Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

15th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) Lineup includes Shonali Bose’s MARGARITA WITH A STRAW & Aparna Sen’s SAARI RAAT; May 4-9

15th Annual New York Indian Film Festival Announces

Its Dynamic Line-Up of 30 Shorts, Documentaries & Feature Films

Unknown(New York, NY) The longest-running, most prestigious South Asian film festival in the country, New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), is presenting 30 films for its 15th annual showcase of ground-breaking, thought-provoking, independent cinema, to be screened at prestigious venues around New York City from May 4 to 9, 2015.

Gala Opening Night Film:  Shonali Bose’s MARGARITA WITH A STRAW at the Paris Theatre on May 4th, 2015, is the poignant portrayal of a rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery. Starring Kalki Koechlin, Revathi & Sayani Gupta. 

Centerpiece Film: Aparna Sen’s SAARI RAAT, a play in three acts by the legendary Bengali playwright and theatre personality Badal Sircar. It is also Sen’s tribute to Badal, who passed away in 2011. Starring Anjan Dutt, Rittwik Chakraborty, Konkona Sen Sharma.

Closing Night Film:  Secret screening – To Be Announced on April 15th.

Special Screenings & Events:

·       Vishal Bhardwaj’s Shakespeare trilogy of MAQBOOL, OMKARA and HAIDER (winner of five National Awards for Best Dialogues, Best Music Direction Songs, Best Male Playback Singer, Best Costume Designer and Best Choreography), followed by a discussion between Bhardwaj and a Shakespearean expert.

·       DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER INDIA (winner of National Award for Best Film on Social Issues – Non-Narrative), a special screening of this documentary film focused on the aftermath of the Delhi rape incident, given India’s ban on the broadcast of the rape documentary INDIA’S DAUGHTER.

·       BENEGAL’S NEW CINEMA, a documentary on Shyam Benegal’s films, followed by a discussion with Benegal about the New Cinema Movement.

·       South Asian Film Lab: launch, special short film screening, live reading of a screenplay.

·       One-Minute cell phone films by NYU students.

·       72 Hour Shootout w/Asian American Film Lab.

·       Industry Panels: 10 am – 5 pm on Friday May 8th, 2015.

“Every year, we strive to make our programming unique and relevant, based on the incidents that are occurring around the world, in South Asia and in our own backyard, New York City,” said festival programmer Aseem Chhabra. “These selected films, which have won a combined total of nine National Awards, serve as a mirror, and we hope that our audiences can see their lives reflected in these stories.”

NYIFF 2015 Features and Docs (in alphabetical order):

1.   A Moment of Mishearing
2.   Being Bhaijaan
3.     Bench Talkies
4.     Benegal’s New Cinema
5.     Bey Yaar
6.     Chauranga
7.     Chotoder Chobi (National Award Winner for Best Film on Social Issues – Narrative)
8.     City of Dark
9.     City Lights
10.  Coffee Bloom
11.  Daughters of Mother India (National Award Winner for Best Film on Social Issues – Non-Narrative)
12.  Elizabeth Ekadashi (National Award Winner for Best Children’s Film)
13.  Gour Hari Dastaan
14.  Haider (Winner of FIVE National Awards)
15.  Haramkhor
16.  I am Steve Lopez
17.  Kakka Muttai (National Award Winner for Best Children’s Film & Best Child Artist)
18.  M Cream
19.  Maqbool
20.  Margarita with a Straw
21.  Meet the Patels
22.  Miss India America
23.  Omkara
24.  Placebo
25.  Rough Book
26.  Saari Raat
27.  Yeh Hai Bakrapur

The rest of the line-up will be announced shortly. For director’s notes, trailers & synopses of these films, click HERE.

·       To purchase IAAC Membership, click HERE.

·       To purchase NYIFF Opening Night tickets and tables, click HERE.

·       Festival Passes and Individual Tickets go on sale April 1, 2015. 

About the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC):

The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. The IAAC supports all artistic disciplines in the classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden our collective audiences and to create a network for shared information, resources and funding. Our focus is to work with artists and arts organizations in North America as well as to facilitate artists and arts organizations from India to exhibit, perform and produce their works here.

About the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF):

The New York Indian Film Festival (originally the IAAC Film Festival) opened their doors in 2001 following the devastation of the September 11attacks on New York City. This festival creates an awareness and better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian Diaspora by bringing the most acclaimed feature films, documentaries, and shorts from that region to America’s biggest and most remarkable city. Merchant-Ivory’s Shakespearewalla was the festival’s Opening Night, while Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’ closed IAAC’s first film festival before its worldwide theatrical release. Since then, the festival has provided first-looks at many acclaimed films, including Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-nominated ‘Water,’ and ‘Midnight’s Children’, Nair’s ‘The Namesake,’ and ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and the New York Premiere of Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which won eight Oscars including Best Picture. Some of the artists who support the festival include Mira Nair, Salman Rushdie, Madhur Jaffrey, Padma Lakshmi, Shabana Azmi, Rishi Kapoor & Neetu Singh Kapoor, Shashi Tharoor, Sarita Chaudhury, Sakina Jaffrey, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, Mani Ratnam, Aparna Sen, the late filmmakers Ismail Merchant and Rituparno Ghosh. NYIFF’s 15th anniversary will include premiere film screenings, discussions, industry panels, nightly networking parties, special events, an awards ceremony, and red carpet galas. The festival will run May 4th to 9th at a variety of prestigious New York City venues, including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts, the Paris Theatre and the Village East Cinemas. For the latest news, updates and information about The 15th Annual New York Indian Film Festival, presented by The Indo-American Arts Council, please visit www.iaac.us.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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