13th Annual New York Indian Film Festival

Miss Pakistan World and Miss District of Columbia also attended this festival

By William Kustiono

On April 29th to May 4th 2013, The New York Indian Film Festival is celebrating its 13th anniversary. NYIFF is the oldest film festival featuring premieres, documentaries and short films made about Indian cultures before they are launched in the cinema. The festival lasts for five days, which includes post-screenings discussions, industry panels, award ceremony, special events and parties, red carpet galas for press and audiences. The film festival builds awareness about Indian cinema and presents the Indian culture to North Americans.

NYIFF also offers media groups a special screening which includes a red carpet gala on the casts, directors, and investors of the movie. In here, press and guests could interview and take a close picture of the people who contributed to the making of the films.

Aroon Shivdasani, the Executive Director and Founding Member of Indo – American Arts Council, Inc, appeared in front of the audience during the opening ceremony. She was very pleased on NYIFF as the Executive Director for thirteen years. She was looking forward to see veteran directors to continue their mentorship towards the young directors.

This year aside from the 13th year anniversary, NYIFF also celebrates 100 years of Indian Cinema, the are seven movies, five movies are grouped in the “100 Years” series and two movies are screened in the opening and closing ceremony, premiered in this festival. NYIFF gives an opportunity for young directors to present their splendid and superb movies to the press and guests. This will also give them an opportunity to receive a feedback by the movie critics about their films presented in the festival.

One of the premieres screened in NYIFF is Dekh Tamasha Dekh by Feroze Abbas Khan. The story itself is based on a true story, it tells about a poor man searching for its religious identity while struggling in between two political powers. The movie sets in a rural Indian area where people in the village clashed against each other due to difference in religions. The bizarre and conflicts presented in the movie give the audience a piece of glimpse about an impossible situation which chaos is considered normal.

Feroze Abbas Khan directed this film next to completing his previous movie “Gandhi, My Father”. Khan commented that it takes him thirty days to complete the whole film during his interview after the show. He gets his idea from a former police commissioner in India. According to the commissioner the story is about a dispute in a village over a dead person. The villagers couldn’t decide the religious identity of the dead person therefore as a result both religious parties, Hindu and Muslim, clashed to defend their rights to bury this dead body.

Overall, this film festival gives North Americans a background idea about Indian culture, especially in New York City where there are cultural diversities available. This festival also covers all-important aspects in Indian arts whether it is contemporary or preceding and cross-cultural art forms that contribute to the diversity. And provides an education to people who wants to learn more about Indian arts and culture.

For more, please visit:  http://www.iaac.us/nyiff2013/

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