Man, Woman, the Hunter, the Hunted... all such equations change utterly and are no more what they used to be.

Dr.BijuAbout the Director: Dr Biju, also known as Bijukumar Damodaran, is a filmmaker who has won multiple national and international recognitions. He has made seven feature films so far, all noted for the unique content and the social commitment. Dr Biju is the recipient of India’s prestigious national film awards for three times. His movies were screened at many international film festivals including Cannes, Montreal, Shanghai, Cairo, Telluride, New York, Tehran, Goa, etc. Saira, Biju’s debut film in 2005, was the opening film in ‘Cinema of the World’ section at the Cannes Film Festival 2007. Veettilekkulla Vazhi (The Way Home)(2010), his third film received India's National film award for the best Malayalam regional film. Akashathinte Niram (Color of the Sky) his fourth feature was world premiered at Shanghai Film Festival 2012 in official competition. Perariyathavar (Names Unknown) (2013), his fifth film world premiered at Montreal film festival 2014. The film also won two of India's national film awards for the year 2014, for the Best actor and for the best film on Environment preservation. His sixth film Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds With Large Wings) won India's national award 2015 for best environment film. Kaadu Pookkunna Neram (When The Woods Bloom), Biju’s latest film, is premiered at Montreal film festival, September 2016. His three films were entered in official competition for Asia pacific screen awards. He has also served as jury member for India's National film awards 2012, India’s Oscar selection jury member 2015, 30th Fajr International film festival, Tehran, Iran 2012 and International Film Festival of Kerala 2011.

A Billion Colour Story
A Billion Colour Story
Thursday, May 4, 9.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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A Billion Colour Story
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 115 mins | English
Directed by - N Padmakumar
Cast - Gaurav Sharma, Vasuki Sunkavalli, Dhruva Padmakumar


SYNOPSIS: A Billion Colour Story is a small, intimate story of love, a father-son story,a story about the myriad colours of the world’s most diverse democracy, a story about India’s charming contradictions and superficial differences, a story about storytelling, but above all, a story about humanity that questions what kind of world we want to leave behind for our children.

N. PadmakumarAbout the Director: N. Padmakumar Paddy quit a career in the uppermost echelons of Indian Advertising, as National Creative Director of Rediffusion Y&R in 2012, to pursue an adventure in Fiction and Film, promising himself that the next phase of his creative journey would be meaningful in the human context. Padma is a poet, writer and photographer, and considers himself a "Momenteer" and an Interpreter. An idealist, and an eternal optimist, his stories aspire to build bridges across differences, small and big.

Blossom
Blossom
Blossom
Thursday, May 4, 9.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Blossom (Sigai)
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 97 mins | Tamil (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Jagadeesan Subu
Cast - Kathir, Raj Bharath, Rajesh Sharma, Meera Nair, Mal Muruga

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/208316222

Synopsis: On what he expected to be a typical day, Prasad (Raj Bharath), a reluctant pimp, must investigate the sudden disappearance of his network’s most demanded prostitute, Nimmi (Meera Nair). Just hours before, a nervous young man named Mathi (Kathir Logu) was preparing to admit to his lifelong friend that he has always identified as a woman, and that he has always been in love with him. While Prasad questions how he landed in this business his guilty conscience fuels him to locate Nimmi and eventually leads him to Mathi - who is busy dealing with the repercussions of his confession, and wondering why it is so difficult for people to accept that he was simply born in the wrong body.

N. Padmakumar About the Director: Jagadeesan Subu was born and raised just outside of Chennai, and used his tailoring knowledge to join the film industry as an assistant costumer when he moved to the city when he was 20 years old. After working in the wardrobe department on a few films he learned that his greater interest lied in camera work and he began working as an assistant camera man on some big budget commercial films of the early 2000s. Before moving on to working with highly notable directors in South Indian cinema, such as director Shankar, Jagadeesan actually took about 7 months off between films to increase his knowledge of world cinema, by watching close to 1200 films. When his longtime friend National Award winning director M. Manikandan received funding for his directorial debuts he joined his team and began aspiring to direct himself. After the success of Kaakaa Muttai in 2014, director Manikandan encouraged him to begin working on his own scripts. Sigai (Blosom) is Jagadeesan’s directorial and writing debut.

Sarvann
Sarvann
Sarvann
Thursday, May 4, 9.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Sarvann
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 116 mins | Punjabi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Karaan Guliani
Produced by Priyanka Chopra & Madhu Chopra
Cast - Ranjit Bawa, Simi Chahal, Amrinder Gill


Post-screening discussion with Producer Madhu Chopra

Trailer: https://youtu.be/EVMYQa6uQow

Synopsis: This is a coming of age story about Mitthu, a Canadian resident who lives his life on his own terms. He is a person who wears his heart on his sleeve. He lives on the edge where he has more enemies than friends. Mitthu is shot by a rival gang on his leg, which gives him a limp for the rest of his life. He seeks revenge from his enemies and succeeds in killing his rival but he also accidentally kills a sole witness. The police is in pursuit of him. He flees from Canada and he lands in Punjab, India through various means. Punjab is a land of big hearted, warm & hospitable people. A family of distant relatives welcomes him where he finds love. Mitthu is happy to leave his past behind and to lead life in a carefree way. But fate has many twists to offer. The woman who has won his heart is being arranged with a man, who stands up for injustice in the village. Mitthu goes to meet the man’s family. The family leads a simple modest life and trying to make their ends meet. He meets a small girl who takes an instant liking towards Mithu. He discovers an ugly truth as he is told about their son who lost his life in Canada being killed for no reason. Mithu’s life shatters when he discovers that he was the one who killed their son Sarvann who was the unknown sole witness...

Sarvann, a high octane story of emotions, love, betrayal and redemption. A story of a man who is put in most unforeseen situations and has to choose between the heart and mind, right and wrong path, realization and redemption.

Karaan GulianiAbout the Director:Karaan started his career at the age of 16 as a theatre actor, and his quest and inclination as a conceptualizer armed with technical acumen led him to become an associate director and director for the show “India’s Most Wanted”. He also worked as a consultant to broadcasting channels like Zee TV. Karaan has directed close to 23 music videos. He was also the project conceptualizer, creative guide to a short film project –Candy Man – that showed at the New York Film Festival in 2010. He has now moved into motion pictures as a Creative Producer. Karaan is also in the incubation stage of a full length commercial Hindi feature film Oustedd that is proposed to have Indian and Hollywood cast.

Umesh
Umesh
Umesh
Friday May 5th & Saturday May 6th 2017. 10 am – 5 pm both days.Village East Cinemas, 2nd Ave & 12th Street, NYC.
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Shoot a Short

Shoot A Short is a Short film making workshop conducted by three time National Award winning filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni. The workshop primarily aims at guiding film enthusiasts and beginners to make short films. The workshop focusses on the process of translating an idea to a complete short film . Writing a screenplay for a short film, cast and crew management, the concept of mise-en-scene, dealing with actors, editing and sound design, and the core idea behind film making are some of the primary areas of the workshop. The three stages of film making such as pre-production, production and post production are explained thoroughly. The workshop opens up the various possibilities of the Short Film medium.

UmeshAbout the Director: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni studied film-making at the Film and Television Institute of India where he specialised in direction. His diploma film Girni (The Grinding Machine) won the presidents gold medal for best short film and best direction in the year 2005. His short documentary Three of Us was premiered in Berlinale 2008. His first feature film Valu (The Wild Bull) along with the other two films, Vihir (The Well) and Deool (A Temple) were premiered in Rotterdam 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. These films were extremely successful with critics as well as audiences. Vihir (The Well) was selected at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival in 2010. He has directed short films among which Gaarud (The Spell) and Vilay (Dissolution) have been selected in the short film festivals of Oberhausen and Clermont Ferrand. He also produced Masala (Spices) (Released in April 2012) Pune-52 (Released in January 2013) and Jaun dya na Balasaheb (Released in October 2016). Umesh's films have won several awards at the New York Indian Film Festival(NYIFF).

Trapped
Trapped
Friday, May 5, 6.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Trapped
New York City Premiere
2017 | India | 105 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Vikramaditya Motwane
Cast - Rajkummar Rao, Geetanjali Thapa, Khushboo Upadhyay


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJaj39jI-qk

Synopsis: A man gets stuck in an empty high rise without food, water or electricity.

Vikramaditya MotwaneAbout the Director: Vikramaditya Motwane is a writer, director and producer (unfortunately not always in that order) and a partner in Phantom Films with Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl and Madhu Mantena. His directorial debut Udaan was selected to compete in the 'Un Certain Regard’ category at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. He followed it up with Lootera, a big-budget Bollywood period romance in 2013. His latest directorial venture, Trapped, is a survival thriller that stars Rajkummar Rao.


