NEW YORK — Thirty shorts, documentaries and feature films will be screened at the annual New York Indian Film Festival, which opens next month with Kalki Koechlin-starrer "Margarita with a Straw".
The six-day festival, its 15th year, will see the films screened at prestigious venues around New York city from May 4 to 9.
Aparna Sen's "Saari Raat", a play in three acts by legendary Bengali playwright and theatre personality Badal Sircar, will be the centrepiece film. Starring Anjan Dutt, Rittwik Chakraborty and Konkona Sen Sharma, it is Sen's tribute to Sircar, who passed away in 2011.
"Dum Laga Ke Haisha", the Sharat Katariya-directed film starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar will bring down curtains on the festival.
"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," says festival programmer Aseem Chhabra.
There will be special screenings of films like Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespeare trilogy of "Maqbool", "Omkara" and "Haider"; "Daughters of Mother India", which focuses on the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape incident; and a documentary on Shyam Benegal's films "Benegal's New Cinema".
Indo-American Arts Council Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani said about the opening film, "We are thrilled to be opening this year's New York Indian Film Festival with Shonali Bose's new film 'Margarita with a Straw'. She has been a rising star in the forefront of India's growing indie film movement, always pushing the boundaries..."
"Margarita with a Straw" is a poignant portrayal of a rebellious young woman (Kalki) 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.