The festival to screen films in 9 languages. It will open with Bollywood hit “Andhadhun” and pay tribute to Indian actor Tabu.
At a time when alternate Indian films continue to get noticed at international film circuits, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) promises to bring along films in 9 languages, along with a host of critically acclaimed independent Indian films.
The 17th edition of IFFLA will also consist of documentary features, shorts and many showings from mainstream Indian cinema. The four-day festival, which will take place from April 11 to 14, is a platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema. It also attempts to bridge the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world, Hollywood and the Indian film industry.
This year, one of the highlights of the event will he the opening night film, Andhadhun, directed by Sriram Raghavan and starring versatile actress Tabu and Ayushmann Khurrana. The festival will also pay tribute to Tabu. On the opening night, there will be a moderated discussion with the actress.
IFFLA Executive Director Christina Marouda spoke about choosing Tabu to not only open the festival but also to pay tribute to her rich body of work in Indian cinema. “We have discussed honoring Tabu for a long time, and this year felt like the right time,” she said. “Her work and personality embody everything that IFFLA is about — being fearless, versatile, independent in spirit, unwilling to compromise, brilliant in the range of her performances, and simply beautiful. With half of the festival’s 2019 line-up directed by female filmmakers, this couldn’t be a stronger celebration of women in Indian cinema.”
Andhadhun, which follows the attempts of a villainess Simi, played by Tabu trying to dispose of her husband’s body, has won rave reviews and box office success.
The other highlights of the festival include films in 9 languages and a showcase of strong subjects.
“We’re incredibly proud of the intelligent, crowd-pleasing and adventurous films in this year’s lineup,” Mike Dougherty, IFFLA’s Programming Director, said. “Two of the themes that really stand out amongst all those that we’re seeing this year are intergenerational stories and stories that dive into political conflict. With both there’s an interesting conversation to be had on how filmmakers are examining the changing world, and how that world is moving towards a bold new future. I’m excited to explore these themes further with our filmmakers and audience members.”
The other films to be showcased include Photograph, directed by Lunchbox fame Ritesh Batra; director Ronny Sen’s feature debut Cat Sticks; family drama Love Goes Through Your Mind, directed by UCLA alum Ronak Shah; and Chippa, directed by Safdar Rahman and starring Sunny Pawar.
Shorts program highlights include Jayisha Patel’s Circle, which was previously screened in the Berlin, Toronto and at BFI London festivals; The Field from director Sandhya Suri, which screened for audiences in Sundance and Toronto; and Busan International Film Festival grand prize winner Nooreh, from director Ashish Pandey.
Recognizing the fast rising presence of South Asian actors in American entertainment, IFFLA will feature a panel discussion titled “Breaking in Brown,” highlighting the work of South Asian actors, directors, writers and producers working in the television space. Megha Ramaswamy’s The Odds starring Abhay Deol, Priyanka Bose and Monica Dogra will close IFFLA.
IFFLA will take place at Regal L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.