Colours of Innocence
Colours of Innocence
Friday, May 5, 6.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Colours of Innocence
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 86 mins | Bengali (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Manas Mukul Pal
Cast - Nur Islam, Samiul Alam, Sneha Biswas, Shakuntala Barua, Sikha Saha, Moumita Bhaduri, Pradip Dhar, Pinky Banerjee, Jiban Adhikary Sourajyoti Adhikary

Winner Silver Lotus for Best Child Actors (National Awards, 2017)
 
Trailer: https://youtu.be/Knf6K9Cmsf0

Synopsis: Chhotu and Gopal are two brothers of a tender age. Their childhood in their village is disrupted when their father meets with an accident. Circumstances force Gopal to mature rather quickly. He becomes more responsible and starts selling wares to earn a little money for home. Meanwhile, Chhotu comes to learn of the grand Janmastomi (Lord Krishna’s Birthday) feast at the Seth’s house. He is overcome by excitement at the thought of a possible invitation!To ensure that it arrives, Chhotu gives the grandma from the affluent Seth’s house with palmyras. When his brother Gopal discovers this scheme, he is furious: he had plans to sell the palmyra to earn some cash for their mother. The brothers fight over this but Chhotu is still hopeful that they will be invited to the grand feast. He starts counting the hours!

Manas Mukul PalAbout the Director: Manas Mukul Pal was born in 1987 in Basirhat, West Bengal. He started acting and directing plays in his school days. After graduation, he joined a professional theatre group in Kolkata. His interest in cinema brought him to assist a few, renowned Bengali film directors. Sahaj Paather Gappo (Colours Of Innocence) is Manas Mukul Pal’s debut film.
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Azaad
 
Azaad (short)
2016 | India | 30 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Rahul V. Chittella
Cast - Atul Kulkarni, Sakshi Tanwar, Siddharth Menon, Nandu Madhav


Synopsis: Set against the socio-political backdrop of present day India, Azaad unfolds the story of a dysfunctional relationship between a father and his son, within 48 hours of the father going missing. Azaad is presented by prolific filmmaker, Mira Nair, and has been written and directed by her long-time associate, Rahul V. Chittella. It features the National Award-winning actor Atul Kulkarni (Hey Ram, Chandni Bar, Rang De Basanti) playing the lead along with Sakshi Tanwar (Dangal), Siddharth Menon (Peddlers, Happy Journey) and Nandu Madhav (Harishchandrachi Factory)


AzaadAbout the Director: Rahul V. Chittella is an independent producer and director based out of Mumbai, India. In 2009, he was the director and executive producer for the Global Lives Project, India. He then worked with the United Nations Documentary Program at the United Nations headquarters, New York City. In 2010, after having written and directed a few short films and music videos at his film school, Rahul directed his thesis short film titled Muted, which was screened at international film festivals. He was awarded the Media Citizen Karmaveer Puraskaar in India for his contribution to projects that have used media for social change. Since 2010, Rahul has worked with the prolific filmmaker, Mira Nair, as her creative associate and producing partner in India on projects like The Reluctant Fundamentalist, God Room (part of Words with Gods), and Nafas. The Reluctant Fundamentalist premiered as the opening film for the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Rahul is the writer and director of his debut short film titled Azaad which is being presented by Mira Nair and features acclaimed actors Atul Kulkarni, Sakshi Tanwar, Siddharth Menon and Nandu Madhav.
   

Western Ghats
Western Ghats
Friday, May 5, 6.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Western Ghats
US Premiere
2016 | India | 99 mins | Tamil (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Lenin Bharathi
Cast - Antony, Gayathri Krishna, Abu Valayankulam


Post-screening discussion w/Lenin Bharathi

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/210158602

Synopsis: Rangasamy (Antony) is one of many “sons of the soil”. Hailing from a long line of laborers who live on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu he yearns to own a piece of land and make a living by farming it himself, instead of toiling in the spice plantations of others forever. After years of dedicated labor and service to the local communist party, led by the passionate Chaako (Abu Valayankulam), who advocates on behalf of the laborers, Rangasamy is finally in a position to purchase his own land. However, buying land is only half the battle for the poor like him – prospering from it amidst the corrupt dealings of the wealthy, the party and globalization is the far greater struggle, as Rangasamy soon learns.

Lenin Bharathi About the Director: Lenin Bharathi was born in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. His father, a friend to internationally renowned music director Illaiyaraaja, had lifelong dreams of becoming a director, so he moved his family to Chennai when Lenin was 11 years old with the hopes of breaking into the industry, however he was not able to. In fact, Lenin credits his inspiration to get into cinema to his father. After completing his bachelor’s degree Lenin went in search of experience in film. After working small roles on many films he worked as a Co-Director on notable Tamil features Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Naan Mahaan Alla and Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai and wrote the story for the hit romantic drama Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer. Merku Thodarchi Malai (Western Ghats) is his first film as a director.

Kammattipadam
Kammattipadam
 
Friday, May 5, 9.00 pm. Theater 2 Village East, NYC.
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Kammatipaadam
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 173 mins | Malayalam (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Rajeev Ravi

Cast - Dulquer Salmaan, Vinayakan, Shaun Romy

Trailer: https://youtu.be/ywlmRvHFhC0

Synopsis: Kammatipaadam tells a story of the transformation of a city from its lush green serene past, through bloodshed and violence is tuned into a concrete jungle. Krishnan, a security officer in Mumbai, receives a call from his childhood friend Ganga. Ganga is in danger and needs Krishnan's help. Krishnan, who returns to the city of Cochin, recalls his past and how manipulative forces used and discarded true inhabitants of Cochin city, according to their greedy needs. The innocent friendship of a middle-class Hindu boy ‘Krishnan’ with a Dalit boy ‘Ganga’ and his family, forms the crux of the movie. Krishnan along with Ganga are exposed to violence at a very small age. Inspired by the heroics and manliness of Ganga’s elder brother Balettan, Krishnan and his gang indulge in unlawful activities as they grow up. Krishnan turns into a complete ou law by murdering a policeman during his adolescence. Balettan argues with his grandfather over his deeds and complains about his forefather’s ideologies being useless. The film urges to question the false images of development which trivialized traditional values and beliefs held by Dalits, thus creating a disoriented generation from the Dalit community, who were maneuvered to violence by the rich.

Rajeev RaviAbout the Director: Rajeev Ravi is an alumni of Film and Television Institute of India-Pune.He debuted as an independent cinematographer with the film Chandni Bar (2001) directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Rajeev has collaborated with Anurag Kashyap on several commercial and art films. Rajeev won the 2010 Filmfare Award for Best Cinematography for Anurag Kashyap's Dev.D. In 2013, he won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Liar's Dice directed by Geetu Mohandas. Rajeev made his directorial debut was the Malayalam Film Annayum Rasoolum (2013), followed by Njan Steve Lopez in 2014. Kammatipaadam, his third directorial venture was released on 20 May 2016 



Friday, May 5, 9.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Shorts D - Life, Death & Tragedies
Flight of Hope
Flight of Hope
Flight of Hope
New York City Premiere
2016 | U S A | 12 mins | English
Directed By: Vinay Pujara
Cast: Hesh Sarmalkar, Amy Mendoza


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/187777026

Synopsis: Malick is a man who has hunchback, despite being physically challenged he doesn't give up & collects empty water bottles & soda cans to support his daughter Amy. Amy is 9 yrs old in school & life of Malick. Being a single parent he works extra hard to give the best education & life for his daughter.

Vinay PujaraAbout the Director: Vinay Pujara is an India born filmmaker has worked as an Assistant Director in Mumbai. After taking classes at NYU's filmmaking school as well as others, he has since completed seven short films. His company "Sun Om Productions Inc." is quickly outputting content with strong themes. Vinay has valued his films in the sense of being fearless pieces that tell a story from a view that is not often seen.
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The Masked Murderer
The Masked Murderer
The Masked Murderer
World Premiere
2016 | U S A | 13 mins | English
Directed By: Devansh Agarwal
Cast: Tia Link, Eddie Pendergraft


Synopsis: An unassuming detective comes to interview a grieving woman regarding her boyfriend's death but little does he realize what he is getting into when he enters her home.

