Just as the door closes on the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, the 13th annual New York Indian Film Festival is nearly upon us (both closely followed by the London Indian Film Festival in a few weeks time). This year's festival, which begins on Tuesday, April 30, brings the traveling circus of highly acclaimed feature films and documentaries to the Big Apple from their pit stops elsewhere. I'm very excited to cover this festival because, frankly, it's the first Indian film festival in nearly a year where everything on the list is new to me. No archived reviews for this one, I'm going all in!
That being said, there are certainly some films that are more interesting looking than others, so I'm going to give you a little guide regarding what to look for at this year's event.
Opening Night: Dekh Tamasha Dekh
I know nothing about this film, but if it's been chosen as the opening night film, it should be pretty special. Here's the synopsis:
The story revolves around the search for the religious identity of a
poor man crushed under the weight of a politician's hoarding. A social
and political satire, the film explores the impossible India, where
bizarre is normal.Pune 52
Nikhil Mahajan's Pune 52
is a film that has eluded me for nearly a year now. This nouveau noir shows great promise. I've seen an extremely rough cut of the film, and I was very impressed in spite of the fact that none of the effects or sound were finished. I have my fingers crossed that I'll finally be able to see it properly here.
The life of a private detective undergoes a dramatic change when he
takes up a case that is deeply personal and highly complex. Set in the
year 1992, against the backdrop of the finance reform policy that
spiraled the Indian middle class in a tizzy of consumerism, reforming
everything, including their relationships, Pune 52 is a heartbreaking
love story blended in a edge of the seat thriller.
One of my greatest disappointments this year was that Suparn Verma's unusual ghost story, Aatma
, didn't get a theatrical release outside of India. I've been chomping at the bit to see it and it looks like this is finally my chance.
Aatma is the journey of a single mother Maya Verma who finally starts
her life afresh with her six year old daughter Nia but as Maya starts to
pick up the pieces of her life, strange things starts happening around
her. Maya's six year old daughter Nia starts to speak to her dead
father. Maya initially feels that she has created an imaginary father to
fill the gap in her life but slowly Maya's life starts to fall apart
and the reality gets darker till she starts to doubt her own sanity.
Aatma is a psychological thriller set in a supernatural framework. It is
about the inheritance of loss, a tableau of conflicting emotions played
against a diabolic backdrop.
Closing Night: Filmistaan
This National Award winning film from director Nitin Kakkar takes a look at the bonding power of cinema even in the harshest of environments. I heard great things about Filmistaan
from IFFLA, and hope to be able to check it out here.
This National Award winning movie is set in Mumbai where, affable
Bollywood buff and wanna-be-actor Sunny, who works as an assistant
director, fantasizes on becoming a heart-throb star. However, at every
audition he is summarily thrown out. Undeterred, he goes with an
American crew to remote areas in Rajasthan to work on a documentary. One
day an Islamic terrorist group kidnaps him for the American
crew-member. Sunny finds himself on enemy border amidst guns and
pathani-clad guards, who decide to keep him hostage until they locate
their original target. The house in which he is confined belongs to a
Pakistani, whose trade stems from pirated Hindi films, which he brings
back every time he crosses the border. Soon, the two factions realize
that they share a human and cultural bond. The film shows how cinema can
be the universal panacea for co-existence.
Those are just a few of the fantastic looking films. NYIFF also has a repertory series, a documentary series, and a series of great looking Marathi films that I've been dying to dig into. For more information about the films, the festival, and how you can attend visit the links below.
Do you feel this content is inappropriate or infringes upon your rights? Click here
to report it, or see our DMCA policy