The Indian Diaspora

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The Indo-American Arts Council is a secular, not-for-profit service and resource organization, charged with the mission of promoting the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross cultural art forms in North America.

The IAAC supports all artistic disciplines in classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms including and influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden our collective audiences and to create a network for shared information, resources and funding.

IAAC Film Festival - The Indian Diaspora

India stands for more in today's cinema than the somewhat cliche "world's
largest film maker," which of course it is. From the country's unique matrix of
cultural diversity, professional sophistication, filmic profusion and artistic tradition
springs a new creative breed - director, actor, writer and entrepreneur. They project
themselves in a new frame for the world to see. It unfurls a cinema linked to India but
with an international coloration.

The United States offers a rich, exciting canvas of different cultures coexisting
while connecting with a remembered homeland. Cinema allows these different
cultural explorations to express themselves, to examine a changing psyche, to took at
horizons past and present.

The IAAC package is the first of its kind to bepresented in New York - a
selection of films based on the Indian diaspora. Most of the films are made by
Indians living abroad, some of them born and raised there, their speech accented by
their country of residence, but their work bearing an Indian intonation. Others are by
directors, American and Indian, who provide a different perspective on the
community life of different nationalities as they adjust to a new coontry. The package
covers a landmark film, recent work, and a world premiere. This is the cinema that is
placing India increasingly on international screens and carving for it a universal
audience.

It is all very different from the times when Ismail Merchant took his
venturesome spirit abroad in 1958. He blazed the trail and showed How The Weft
Was Te Be Won. Today he is leader in a comfortable niche that he and James Ivory
have carved out for themselves. Other times, other niches, and yet not all that
different. There are many more producers of Indian birth, or background, not
particular about films of Indian content or relevance. Is it good cinema, is it
commercially viable, seem to be the questions that concern them most. Merchant-
Ivory have left a jeweled trail to the real treasure house: good cinema

The films in this program pertain to India and its diaspora in a way that deserves
analysis and dissection. IAAC is fortunate in involving the high caliber of
professionals who will lead post-screening discussions from the vantage pointl of the
filmmaker's perception.

We hope that the IAAC's Indian Diaspora Film Festival offers an interesting and
insightful look at merging cultures in the internationally connected world of today.

Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director,
Indo-American Arts Council Inc
27 Holly Drive, New Rochelle,NY 10801.
Phone: 914 637 0833 Fax: 914 632 2390
Email: aroon@iaac.us

 

 

 
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