Devansh AgarwalAbout the Director: Devansh Agarwal is a filmmaker from Kolkata, India, currently based in New York. He has recently graduated from New York University with a double major in Film & TV and Economics and also just completed his thesis project, The Masked Murderer, a 12-minute thriller shot in a single take. Alongside working as a freelance editor and production assistant, Devansh is developing his next short film due for production in January of 2017.
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Vaarasa
Vaarasa
Vaarasa
2016 | India | 15 mins
US Premiere
Directed by - Shreyas Chougule
Cast - Mahendra Walunj, Rachana Kakade, Samiksha, Kishor Waghmare


Synopsis: Rahul Pagare, a young poor Dalit boy, after the demise of his father as a sewage worker, fails to find a respectable job to support the family financially. He finds himself stuck between his sister Sheetal’s anger for not being bothered of family’s financial problems on one side, and his own ideals on the other. Ultimately, Rahul finds himself in a spot of making the final call, as he struggles with his belief in Ambedkar’s call of ‘Educate, Organize, Agitate’.


Shreyas ChouguleAbout the Director: Shreyas Chougule is an Actor, writer, director and theater enthusiast. He has done experimental and commercial theater in Pune for 5 years after which he has studied Film-Making from Seamedu school of Media, Pune. He has written four short films and directed one.
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The School Bag
The School Bag
The School Bag
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 15 mins | Urdu (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Dheeraj Jindal
Cast: Rasika Dugal, Sartaaj Kakkar


Synopsis: The bond between a mother and her son is indeed a special one. It was the same between Farooq and his Mother. They reside in the small town of Peshawar, Pakistan. Farooq, a child with a simple demand, wants a new school bag on his birthday. But his mother, who in spite of her love and affection seems to be unfazed by her child’s plea. Unknown to Farooq, there is something waiting for him on his birthday.

Dheeraj JindalAbout the Director: Dheeraj Jindal, at a very young age got attached to questions. Questions about the measures of good and bad, the society and its inequalities. Questions that hit the prism of curiosity but got lost in its colors. Not too enthusiastic in academics, he soon got introduced to his favorite quote “traveling is the best way to get educated.” He travelled, observed and looked for his answers, and soon a sheer coincidence introduced him to an art of telling stories, filmmaking. He first entered the film scene around seven years back as an associate director, after his formal training in Master’s degree specialized in film making, and very soon he moved on to directing films independently and got a number of social, commercial, corporate and documentary films to his credit, that won awards, and more importantly, hearts of his audience.
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Bubbles
Bubbles
Bubbles
World Premiere
2016 | India | 17 mins | Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Harshad Nalawade
Cast: Sayalee Phatak, Hesh Sarmalkar


Synopsis: Every possibility in life occurs in different realities of the parallel worlds. Samarth, a working class citizen, visits his family every weekend. However, there are different versions of Samarth, and each one has a different kind of relationship with the family.

Harshad NalawadeAbout the Director: Harshad Nalawade is a writer, director and actor, known for A Return Gift (2016), Trivikrama (2013) and Bubbles (2016). He is an independent filmmaker and also worked as an Assistant Director on ad films and a Hindi feature film. He also works as an editor for Non-fiction web content. He is the co-editor of I Am Offended, a documentary film based on the Indian Stand-up comedy scenario and the rising intolerance. It released on YouTube.
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Aarsa
Aarsa
Aarsa
Aarsa
World Premiere
2016 | India | 18 mins | English
Cast: Aditi Bhagwat, Manav Chauhan, Charudatta Bhagwat, Parthaa Akerkar, Suhita Thatte
 
Synopsis: The story of Raju, an unnoticed dance studio caretaker whose love for a beautiful dance instructor ignites his journey of self identity

AarsaAbout the Director: Kawa Hatef was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1983 during the Soviet Invasion. In 1986 he and his family immigrated to California as refugees. He received his BA in Film & Digital Media Studies at UC Santa Cruz ('07). Kawa has worn many hats in the film world, mostly as an editor on short films, assistant editor on award winning documentaries (Watcher of the Sky) and even as the producer of the off-Broadway play (Wish I had a Sylvia Plath). Recently Kawa traveled to Afghanistan to develop and shoot his short film For Honor, and to Mumbai, India where he made the short film aarsa. His experiences as an “outsider” influence many of his stories. He has a great love for nature and history and is incredibly passionate about telling stories about those often neglected and hopes to always tell interesting stories, about interesting people, in an interesting way.
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Aaba
Aaba
Aaba
US PREMIERE
2017 | India | 21 mins | Apatani (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Amar Kaushik
Cast - Dani Randa, Dani Chunya, Dani Sunku

Winner Silver Lotus, Best Short Film (National Awards, 2017), Special Prize of Generation KPlus International Jury for Best Short Film (Berlinale)

Synopsis: Aaba (Grandfather) is set in a remote village of Arunachal Pradesh in North East India. An orphan girl staying with her grandparents comes across the news of her grandfather being in the advanced stages of lung cancer and would probably survive just a few weeks. With not much to do, the grandfather spends rest of his days revisiting his personal possessions and digging his own grave. But then life has its own surprises...

Amar KaushikAbout the Director: Born in 1983 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Amar Kaushik grew up between Kanpur with his grandparents and the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, where his father worked in the government’s forest department. He completed his graduation in Science with the aim to join the Indian Air Force, only to slowly realize that it wasn’t his real calling. Amar’s fondness for travel, made him take up a job in marketing in a firm that sold holidays and tours. Now, selling involved telling stories and all the storytelling inevitably led him to Mumbai. 
With no contact in the film industry, Amar spent the next 9 years making his way up the ladder from being an assistant director to associate director to a second unit director, while working with some of the best minds in Bollywood.

In 2016, Amar made his first short film ‘Aaba’ based on a true story that he had heard from his mother as a child while growing up in Arunachal Pradesh. Amar is currently working towards his first feature film.
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Kajal
Kajal
Kajal
World Premiere
2016 | India | 21 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Paakhi A. Tyrewala
Cast: Salony Luthra, Sunil Palwal


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/210652640
Password - kohltrailer
  
Synopsis: Like all elements, humans have a saturation point. What happens when a woman -- constantly bullied by a boss, harassed by strangers and abused by husband -- finds an abandoned package one night?

A package that holds an answer to all her demons.
Kajal captures a turning point in the life of a woman, in a world claimed by men

KajalAbout the Director: Born to a linguistics lecturer and a journalist, Paakhi A. Tyrewala has worked behind the camera as well as in front of it. She has been part of the Indian film Industry as an actor and writer.

With Kajal, she starts her journey as a filmmaker. Her next project is Pahuna (The Little Visitors), the first feature film to be shot in the local language of Sikkim.
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Amber
Amber
Amber
2017 | USA | 30 mins | English
Directed by - Aftab Asghar
Cast - Marc Goodman, Andrew Platner, Ena Wagner, Natalie O'Brocki, Tejash Natali, Jim Cigno, Priscilla Hopkins, Anand Natrajan


Synopsis: When you move into a new home, you never know who has lived there before. Danny and his wife Grace are going to find out. Determined to hold his family together, Danny moves his wife and special needs daughter into an apartment. The stress is too much for Grace and, on the verge of a panic attack, she reveals something dangerous from her past that could hurt them all. Danny keeps a level head about her haunting past, but their daughter is the one in real danger now.

Aftab AsgharAbout the Director: Aftab moved to New York from New Delhi in 2008, He graduated in Masters of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies from Pune, India and proceeded to work in a fast, upscale storytelling environment in Mumbai. He began his professional career as an intern with McCann Ericsson, India. Passionate about storytelling, the move to Ad filmmaking was a natural fit, he started assisting pioneer Ad film maker Prahlad Kakkar and then worked for Foot Candle films. With encouragement from friends and family Aftab started his own New York based boutique post production company called Senses Films. Some of his recently produced films include Unfreedom which is a contemporary thriller about a society torn apart by political, religious, and sexual turmoil set in New York and New Delhi. Recently, He also produced a documentary “Guns and Guitars” a musical travelogue, this musical quest brings to light the positive influence of music emanating from the youth living in the Northeast region of India, which is crippled by state and non state violence for the last half a century. He has also edited/produced feature films such as Code Name Abdul, Where are you Sophia?, Margaret, The Brief-Case, Batter Up, Love Lies and Seeta. Aside from films, he has worked in commercials and music videos for Walt Disney, Sony, Cossette Communications, Devito Verdi, & MTV.

