When I sit down to write this piece on my experience on attending ‘Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA 2016)’ at Los Angeles, USA, I am still carrying the hangover of this wonderful event. Indeed it was a dream come true experience for me. The very atmosphere of film festivals does mesmerize me. Literally I can ‘eat films, drink films and sleep films. I have attended a few film festivals in India too and every experience gave me new insights into the world of cinema.
I would like to begin with my first interaction with IFFLA officials which was followed by their connecting me to their PR firm officials Mitch, Karen and Tiffany. Oh, I must say that what a prompt response I got from IFFLA as well as their PR team. I am really impressed with the swiftness with which my all queries were responded, issued me the Press Badge. Witnessed an epitome of professionalism from IFFLA as well as their support team.
About IFFLA: This was the 14th year of IFFLA. It is a non-profit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films. It has the reputation of its commitment towards supporting and celebrating the new wave of Indian Cinema, promoting a multitude of cinematic perspectives from India and the Indian diaspora, and bridging the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. In Christina Marouda’s words (Founder and Chair of the board): “We are thrilled and proud to present an eclectic line-up that reflects the diversity of Indian Cinema, as well as the future of Indian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers taking bold risks, defying convention, and responding to injustice.”
The Venue: The venue was ArcLight Hollywood, IFFLA’s home since its inception. A grand venue for the film festival. It is a 14-screen multiplex with great infrastructure.
|Image Courtesy: Click Here|
Dates: The dates of the 14th Indian Film Festival at Los Angeles were 6-10th April, 2016. Due to my preoccupations, I could not attend initial 2 days, but could attend from 8-10th April, 2016.
Line up of Films: This festival showcased some of the best films. This year’s programme celebrated women filmmakers as well as regional cinema including films in Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and Assamese. The schedule at a glance.
film was director Pan Nalin’s film ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ – Refer this link, which has
gathered rave reviews in India too.
|Image Courtesy: Facebook Page of Angry Indian Goddesses|
|Opening Night Gala: Image Courtesy|
Love comes later (English)
film was director Anu Menon’s film ‘Waiting’ (Refer here), which is going to be released in India on 29th April, 2016.
|Image Courtesy: IFFLA’s official page|
The Filmmaker Roundtable: Another highlight of this film festival was ‘The Filmmaker Roundtable). Nine filmmakers participated actively where discussions revolved around the independent cinemas getting more visibility, acceptance, Indian censor board policies and collaborating as a community to grow and evolve further. This was moderated by John Nein (senior Programmer, Sundance Film Festival) – Extreme left in the photograph below. The filmmakers who made this a very interesting discussion were (Left-right in the photograph) : Anu Menon (Waiting), Q (Brahman Naman), Ruchika Oberoi (Island City), Leena Yadav (Parched), Sami Khan (Khoya), Hansal Mehta (Aligarh), Kranti Kanade (CRD), Bhaskar Hazarika (Kothanodi), Vettri Maran (Visaaranai)
My personal favourites: Since I could attend only 3-days film festival, my personal favourites don’t cover two-days’ films. Out of the films I watched, my favourites are : Aligarh, Masaan, Waiting, Parched, Visaaranai. Please do read my reviews of Aligarh and Masaan. I would certainly be posting reviews of Waiting and Parched too.
The film festival ended on 10th April, 2016 with a grand dinner and cocktail party organized at Spice Affaire. DJ created a perfect environment and the filmmakers and film lovers danced together.
Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Lehar Khan
My personal feeling: I really feel elated with this opportunity of getting to attend IFFLA. And as always, I really get delighted to meet the film makers and film personalities in person, interact with them, to know regarding their challenges and highs of film industry. And yes, as always, my selfie-spree continues.
Indian Film festival at Los Angeles certainly could bring the best films to its platform. A very well organized film festival. Kudos to IFFLA Team.