The core mission of IFFLA was to establish a film festival that would not only pave the way for a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture in the U.S., but also serve as the portal between the two largest entertainment industries in the world — the U.S. and India.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, on April 5-9, 2017, IFFLA will continue its efforts to elevate diverse and bold Indian films to their rightful place alongside the best of world cinema and facilitate collaboration between the two film industries.
Q: For those who are new to Indian Film, are there any Bollywood classics that our audience should check out?
A: (Senior Programmer Sudeep Sharma and Managing Director Nitin Sonawane) I’d recommend Dil Se starring Shahrukh Khan as a journalist who falls in love with a terrorist. It features some amazing music by A.R. Rahman which has been used in other films like Spike Lee’s Inside Man. Also great is Laagan starring Amir Khan, a crowd pleasing sports/romance/anti-colonialist period piece. For lovers of older classics, be sure to see anything by Guru Dutt. One favorite of his is Kaagaz Ke Pool (1959).
Q: Of the films being screened this year, can you briefly tell us about 3 crowd favorites we shouldn’t miss?
A: (Director of Programming Mike Dougherty) Sure to be popular among the crowds are Vikramditya Motwane’s TRAPPED, which is a wonderful contained thriller with a dynamite lead performance by Rajkummar Rao. The all-star cast of Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut A DEATH IN THE GUNJ should be a big draw, especially as its cast includes the late Om Puri in one of his final roles. And our opening and closing night gala films – LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA and HOTEL SALVATION — are surefire crowd-pleasers that will each have talent in attendance.
Over the years, IFFLA’s role has expanded significantly. The festival is now considered an important authority on Indian cinema and the Indian film industry in the US.
IFFLA is crucial to giving path-breaking Indian indie films a strong platform in the U.S. Additionally, through its ancillary programs such as One-on-One, a casual speed-dating style networking opportunity, it connects attending filmmakers with influential industry executives to explore the avenues that Hollywood offers.
To attend, support, or find more information about the IFFLA, visit http://www.indianfilmfestival.org/.