Kammattipadam
Kammattipadam
 
Friday, May 5, 9.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Kingdom of Clay Subjects
2016 | Bangladesh | 88 mins | Bengali (w/ English subtitles)
88 minutes | India 2016 | Feature Narrative
Directed by - Imtiaz (Bijon)Ahmed
Cast - Sheuly Aktar, Mahmudur Anindo, Iqbal Hossain, Rokeya Prachy, Reekita Nondine Shimu, Jayanto Chattopadhyay, Tanim Tanvir, Abdullah Rana


Post-screening discussion w/Director Imtiaz Bijon Ahmed

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/165636223

Synopsis: Set in rural Bangladesh, 10-year-old Jamal is robbed of his innocence when his childhood friend and everyday playmate is forced to become a child bride. With new insight about social norms, Jamal begins to notice his surroundings and realizes his need for a social identity. His search puts his mother into risk, as she has a past she is forced to hide. Faced with the dilemma of losing his mother, Jamal stands up to social oppression to find that all is not lost.

BijonAbout the Director: Bijon is the first Bangladeshi Film Production/Directing MFA- graduate from the prestigious Film, Television, and Theatre Department of University of California, Los Angeles. His debut feature film Kingdom of Clay Subjects has had its World Premiered at 42nd Seattle International Film Festival and has won the Best Film Award at 7th Chicago South Asian Film Festival, was also an official selection at 27th Cinequest Film & VR Festival. He has received numerous awards for his filmmaking including Motion Picture Association of America Awards, Edie and Lew Wasserman Film Production fellowship, Dorothy Arzner Memorial Awards, and The Nancy Richardson Fund. Bijon’s documentary proposal Beyond the Waves won the Colors of Asia competition at Tokyo Docs.

Escaping Agra
Escaping Agra
Saturday, May 6, 12 noon, Theater 4, Village East Cinemas, 2nd Ave @ 12th Street, NYC.
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Escaping Agra
2016 | U S A, India | 23 mins | English
Directed By: Pallavi Somusetty


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/chandifilms/agratrailer

Synopsis: Naveen Bhat was trapped in India on summer vacation after their parents took away their passport upon discovering Naveen’s gender and sexual orientation. Indian-born but raised in the United States, Naveen just wants to get back home to life as a UC Davis student, but their parents have other plans for their offspring. As Naveen battles their parents in court, they finds surprising acceptance within the Indian legal system, as the country’s supreme court recognizes transgender people as a legal third gender. Escaping Agra follows Naveen’s journey as they make their way home to California and pieces their life back together. At the heart of Naveen’s story is an exploration of the idea that gender identity and sexual orientation are fundamental to the right of self-determination, dignity and freedom of individuals. In Naveen’s case, their self-determination has forged a new path, but they discover they may never escape the trauma of their past.

Please note: Naveen, whose gender is non-binary, uses they/them pronouns

Pallavi SomusettyAbout the Director: Pallavi Somusetty is an Oakland-based documentary filmmaker covering issues that affect marginalized and lesser-known communities. She is passionate about covering stories on health, the environment, women, LGBT, youth/education, and international issues, as well as issues affecting Asian and South Asian communities.

In the last twelve years her career has seen her reporting for a community newspaper in Silicon Valley, videotaping product users at a New York City ad agency, and producing short-form educational documentaries about a transformational high school approach that makes education accessible for all students.

She earned a Master of Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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Sent Away Boys
Sent Away Boys
Sent Away Boys
World Premiere
2016 | India | 40 mins | Punjabi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Harjant Gill


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMsBAEGl-1c

Synopsis: What happens to families in the absence of sons? What happens to land in the absence of farmers? What happens to communities in the absence of men? Sent Away Boys weaves together testaments of individual ambitions and family biographies from Punjab, India to chronicle the gradual transformation of agrarian landscape and patriarchal traditions through ongoing transnational migration. As the promise of a secure future in agriculture grows increasingly uncertain for young men across the region, escaping India to join the low-wage labor in countries like Canada and USA becomes their sole aspiration. In rural Punjab, being a successful man now entails leaving their village, traveling abroad, and sending money home. Through interviews with men preparing to undertake often risky journeys and women awaiting the return of their sons, brothers and husbands, Sent Away Boys shows how the decision to emigrate implicate the entire family and the larger community. 

Sent Away Boys About the Director: Harjant Gill is an assistant professor of anthropology at Towson University, Maryland. He received his PhD from American University. His research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity, transnational migration and popular culture in India. Gill is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several ethnographic films that have screened at film festivals, academic conferences and on television networks worldwide including BBC, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and PBS. His film includes Roots of Love which looks at the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikh men in India and Mardistan (Macholand) which explores Indian manhood focusing on issues of sexual violence, son preference and homophobia. He is currently filming his forthcoming film, Sent Away Boys focusing on how provincial communities are transformed by the exodus of young men giving up farming to seek a better future abroad, funded by Wenner-Gren Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship. Gill is an alum of Point Foundation (2006-11). He has also served on the board of directors of Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) and co-directed the SVA Film & Media Festival (2012-14). His website is www.TilotamaProductions.com
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The Love Commandos
The Love Commandos
The Love Commandos
World Premiere
2016 | India | 52 mins | English
Directed By: Miriam Lyons
Cast: CK Nath


Synopsis: Imagine you're 21, in India and in love. The law says you have the right to marry the person of your choice but your parents say you don’t. To avoid a forced marriage to someone else, you decide to elope. Your parents call the police. Rather than upholding the law, the police side with your parents who threaten to kill you. Who do you call? -The Love Commandos.

The Love Commandos rescue young women from being murdered by their families and help them marry the men they truly love. Enraged by India’s failure to protect lovers and emboldened to do so themselves, what started as a group of friends is rapidly becoming a national movement.
This is their story..

Miriam LyonsAbout the Director: Miriam is a passionate, perceptive and experienced Shooting Producer/Director. Over the last ten years, she has made factual television programmes about a wide range of subjects – from love and loss to sex and death to protest and democracy.
Miriam’s directorial debut came in 2005 with MISH KIDS for Channel 4. A series of short documentaries about religious teenagers struggling with their identity, it won Pick of the Day in The Guardian. Three years later, she was named one of Broadcast’s Hot Shot Directors.

In 2010, she directed a unique television event THE PEOPLE SPEAK for History which received four out of five stars in Time Out and was co-produced and co-directed by Colin Firth. Since then, Miriam has directed programs for a range of broadcasters including BBC1, BBC3, Channel 5 and National Geographic. Miriam also produces documentary-style digital content across the public, private and charitable sectors. In 2013, she won nine awards including Gold at Eurobest, Silver at Cannes and a Silver British Arrow for BAD PRESS, a commercial she produced with CHI & PARTNERS for the Princes Trust. The Love Commandos is her first independently co-produced documentary film.

A Tongue Untied
A Tongue Untied
A Tongue Untied
Saturday, May 6, 12.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East NYC.
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A Tongue Untied
2017 | India | 95 mins | Urdu
Directed by:Gautam Pemmaraju
Cast: Khalid Ahmed, Wahab Andaleeb, Sardar Asar, Sajiz Azam, Mustafa Ali Baig, Audesh Rani Bawa, Shyam Benegal, Abdus Sattar Dalvi, Naseemuddin Farees, Aslam Farshori, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Pushkar Gosavi, Mohammed Himayatullah, Mujtaba Hussain, Syed Shah Khusro Hussaini, Altaf Hyder.


Synopsis: A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani is a film about humor and satire in Dakhani - a vernacular form of Urdu spoken across the Deccan region. Remember the much-loved routines of the Hindi film comic Mehmood? Beyond his antics and other popular caricatures of the quintessential ‘Hyderabadi’, there is so much more than just funny accents and comic sketches. Parodied and poorly regarded for centuries, Dakhani’s glorious history and rich legacy has been largely ignored. This film takes a close look at the continuing tradition of mazihiya shayri, or humor-satire performance poetry. From the early poets of the modern era such as Nazeer ‘Dahqani’, the badshah of Dakhani mazihiya shayri Sulaiman Khateeb, to the contemporary ones today including the seniors Mohd. Himayatullah and Ghouse ‘Khamakha’, the film looks at the wide range of humourists and satirists. Including extensive travels across the Deccan plateau, interviews and conversations with poets, mushaira (poetry show) organisers, litterateurs, Sufi scholars, historians, linguists, actors, film directors, lyricists, playwrights, amongst others, the film also simultaneously uncovers the history of the language and of a composite culture. From early mystical compositions of Sufi settlers of the 14th century, ornate fantasy tales by court poets, to romantic artistic creations of the sultans of the Deccan of the 15 & 16th centuries, the film traces the journey of the language over time till its precipitous fall in the early 18th century. The language is a marker of a great, rich mixed culture or mili-jhuli tehzeeb as it is commonly known; one that reveals the depth and beauty of syncretic Indo-Muslim traditions of central and south India. This is the story of a land, a people and their beloved language. This is the story of Dakhani.

