The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded on Sunday evening (April 9) with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere of Shubhashish Bhutiani’s ‘Hotel Salvation’ starring Adil Hussain who was in attendance, as well as the presentation of the festival’s Grand Jury and Audience Choice Awards presented by HBO.
The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) took place April 5-9, 2017 at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles, California. This year the festival featured two World premieres, five North American premieres, five U.S. premieres, and eleven LA premieres. This festival premiered work representing twelve languages, and highlighted a combination of exciting first and second-time filmmakers and experienced cinema masters returning with new work.
‘The Golden Wing’, directed by Bobby Sarma Baruah took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature. In awarding the Grand Prize, the narrative jury stated, “We wanted to recognize this work for its artistry in storytelling and filmmaking, its exploration of class and society, and for the seamless and elegant way in which it incorporates music and performance. This is a film that celebrates a woman’s independence, her compassion and humanism and ultimately her enduring reputation as an artist.” ‘The Golden Wing’ was filmed in Assam in the rare Rajbangshi language.
A special jury mention was made for ‘Lady Of The Lake’, directed by Haobam Paban Kumar “for its inspired and distinctly cinematic fusion of magical realism and docu-fiction approaches in depicting the beleaguered fishing community living atop and among the hypnotic floating biomasses of Loktak Lake in the little-photographed Manipur region.”
The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short was presented to ‘Devi’, directed by Karishma Dube. Regarding the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short, the jury awarded “its well-defined characters, elegant narrative economy and subtle performances depicting a taboo gay attraction.”
Shorts Special Mention was given to ‘Gudh’, directed by Saurav Rai “for lyrical storytelling to a film that uses poetic wandering of a child’s memory in a way that is quietly acrobatic, emotionally resonant and ultimately elevates its storytelling to a cinema of the senses.”
The prestigious 2017 narrative film jurors were:
David Marriott (VP, Acquisitions & Distribution, Cinelicious)
Gingger Shankar (composer)
Kim Yutani (Sundance Film Festival)
Judging the short films were actor:
Ritesh Rajan (actor, ‘The Jungle Book’)
Kim Sherman (producer)
The audiences at this year’s IFFLA chose ‘A Billion Colour Story’ as their favorite narrative feature film of the festival, and ‘An Insignificant Man’ as their favorite documentary feature. AABA was chosen as Best Short.
GRAND JURY AWARDS
Best Feature: ‘The Golden Wing’, directed by Bobby Sarma Baruah
Features Special Mention: ‘Lady Of The Lake’, directed by Haobam Paban Kumar
Best Short Film: ‘Devi’, directed by Karishma Dube
Short Film Special Mention: ‘Gudh’, directed by Saurav Rai
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS
Best Feature (Documentary): ‘An Insignificant Man’, directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla.
Best Feature (Narrative): ‘A Billion Colour Story’, Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy
Best Short: AABA, directed by Amar Kaushik