Indian Film Festival begins in New York from Wednesday


Celebrated Indian artists including Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Sharmila Tagore will attend the MIAAC (Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council) Film Festival that kicks off on Wednesday, with 47 screenings.
The show begins with 'Today's Special' staring Shah, Madhur Jaffrey and Daily Show actor/correspondent Asif Mandvi who plays a cook in a comedy about food and friendship set in Jackson Heights, which is a South Asian hub in the Queens borough.
"This is a story about an immigrant family who happen to be Indian and Muslim, and it's a story about a father and a son," Mandvi said.
"Even in America, people who don't know Indians know Indian food. The reality is that it's a great way in for people into the culture," she added.
Indian actress Deepti Naval, will make her directorial debut in 'Two Paise for Sunshine Four Annas for Rain', which brings together a struggling gay lyricist with an ageing prostitute played by Manisha Koirala and her 12-year-old son.

MIAAC 09 also features five Bengali artists including Buddhadeb Dasgupta whose movie, 'The Window', is about Bimal and Meera, a young couple from Kolkata on the verge of getting married when Bimal decides to make a donation to his old school to rebuild an old window following which chaos ensues.
Star of 'Mississippi Masala' and 'Kamasutra', Sarita Chaudhary, will be introducing her new film called 'For Real' about women suffering from depression in the urban bourgeoisie classes of Indian cities.
"You think of India, you talk about poverty and other extreme things. You don't think of depression and boredom as a big problem," Chaudhary told PTI.
"These are problems that happen in every family but they don't seem to get put on film and its often those issues that people can relate to," she added.
Noted Lyricist, Javed Akhtar will host 'The State of the Indian Screenplay' a panel discussion on how the corporatisation and the emergence of Hollywood studios have impacted script writing in India.
Another topic Reframing Indian Cinema will be chaired by Shyam Benegal who will talk about competing terminologies from the evolving Indian cinema.
Another session called Queer Bollywood will discuss how media artists representing queer culture and issues during the changing times in India, in the backdrop of the Delhi High Court judgment.
The Indo-American Arts Council, founded in 1998, is a non-profit organisation that promotes Indian and cross-cultural arts forms in the US. The festival, this year, will also present several works by internationally acclaimed director Mira Nair.

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