Gautam PemmarajuAbout the Director: Gautam Pemmaraju is a Mumbai based writer and filmmaker working in history, literature and art. With extensive publications in these areas, he retains a special interest in the cultural history of Hyderabad and the Deccan. He has worked as an independent filmmaker with a wide variety of non-profits, broadcast networks, commercial clients and others creating advertisements, short films, music videos and documentaries over two decades. His first independent feature documentary film titled A Tongue Untied: The Story of Dakhani on the vernacular satire & humor poetry of the region is near completion and will start screening in the summer of 2017.

Poorna
Poorna
Saturday, May 6, 12.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East Cinemas, 2nd Ave @ 12th Street, NYC.
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Free Screening courtesy Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.


Poorna
New York City Premiere
Directed by Rahul Bose
2017 | India | 104 min | Hindi (w/ English subtitles) | Feature Narrative

Cast - Aditi Inamdar, Rahul Bose, S. Mariya


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRoowtgZCeU

Synopsis: Poorna(13), who comes from a poor tribal family of agricultural laborers in a village in Telangana, spends most of her time with her older cousin, Priya. Rather than being allowed to study, the two girls spend their days sweeping the school grounds as their parents haven’t been able to pay their fees.

Priya suggests that the two of them run away and apply to a government run social welfare residential school but Priya’s father catches the girls during their attempt to escape. The older Priya is then married off, while Poorna’s father eventually agrees to send Poorna to a social welfare school for a year so he can find her a husband in the meantime.

Praveen Kumar, is a compassionate but no-nonsense IPS officer whose own beginnings were very humble. He now applies for and becomes, the Secretary of Social Welfare. Praveen kicks off many innovative projects at the social welfare schools. One day the students are taken to Bhongir for rock climbing lessons, and Poorna and Anand (17), clearly emerge as frontrunners in this class. A number of students are shortlisted for the expedition, and are sent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling to prepare.

There the top two candidates, Poorna and Anand are selected for Operation Everest. Meanwhile, Priya, pregnant with twins, dies during childbirth. Poorna goes through an emotional breakdown, but eventually decides to climb anyway. Praveen tries to convince Poorna that it is best if she turns around and comes back, but Poorna insists on continuing. Her mind overcomes her body, and through a combination of pride, courage and willpower, she ultimately becomes the youngest girl ever to summit Everest.

Poorna and Anand have created a renewed world of self-esteem and hope. Praveen's sabbatical from the IPS is over and he greets Poorna in uniform, as both realize life will never be the same again for them.

Rahul BoseAbout the Director: Described as the ‘Indian art house icon’, by TIME magazine, Rahul Bose won the Best Actor award at the Singapore Film Festival in 2000 for his performance in Split Wide Open. Having started his directorial career on the stage with the path breaking Seascape With Sharks and Dancer in 1996, Rahul ‘s film debut as both, a writer and director was Everybody Say’s I’m Fine! in 2002, for which at the Palm Springs Festival he was awarded the runner-up prize, the John Schlesinger award for Best Debut Director. Formed in 2006, his NGO, ‘The Foundation’, works with children from underserved areas of India, and his second NGO, HEAL works with survivors of child sexual abuse. In 2009, he was voted the Indian Youth Icon of the Year - Social Justice. In 2010, he was awarded the Green Globe award for his work on climate change. In 2012 he was awarded NDTV’s Celebrity Sports Activist of the Year. In the same year, on India’s Independence Day, Rahul was conferred the Lt. Governor’s Commendation Award for Services to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In 2013 he was awarded the Hakim Khan Sur award for his work towards National Integration by the Maharana of Mewar Foundation. In 2014, Rahul was named on the prestigious Executive Council of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs' National Foundation for Communal Harmony. In 2015 he was named GQ's Philanthropist of the Year. A former international rugby player, Rahul represented India for eleven years, retiring from the Indian team in 2009. A prolific speaker, he has lectured on leadership, gender equality and Indian cinema at Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, MIT, Columbia and Cornell University amongst others.

Kasaav - Turtle
Kasaav - Turtle
Kasaav - Turtle
Saturday, May 6, 3.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Kasaav (Turtle)
US Premiere
2016 | India | 104 mins | Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar
Cast - Irawati Harshe, Alok Rajwade, Kishor Kadam, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Devika Daftardar, Santosh Redkar, Omkar Ghadi


Post-screening discussion w/Directors Sunil Sukthankar, Sumitra Bhave & Dr Mohan Agashe

Trailer: https://youtu.be/HfuQU8iVsks

Synopsis:
Janaki, a divorcee trying to find meaning of life in sea-turtle conservation project run in a coastal village; during her travels she accidentally meets an anonymous young man Manav who has escaped from the hospital where he was in for attempted suicide. Janaki tries to create a non-judgmental, non-intrusive, warm atmosphere to help him bloom. Janaki herself, her driver-assistant Yadu, conservationist Dattabhau, servant Bablya and street-kid Parshu become the vulnerable young Manav's support system.

Kasaav - TurtleAbout the Directors: Sumitra Bhave, a social scientist-researcher turned to filmmaking with Sunil Sukthankar in 1985. They have directed 14 feature films like Doghi, Vastupurush, Devrai, Nital, Bewaqt Barish, Gho Mala Asala Hawa, Ek Cup Chya, Mor Dekhane Jungle Mein, Samhita & Astu; more than 50 short films, 5 TV serials and telefilms. Feeling the urge to independently and artistically express the socially important subjects the director duo also became producers. Under the banner of Vichitra Nirmitee they have produced & directed short films Pani, Chakori, Laha and feature films Zindagi Zindabad, 10th F, Badha and Ha Bharat Maza

Their films have received 6 International Awards, 11 National Awards, several National level awards, more than 45 State awards and several State level awards. Sumitrta Bhave is recipient of Chitra Ratna Puraskar and Kamdhenu Award for literary contribution.

OM: Old Man
OM: Old Man
Saturday, May 6, 3.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
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Documentary Shorts
OM: Old Man
World Premiere
2016 | India | 30 mins | English
Directed By: Geetha J & Ian McDonald


Trailer: https://vimeo.com/210529621
           https://vimeo.com/210530298

Synopsis: OM is a code for male Amateur Radio / Ham operators. OM: OLD MAN explores the enclosed world of VU2JN, an elderly Ham from South India, set against the sights and sounds of an election campaign.

OM: Old Man is about passion, achievement, memories and loss. A restrained portraiture of a teacher and one of the senior most hams in India and a home-brew ham at that, OM is also a salutation to a youthful passion for an old form of technology that keeps the old as much as the young engaged with the world.

M reveals to us this world of the original social media geeks and their scientific hobby while surprising us with the highly global nature of the lives of people in a corner of India much before globalization and at the same time invoking a sense of time and mortality.

Man, science and politics intersect signifying not just the private and public but also the world within and world beyond, as post cards and airwaves take us to distant lands, long before the Internet. Distinct soundscape with recollections and demonstrations, CQs - coded call outs, call signs, high frequencies, interferences, Morse code, hums and crackling voices in the band collide with the election slogans and songs and we get a hint of the drama of the man’s life and the country’s life behind the memories, behind the technology, behind the rhetoric of utopian slogans.

Geetha J About the Directors: Old Man is a short documentary from long-time collaborators Geetha J and Ian McDonald. Their latest work as a producer-director team was their multi-award winning debut feature documentary on young blind chess players of India, Algorithms. After her first film Woman with a Video Camera, a development award from Göteborg Film Festival and the Berlin Talent Campus, journalist turned filmmaker Geetha founded AkamPuram to tell untold stories.

Ian McDonaldA sociologist and documentary filmmaker noted for his seemingly effortless ‘way of seeing’, Ian McDonald is engaged in theory and practice, using a primarily observational mode to make documentaries with a difference on art and sport, especially the ‘outsiders’. Adamant that the short form is not just for new or young filmmakers, they continue to work across fiction and nonfiction, short and long form.
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Sakharam
Sakharam
World Premiere
2016 | India | 19 mins | Marathi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Sarthak Bhasin


Trailer: https://youtu.be/mwKCtSn1DwU

Synopsis: Set in a tiny, tribal village of rural Maharashtra (India), this non-fiction film documents the life of Sakharam Mangya Bhagat. Water is in severe scarcity in Sakharam’s village. So, Sakharam has devised an ingenious solution to this grave water problem- He keeps three wives.

