Naseeruddin-starrer to open New York film fest

Naseeruddin-starrer to open New York film fest

Naseeruddin-starrer to open New York film fest

Naseeruddin Shah

Now in its ninth year, the annual festival from November 11-15 will present veteran Shyam Benegal's comic take on Indian politics "Well Done Abba" and Anurag Kashyap's "Gulaal".

The festival closes with "Antaheen - The Endless Wait" starring Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen, both of whom will attend the festival.

Aasif Mandvi's "Today's Special" is the story of Samir (Aasif himself), is a sous chef who dreams of heading his boss's hot new restaurant. There is a twist in his life and Samir is heartbroken before he finds Akbar (Naseeruddin), a taxi driver and former chef in Mumbai, who inspires him to embrace life.

Santosh Sivan's "Tahaan", about the adventures of a little boy and his pet donkey in militancy-hit Kashmir, is the festival centrepiece on November 13.

MIAAC's star guest list includes Naseeruddin Shah, Sharmila Tagore, Farhan Ahktar, Manisha Koirala, Rahul Bose, Shabana Azmi, Deepti Naval, Madhur Jaffrey, Mira Nair, Javed Akhtar, Shyam Benegal and Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

According to the organisers, the opening, closing and centrepiece films represent the festival's focus, genres, and themes - from independent films to Diaspora artists; from New York to the new Global India; from social concern to romantic comedy.

Another new talent in this year's selections is Raja Menon who directs the Naseeruddin in his "Barah Anna". Other films include Sudhir Mishra's "Ride On Johnny" and Joseph Mathew-Varghese's debut venture "Bombay Summer".

Female filmmakers make an impressive showing, such as screen actor Deepti Naval's directorial debut "Two Paise For Sunshine, Four Annas for Rain", an atmospheric ode to Bollywood musicals with Manisha Koirala in an unusual love affair with a gay man.

Other films include Swati Bhide's "The Blue Tower", a deliciously dark thriller from London that won the 2008 Raindance Award; and Tracey Jackson's "Lucky Ducks", her courageous documentary about her own privileged Upper East Side life and family.
Since its inception in 2001, MIAAC has established itself as the premiere Indian film festival in the US, introducing audiences to films such as Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire", Mira Nair's "The Namesake" and "Monsoon Wedding", Deepa Mehta's "Water" and Gurinder Chadha's "Bride & Prejudice".

Regular public screenings will be at the Quad Cinema, with special screenings at the Paris Theatre, Walter Reade Theater, the National Museum of the American Indian, and NYU's Cantor Center.