Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Announces its 2017 Lineup: HOTEL SALVATION, A DEATH IN THE GUNJ, SEXY DURGA, and More

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The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles announced its lineup for the 2017 edition this morning and its as solid as ever. The festival brings together a few festival favorites, several American and North American premieres, and some great looking shorts and features for its fifteenth edition. The festival takes place from April 5th through the 9th at the Regal L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

Before I unload the wonderful full lineup, I'd like to point out a few personal favorites among the selection as well as films of interest. The opening night film is Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha, which has recently been in the news after having been banned by the censor board in India for - among other things - being "lady oriented, their fantasy above life". The ban has already been appealed to the higher level of the certification board and the filmmakers are awaiting the results. The director is confirmed to be attending IFFLA with her film.

Among the rest of the lineup there are a few films that we've already seen and can heartily recommend. One of the best films in the lineup is definitely Shubashish Bhutiani's Hotel Salvation, which we reviewed out of Busan and I thought it was "a celebration of all the things we miss when we stop looking around at just how amazing life can be". 

The other standout is Sanal Sasidharan's Sexy Durga; the film won the coveted Tiger at the Rotterdam film fest a few weeks ago and is set to become one of the big players on the circuit this year. Sexy Durga is a strong contender for the best genre film out of India already this year, and in my review I called it "astonishing in its bluntness and the fact that it needs no embellishment to make its point, but above all, it's scary as hell and that's real."

Take a look at the gallery below for the full details

INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES CELEBRATES 15 ANNIVERSARY AND ANNOUNCES GALAS AND FILM LINEUP

Festival to open with LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA and conclude with Shubhashish Bhutiani’s HOTEL SALVATION, with several directors and stars in attendance

Festival screenings will take place this year at the state-of-the art cinema venue

at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center.
Zee Cinema returns as Presenting Sponsor for the third year


LOS ANGELES, CA (March 7, 2017) – The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced today its galas and 2017 lineup of narrative and documentary features, and short films for its 15 annual festival. Gala tickets and passes are now available at www.indianfilmfestival.org . Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 17.

The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will take place April 5-9, 2017 at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles, California. This will be IFFLA’s first year in the state-of-the-art, world-class cinema in the heart of Los Angeles’ vibrant and developing downtown district. Zee Cinema is returning for a third year as IFFLA’s presenting sponsor.

“As India’s diverse array of talented filmmakers continues to be recognized around the world for their compelling and daring work, IFFLA is extremely proud to collect the best films from emerging voices and experienced masters and present them to Los Angeles,” said Mike Dougherty, Director of Programming.

The Festival will open with LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA and its impressive ensemble cast of Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak, Aahana Kumraand Plabita Borthakur in a dramatic, but irreverent and vibrant film about women and faith. The film premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival 2016 and has been lighting up the festival circuit, including just winning the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. Director Alankrita Shrivastava is confirmed to attend and additional talent to be confirmed.

Festival will close with the Los Angeles premiere of HOTEL SALVATION, the debut feature of Shubhashish Bhutiani, whose 2013 short film KUSH was shortlisted for the Live Action Short Film Oscar and won IFFLA’s 2014 Audience Award. HOTEL SALVATION premiered in the College Cinema section of the 2016 Venice Film Festival. The film’s star Adil Hussain (LIFE OF PI, UMRIKA, PARCHED) will attend IFFLA’s Closing Night gala representing the film.

This year the festival will feature two World premieres, five North American premieres, five U.S. premieres, and eleven LA premieres. This festival premieres work representing nine languages, and highlights a combination of exciting first and second-time filmmakers and experienced cinema masters returning with new work.

More films from first-time directors will be presented this year than ever before, including the directorial debut of beloved actress Konkona Sen Sharma with her film A DEATH IN THE GUNJ featuring an all-star cast of Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin, Om Puri and Vikrant Massey in this dramatic thriller. Additionally first-time filmmaker Ananya Kasaravalli brings THE CHRONICLES OF HARI, a beautiful film about a renowned theater actor’s struggle with gender identity which she co-wrote with writer Gopalakrisna Pai and her father, acclaimed Kannada language director Girish Kasaravalli. Also first-time filmmaker Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy with BILLION COLOUR STORY, which was included in Best of Fest in Palm Springs and recently played Busan and BFI London.

Also attending the festival this year to present their films will be a host of celebrated filmmakers, including Adoor Gopalakrishnan making the U.S. premiere of his twisted thriller ONCE AGAIN in Malayalam, and Suman Mukhopadhyay with the North American premiere of his gorgeous Bengali film INCOMPLETE.

IFFLA’s program features an impressive slate of award-winning and topical documentary films including MACHINES winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography at Sundance, and THE CINEMA TRAVELERS directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya which wonL'Œil d'or Special Mention: Le Prix du documentaire at the Cannes Film Festival.

The U.S. Premiere of the highly anticipated documentary AN INSIGNIFICANT MAN, directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla, will also take place at IFFLA. The film centers on the polarizing political figure Arvind Kejriwal (sometimes referred to as the Bernie Sanders of India) and gives a stirring behind-the-scenes look at his creation of the progressive Aam Aadmi Party and their historic campaign in the 2013 Delhi state elections.

IFFLA alum Rajshri Deshpande stars in the controversial SEXY DURGA directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, which recently won the coveted Hivor Tiger Award, the top prize at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival.

Competing in the shorts program are 10 films, representing 9 different languages.

Shorts program highlights include: the world premieres of CITY OF LOVE, a Bengali film directed by Indranil Roychowdhury; and DEVI directed by Karishma Dube and starring a remarkable cast including Priyanka Bose (most recently seen in the Oscar-nominated LION) and Tanvi Azmi.

Making its U.S. premiere is the short film INFILTRATOR, directed by Gurvinder Singh whose first feature THE FOURTH DIRECTION premiered in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, and Sonejuhi Sinha’s newest film MILES OF SAND, starring Tannishta Chatterjee.

Other highlights of the short film program include the U.S. premieres of DISCO OBU, by Anand Kishore, which recently won a Special Jury Mention at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and GUDH (NEST) by Saurav Rai, which had its world premiere at Cannes’ Cinefondation.

Spice Affair will host the Opening and Closing Night Gala receptions in Beverly Hills and Air India joins the festival as a Premiere Sponsor.

Tickets and Passes
The 15th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 5-9, 2017 at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles, California. Gala tickets and passes are now available at www.indianfilmfestival.org . Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 17, 2017. For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter ( @iffla ).

About IFFLA

Now in its 15th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.

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