Sarthak BhasinAbout the Director: Sarthak Bhasin is a third year Film Direction student at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII, Pune). He pursued his graduation in Economics from Delhi University and his post-graduation in Mass Communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Milia Islamia. He has also acted in two Bollywood feature films namely Percept Picture Company’s MP3 (2005) and UTV Motion Picture Company’s Aagey Se Right (2007). His previous student films at FTII, Pune have been the official selections at various film festivals in India and abroad. Directing films is his passion and he intends to continue doing it for the rest of his life.
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Fact/Fiction
Fact/Fiction
 
Fact/Fiction
US Premiere
2016 | India | 12 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Asim Waqif


Synopsis: This is a fictional autobiography. One day I was reading a newspaper article about how the police had gunned down 20 smugglers in a forest in Southern India. The police was celebrating this as a major breakthrough, however a few days later it emerged that some of the alleged smugglers had been picked up from a bus and others from a nearby village and they had been brought to the site of the incident and deliberately gunned down. This got me thinking about what were the things in my life that would work against me if the State ever decided to prosecute me.

This film is based on objects, places and people associated with me. The interviews all talk of real incidents that happened in my life but the footage has been edited such that it looks as if I am part of some nefarious activities.

Fact/FictionAbout the Director: Delhi-based Asim Waqif studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and was visiting faculty there from 2005-2011. After initially working as an art-director for film and television he later started making independent video and documentaries before moving to a dedicated art-practice in 2010.
His recent projects have attempted a crossover between architecture, art and design, with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban-design and the politics of occupying/intervening/using public spaces. Some of his projects have developed within abandoned and derelict buildings in the city that act like hidden activity-spaces for marginalized people.

Concerns of ecology and anthropology often weave through his work and he has done extensive research on vernacular systems of ecological management, especially with respect to water, waste and architecture. His artworks often employ manual processes that are deliberately painstaking and laborious while the products themselves are often temporary. He has worked in sculpture, site-specific public installation, video, photography, and more recently with large-scale interactive installations that combine traditional and new media technologies.
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Facing the Mountain
Facing the Mountain
Facing the Mountain
US Premiere
2016 | India | 21 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Ross Harriso
n

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/187638314

Synopsis: Coping with extremes is part of life for people across the Himalayas. But in June 2013, at Kedarnath, a sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in northern India, conditions fatefully aligned to produce an unprecedented disaster. Thousands of pilgrims and locals were faced with a once-in-a-generation catastrophe and thousands of lives were lost. Through the words of survivors, local elders and new visitors, we are shown a portrait of a place where the events of 2013 have become part of a larger story; one of resilience, of faith, and of eternal change.

Facing the Mountain About the Directors: Ross Harrison is a British filmmaker whose passion for documentaries began with filming wildlife in his grandfather's woodland when he was 14. Since then, filmmaking has led him to explore diverse subjects ranging from rainforest conservation to education inequality and tribal land rights. The process continues to excite him with its possibilities for storytelling and as a catalyst for social change.

Facing the Mountain Vaibhav Kaul is an emotionally driven, socially committed mountain geographer from India. His academic interests range from glaciology to ethnology. He wants to use visual and audiovisual media to communicate his research to non-academic audiences, especially those whose work can have a direct positive impact on the ground.
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Life on the Ganges
Life on the Ganges
 
Life on the Ganges
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 10 mins | English
Directed By: Indira Somani


Synopsis: Varanasi, India is one of the holiest cities, located in the northeastern part of the country. People from all over India, even the world, travel to Varanasi to bathe in the Ganges River to wash away their sins and purify their souls. Along the river embankment are boatmen who row tourists up and down the Ganges during Dev Diwali, a festival celebrated 15 days after the national holiday of Diwali. The boat rides are part of the spiritual experience on this holy day, and the film introduces the audience to the river, this auspicious event, and one particular boatman, whose main source of strength and survival comes from the Ganges.

Indira SomaniAbout the Directors: Indira S. Somani, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University, Washington, D.C. Somani studies effects of satellite television on the Indian diaspora, specifically the generation of the Asian Indians who migrated to the U.S. between 1960 and 1972, and their media habits. She has been published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry, International Communication Research Journal, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and the Asian Journal of Communication. For the fall of 2011, Somani was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to study the Western influence of Indian programming in India. Somani is also an award winning independent producer and director of documentaries about how Asian Indians maintain and preserve their cultural identity. Her most recent production is Crossing Lines, a personal essay documentary about her struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father. The film has won numerous awards, screened in film festivals nationally and internationally, screened on PBS affiliates, and has also been distributed to more than 100 university libraries in the U.S. through New Day films.

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The Red Box
The Red Box
 
The Red Box
World Premiere
2016 | India | 13 mins | Malayalam (w/ English subtitles)
Directed By: Pius Scaria Pottamkulam


Synopsis: Letters, part of communication and culture. Will the post, post persons and Chemanna Petti embrace oblivion? World's largest tapal network engaging. 5.5 lakh employees- Government of india Post is anxious over the survival of their sentimental Chemanna Petti.

Pius ScariaAbout the Directors: Pius Scaria Pottamkulam (60) from Kanjirappally - Kottayam Dist. (Place of Letter, Latex and Lake) Kerala State - a Rubber Planter/Businessman since 1978 kept his love towards films and did his debut documentary - "Chemanna Petti" in 2016. He was engaged in drama writing, directing and acting in his school-college days, won several prizes 1978 he started his rubber business at Calcutta and associated number of cultural programs there. After reaching Kerala in 1990, active in watching good films and dramas, planned to make a documentary.
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Weapons of War: Women of Bastar
Weapons of War: Women of Bastar
2016 | India | 22 mins| English/Hindi.
Directed by - Maya Mirchandani

 
Synopsis: NDTV travels to India’s tribal heartland – Bastar – where women have become collateral damage of a bloody conflict between Maoist insurgents and the state. Weapons of war exposes the ugly reality of brutal sexual abuse that Bastar’s impoverished tribal women are subjected to, and the intimidation of those who try to bring them justice.

Maya MirchandaniAbout the Director: Maya Mirchandani is a senior journalist, with over two decades of reporting experience for NDTV. She has received a B.A in History and post graduate diplomas in Mass Communications and World Politics. Maya's award winning reportage has focused on identity politics and conflict both within and outside India. She has reported extensively from Kashmir, survived suicide bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, civil war in Sierra Leone, and reported from New York on 9/11 and its immediate aftermath in the United States for Indian viewers. Amongst her passions are Music and the Arts. In fact, using the soft power of creativity is an invaluable tool of communication- one Maya wishes governments and politicians around the world would use more effectively.
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Farewell Goddess
Farewell Goddess
Farewell Goddess
World Premiere
2016 | India | 5 mins | English
Directed By: Amit Agarwal


Synopsis: Durga Puja is the largest street festival in the world. It is celebrated with great fervor in the city of Kolkata, India which has a population of over 15 million. At the end of the 4 day long celebrations, thousands of clay idols of the goddess Durga and accompanying Gods are immersed ceremonially in the river Ganga. This process which was a symbolic farewell to the Goddess and in practical terms returning the clay back to its source has become a massive fiasco in recent times. The idols are quickly fished out of the river and taken away in dump trucks and treated like garbage. While this is a cause for environmental concern in itself, the shocking images of this process are swept under the carpet in India. To me these images constitute an insult to a divine entity and the way people tolerate this casually to justify a grand celebration every year is the most damning proof of how we have become disconnected with nature at a fundamental level. If we are willing to treat our Gods in such a shoddy manner does the environment ever stand a chance? This is the searing question my very short documentary asks in a very effective manner.

About the Directors: Amit Agarwal spent his formative years in Kolkata, India. After an MBA from a premier business school in India he worked in the agricultural sector in Africa, India and Europe for over 10 years and decided to pursue his passion for cinema. He assisted (delete- Mr) Girish Kasaravalli, the master Indian filmmaker on his acclaimed National Award Winning feature film Kurmawatara (The Tortoise, An Incarnation). He was the associate director to (delete- Mr) Kasaravalli on a documentary based on the films of ( delete - Mr) Adoor Gopalakrishnan called Images/Reflections. His first short film Ek Khaas Aadmi (A Special Man 2015) premiered on NDTV Prime Channel. 

His feature film script A Long Tunnel was selected for the prestigious NFDC Directors lab in 2014. He pursues “Film Evangelism” at mostlycinema.com and gives public lectures on Indian Cinema.
   

