Friday, November 3, 2006
Watch story (New York):
South Asians in Manhattan are in for a special treat – a five-day panorama of over 50 South Asian films and documentaries.
The venue is the sixth Annual Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival in New York.
Used to watching Indian films much after they are released in the subcontinent, New Yorkers turned up in full force for the gala premiere of Mira Nair's The Namesake, at the Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival 2006.
"This film is a portrayal of the two great cities in which I have grown up - Calcutta and New York. So it's great to bring it home," said Mira Nair, Director, The Namesake.
Started six years ago with a screening of a mere 12 feature films, the IAAC film festival has grown by over 300 per cent.
"This year we have 60 features, documentaries and shorts. We have three theatres and 800 seats for the opening night and we are already sold out," said Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director, IAAC.
Over 90 per cent of the films being screened are world premieres and 40 per cent of them are creations of first time filmmakers.
"The great thing is that along with the headliner movies a lot of independent films and short films are given a showcase here," said Salman Rushdie, Author.
"It's been a very good showcase of a lot of new films by Mira and Deepa Mehta but also from some of the unknowns who are generating such exciting creative work," said Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary General UN & Author.
New York - the cultural capital of the world - is home to the world-renowned film festivals like Tribeca.
Thus, festivals such as the IAAC film festival provide a platform to showcase the immense talent amongst the South Asian community that some times gets sidelined.