Sameer
 
Saturday, May 6, 3.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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Sameer (World Premiere)
2017 | India | 131 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Dakxinkumar Bajrange
Cast - Zeeshan Mohammed Ayyub, Subrat Dutta, Anjali Patil, Chinmay Mandlekar , Seema Biswas, Manoj Shah, Alok Gagdekar, Master Shubham Bajrange

 
Post-screening discussion w/Director Dakxinkumar Bajrange

Trailer: https://youtu.be/tHT-XFK5U3Q

Synopsis: The film discusses politics of perception by gripping narratives of economy of violence. When one after another serial bomb blasts shakes southern city of Hyderabad, a special ATS team lead by officer Desai to track down suspect Yasin Darji behind the blast. Once team reaches to the tip off location they arrests the accuse and take him to special branch in Ahmedabad of further investigation only to find out that they actually have got a wrong person and the guy they have arrested is Sameer. Now this error needs to fix and the higher authorities instead of leaving him, scot-free decides to send him as mole and bargain his freedom. Now Sameer must act as mole in sync with ATS and find Yasin Darj before he strikes again and kills many more innocent people. ATS also joins other hand also gets in touch with journalist and activist Alia Irade . From here the chase begins to catch Yasin by Sameer, Desai and Alia. Will they able to stop him and save innocent lives or again Yasin will be two steps ahead of them to take his final revenge from the state?

Dakxinkumar BajrangeAbout the Directors: Dakxinkumar Bajrange is an award winning filmmaker, playwright, director and an activist from the Chhara De-notified Tribes. As a Filmmaker, he directed 87 fiction and non-fiction films on various developmental and political issues of India. He is also a recipient of ‘Jeevika 2005’ South Asia Award for his film on Snake Charmers. He is a recipient of Ford Foundation International Fellowship, National Award titled “Mahatma Gandhi Best Creative Writing on Human Rights" by NHRC, Rajiv Gandhi Arts Fellowship and Bhasha Fellowship to study art forms of DNTs. He is artistic director at the Budhan Theatre and has written and Directed 11 plays and Supervised 46 Theatre Productions of Budhan Theatre and performed more than 700 shows in different part of India. His academic articles appeared in number of national and international journals.

Umesh
Umesh
Umesh
Friday May 5th & Saturday May 6th 2017. 10 am – 5 pm both days.Village East Cinemas, 2nd Ave & 12th Street, NYC.
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Shoot a Short
Directed by: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni

Shoot A Short is a Short film making workshop conducted by three time National Award winning filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni. The workshop primarily aims at guiding film enthusiasts and beginners to make short films. The workshop focusses on the process of translating an idea to a complete short film . Writing a screenplay for a short film, cast and crew management, the concept of mise-en-scene, dealing with actors, editing and sound design, and the core idea behind film making are some of the primary areas of the workshop. The three stages of film making such as pre-production, production and post production are explained thoroughly. The workshop opens up the various possibilities of the Short Film medium.

UmeshAbout the Director: Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni studied film-making at the Film and Television Institute of India where he specialised in direction. His diploma film Girni (The Grinding Machine) won the presidents gold medal for best short film and best direction in the year 2005. His short documentary Three of Us was premiered in Berlinale 2008. His first feature film Valu (The Wild Bull) along with the other two films, Vihir (The Well) and Deool (A Temple) were premiered in Rotterdam 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. These films were extremely successful with critics as well as audiences. Vihir (The Well) was selected at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival in 2010. He has directed short films among which Gaarud (The Spell) and Vilay (Dissolution) have been selected in the short film festivals of Oberhausen and Clermont Ferrand. He also produced Masala (Spices) (Released in April 2012) Pune-52 (Released in January 2013) and Jaun dya na Balasaheb (Released in October 2016). Umesh's films have won several awards at the New York Indian Film Festival(NYIFF).

Hotel Salvation
Hotel Salvation
 
Saturday, May 6, 6.00 pm. Theater 2 Village East, NYC.
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Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan)
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 99 mins | Hindi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Shubhashish Bhutiani
Cast - Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Palomi Ghosh
Winner XXlIIrd PRIX "ENRICO FULCHIGNONI" Award (Venice Film Festival), Critics Choice Award at France's Vesoul International Film Festival. Special Mention/ Jury Award Shubhashish Bhuitiani, for film and actor Adil Hussain (National Awards)


Post-screening discussion w/Actor Adil Hussain

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Que1V8IEcEU&t=34s

Synopsis: An ominous dream convinces 77 - year - old Dayanand Kumar that his end could be near. He takes the news to his son Rajiv, knowing he wants to breathe his last in the holy city of Varanasi and end the cycle of rebirth, by attaining salvation. Being the dutiful son he is, Rajiv, is left with no choice but to drop everything and make the journey with his stubborn father. Daya and Rajiv check into Mukti Bhawan(Hotel Salvation) in Varanasi, a guesthouse devoted to people to die there. But as the days go by, Rajiv struggles to juggle his responsibilities back home, while Daya starts to bloom in the hotel. Rajiv gives his father a shot at salvation but as family bonds are tested, he finds himself torn, not knowing what he must do to keep his life together.

Shubhashish
BhutianiAbout the Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani grew up in a small Himalayan town in lndia and attended Woodstock School, Mussoorie. And specialized in Direction as an undergraduate from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2013. Shubhashish’s first directorial feature film, Mukti Bhawan-Hotel Salvati n World Premiere was held at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival 2016. He was honored with the XXlIIrd PRIX "ENRICO FULCHIGNONI" Award and UNESCO Gandhi Medal 2016 for the film. Mukti Bhawan has been invited to reputed festivals like Busan International Film Festival, 2016, DIFF 2016, Dubai, GIFF2017, Sweden, Berlinale EFM and Vesoul Film Festival, France where it won the Critics Choice Award. The film is now scheduled to travel at International Festivals across the globe and theatrical release in India and other countries from April 2017. His thesis film at SVA, titled Kush had its World Premiere at the Venice International Film Fest val 2013, where it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film. Kush was also shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 2014 and won over 25 International Awards, including the prestigious National Award by the President of India in 2013. Shubhashish was also Nominated and Finalist for the Financial Times/ Oppenheimer Funds as Emerging Voices in Cinema for Asia Pacific 2015. And Forbes India recognized him in 30 under 30 list in January 2017 for his achievements as a writer-director. 

  DOUBLE BILL : Sibling Filmmakers Sidebar
Anatomy of
Violence
Anatomy of Violence
Anatomy of Violence by Deepa Mehta + Mostly Sunny by Dilip Mehta
Saturday, May 6, 6.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East Cinema, NYC.

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Anatomy of Violence
(Siblings Sidebar)
US Premiere
2016 | India | 93 mins | English, Hindi, Punjabi (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Deepa Mehta
Cast - Vansh Bhardwaj, Tia Bhatia, Janki Bisht, Seema Biswas, Mukti Das, Suman Jha, Ramanjit Kaur, Debina Rakshit, Mahesh Saini, Jagjeet Sandhu, Zorawar Shukla, Davinder Singh

The second film is followed by a Discussion with Sibling Filmmakers Deepa Mehta & Dilip Mehta

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/187563037

Synopsis: Anatomy Of Violence mixes fiction and fact in an improvised exploration of the events leading up to, and following, the notorious gang rape of a young woman by six men in a moving bus in New Delhi, December 16th 2012.

Deepa Mehta About the Director: Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work is celebrated on an international scale. Her emotionally resonating, award-winning films have played every major film festival, and been sold and distributed around the globe. She is best known for her elemental trilogy: Earth, Fire, Water, the final film of which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Other films include, Bollywood/ Hollywood, Heaven on Earth, and the epic adaptation of Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie’s two-time booker prize winning novel. Her work challenges traditions and stereotypes and is always daring, fearless and provocative. It is this spirit that saturated her last film, Beeba Boys, and now her latest work, Anatomy of Violence
Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny
 
Saturday, May 6, 9.15 pm. Theater 3, Village East, NYC.
 
Mostly Sunny
(Siblings Sidebar)
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 84 min | Hindi, English (with English subtitles)
Directed by - Dilip Mehta
Cast - Sunny Leone, Daniel Weber, Sundeep Vohra, Kiran Bedi, Marci Hirsch, Raj Nayak


Post-screening discussion w/Director Deepa & Dilip Mehta

Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1mGaA7UdX4

Synopsis: Mostly Sunny, a feature documentary that tells the bizarre life-trajectory of Sunny Leone (Karanjit Kaur Vohra), an Indo-Canadian-American born into a conservative Sikh family who at 18 eschewed traditionalism and her parents wishes and transformed into a raging porn star and who for the past few years has been pursuing her dreams of stardom as a Bollywood actress in hyper-conservative India.

DilipMehtaAbout the Director: Dilip Mehta divides his life between India and Canada; living and working in both New Delhi and Toronto. He is a filmmaker with a long and distinguished career as a photojournalist. His provocative five-year photographic coverage of the Bhopal tragedy won him numerous prizes including the World Press and Overseas Press Awards. His photographs have been published in The New York Times, Le Figaro, Newsweek, National Geographic, Geo, Stern, and The London Sunday Times. His photographic portraits of Indian prime ministers (including Indira Gandhi) have been covers of Time and Newsweek. His other films include Cooking with Stella and The Forgotten Woman.

 
The Argumentative Indian
Saturday, May 6, 6.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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The Argumentative Indian
US Premiere
Documentary | 2017 | India, USA | 60 mins | English, Bengali (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Suman Ghosh
Cast - Amartya Sen and Kaushik Basu.


Post-screening discussion w/Director Suman Ghoshh & Kaushik Basu

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/208968760

Synopsis: This documentary traces the life and work of India's Renaissance man and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. Widely regarded as one of the greatest living intellectuals of the world, the film explores his formative years and their influence on his views of the world - both past and present. Shot over a period of 15 years, the film is structured as a free flowing conversation between Professor Sen and his student and Cornell economics professor, Kaushik Basu. Through the conversation, the narrative takes us from his childhood days in Shantiniketan (West Bengal), to his college in Calcutta and his academic career in the USA and UK, where he was the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University. We learn about the intellectual roots of his views on Social Choice Theory, Development Economics, on Philosophy and the current rise of nationalism in the world as embodied by Donald Trump and the Hindutva wave in India. Views from other eminent scholars, Paul Samuelson, Kenneth Arrow, Sugata Bose, Timothy Scanlon and former Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh enrich our understanding of the world of Amartya Sen in the film.

Suman GhoshAbout the Director: Suman Ghosh is a National Award winning Indian filmmaker. He has made 6 feature films and one documentary film. He had his film training at Cornell University in New York. His first feature film Footsteps, starring Soumitra Chatterjee and Nandita Das won 2 National Awards in 2008. It was shown at numerous film festivals including Vancouver, Karlovy Vary and IAAC New York. His second feature film Dwando, also starring Soumitra Chatterjee, was a part of the Indian Panorama at IFFI Goa in 2009. His next feature film Nobel Thief, starring the Indian megastar Mithun Chakraborty was world premiered at the Busan IFF and was an official selection at the BFI, London Film festival. The film received the "Best Indian Film" award at the Bengaluru International Film Festival in 2012. His next feature film Shyamal Uncle Turns off the Lights has had a warm reception from critics and audiences all over the world. It was world premiered at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea and had its North American Premiere at the MoMA, NY. It won the "Outstanding International Feature Award" at the ReelWorld Film festival in Toronto. It is being distributed in North America by Global Film Initiative. His next feature film Kadambari starring Konkona SenSharma and Parambrata Chatterjee. It is based on the life of Rabindranath Tagore and his controversial relationship with his sister-in-law Kadambari Devi. It was screened at several film festivals worldwide and received the Best Feature Film Award and the Best Actress for Konkona Sensharma at the Washington DC South Asian Film Festival in 2015. His latest released film Peace Haven world premiered at Busan IFF and was an official selection at MAMI and NYIFF. 

Ondu Motteya Kathe
Ondu Motteya Kathe
 
Saturday, May 6, 9.00 pm. Theater 2, Village East, NYC.
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Ondu Motteya Kathe
World Premiere
2017 | India | 123 mins | Kannada (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Raj B Shetty
Cast - Raj B Shetty, Amrutha Naik, Shreya Anchan, Shailashree Mulki, Prakash Thuminad, Usha Bhandary, Vishwanath Asaigoli

Post-screening discussion Producer Pawan Kumar

Trailer: https://youtu.be/yHwxtL6ZqOc

Synopsis: Bald men are often made a butt of jokes, sometimes amongst friends and sometimes by random strangers. Is not having hair on the head such a big reason to be judged and made fun off?

Ondu Motteya Kathe (Egghead) is simple tale of a young bald man trying to find his soulmate, who would see the person he is and not the shine up his forehead. And in this journey of finding his true love, he discovers more about himself. Not only does he have a shiny head, he also has a dark spot in his heart. Will he find the girl of his dreams? Will he make his heart shine brighter than his head?

A funny film with everyday characters and their real emotions. A struggle to be truly loved and not laughed at.

Raj B ShettyAbout the Director: Raj B Shetty, a former Radio Jockey, Ad-maker & now a feature film director based in Mangalore is a curious observer & has an eye for detail.

He worked as an RJ in Big & Red FM in Mangalore. Later he quit RJ'ing & started doing audio stories which craved him to say stories visually too. So he started his journey into the visual medium with a 3.5 minutes short film called Sumne Namagyake. Slowly he gained some grip in the craft of film-making which made him to go for a 20min duration short film called 5 letters which was acclaimed in social media. Ondhu Motteya Kathe is his first feature.

One goat’s mercy petition
One goat’s mercy petition
 
Saturday, May 6, 9.30 pm. Theater 4, Village East, NYC.
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One Goat’s Mercy Petition (Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu)
2017 | India | 125 mins | Tamil (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Suresh Sangaiah
Cast - Vidharth, Raveena S. Ravi, George, Arumugam S, K.G. Mohan

 
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/210051422
 
Synopsis: Days after their wedding, Ramamurthy (Vidhaarth) and Seetha (Raveena Ravi) gather the young and old of their village of Naduvapatti for a holy pilgrimage. They must sacrifice a goat carefully raised by Rama’s no-nonsense grandmother, to fulfill her vow made to their family deity. But when Rama takes the wheel of the truck, carrying all their guests, and fatally runs over a young man, the people of Naduvapatti are torn on if they should hide the body and continue on their way, as a means of protecting the newlyweds, or suffer the consequences of reporting it to the police - even though there are no witnesses besides themselves, their goat, and God.

 About the Director: Born and raised in the small village of Rajapalyam, Tamil Nadu, where the story of One Goat’s Mercy Petition is actually based, director Suresh Sangaiah joined the team of National Award winning director M. Manikandan soon after arriving in Chennai. After approximately 5 years working as a writer, associate director and assistant director on Manikandan’s projects, including the global phenomenon Kakaa Muttai, Suresh impressed Eros with his unique story and narration style. As observed by the producers on the project, despite his relatively short frame of experience Suresh “knows his aesthetic sense, has the ability to bring the performance out of his actors in a very quick way and is great at on the spot improvisations; all these things are expected of a more experienced director, not a debutante”.

You Are My Sunday
You Are My Sunday
You Are My Sunday
Closing Night
Sunday, May 7, 6.00 pm. Mason Hall, Baruch College, 17 Lexington Ave @ 23rd Street, NYC.
 
Gala Benefit Closing Night Celebrations: $150; $100 IAAC members(includes red carpet, screening, post-screening discussion w/director and cast, award ceremony, gala afterparty)
Buy Tickets
Gala Benefit Closing Night Screening: $75; $50 IAAC members(includes red carpet, screening, post-screening discussion w/director and cast, award ceremony)
Buy Tickets

You Are My Sunday (Tu Hai Mera Sunday)
New York City Premiere
2016 | India | 119 mins | English, Hindi, Konkani (w/ English subtitles)
Directed by - Milind Dhaimade
Cast - Barun Sobti, Shahana Goswami, Avinash Tiwary, Rasika Duggal, Vishal Malhotra


Post-screening discussion w/Director Milind Dhaidame, Shahana Goswami, Rasika Duggal & Vishal Malhotra

Trailer: https://youtu.be/ihaGVuS7PPg

Synopsis: In the maddening congestion of Mumbai five young men living disparate lives, share a common goal: to play football (soccer) at Juhu Beach every Sunday. While each one has their reason to look forward to the Sunday morning, there's no doubt it's a high point of their week. One Sunday, as a result of the actions of a senile old stranger who joins their game, a ban is issued on playing games at Juhu Beach. The group now has to look for a new place to play in the crowded city of Mumbai. More than just football, the film is about each of their lives and how each one deals with their own physical and emotional space.

MILIND DHAIMADEAbout the Director: Milind Dhaimade  is an ex ad man who quit at the height of his career to pursue his dream of making movies. In the span of 10 years in advertising he has worked on the most iconic Indian brands. In 2010 he started Love and Faith, a films and design company along with his wife. So far he has directed more than 100 TV commercials in India as well as abroad. In 2011 his short film Prakata Het Yaad won the Audience Choice Award at Florence Film Festival and was the official selection for IFFLA. You Are My Sunday is his first feature film.

   

New York Indian Film Festival
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