Posted on April 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Bollywood Events Featured What's Happenin'

Indo-American Arts Council announces NYIFF Opening Night, Centerpiece and Closing Night films!

The Indo-American Arts Council has announced the feature films that have been selected for Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night spots for the highly anticipated 11th edition of the New York Indian Film Festival. This festival runs May 4 to May 8 in Manhattan.

Opening this popular film festival with be the North American premiere of Disney’s critically acclaimed family comedy “Do Dooni Chaar,” which starts the legendary husband-wife acting couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. This film, directed by Habib Faisal, marks the Hollywood studio’s first live-action production in India and has earned some of the best reviews of any Hindi film in the recent years. “Do Dooni Chaar” is a heart-warming comedy about the dreams and challenges of a middle-class family. This family takes a chaotic journey to fulfill their dream of owning a car, and along the way they discover the true meaning of family. Kapoor, Signh and Faisal will all be attending the red carpet premiere.

NYIFF Director Aseem Chhabra is quoted saying, “‘Do Dooni Chaar’ is a charming and sweet indie film that reflects the realities of a middle-class family in modern day Delhi. Written and directed by first time filmmaker Habib Faisal, the film is a perfect blend of authentic dialogues, characters and situation, with a touch of Bollywood charm. It is a great example of India’s new emerging cinema that has an indie soul, but working within the framework of Bollywood.”

Aparna Sen’s “Iti Mrinalini” will premeiere as the Centerpiece selection. This Bengali film features Sen and her daughter, award-winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma who will both play the same title role at different ages.

The Closing Night selection is Ritu Ghosh’s adaptation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s acclaimed novel “Noukadubi,” starring sisters Riya and Raima Sen. Following the screening on May 8 will be a special tribute to Tagore who was born 150 years ago on that day.

Indo-American Arts Council Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani states, “NYIFF energizes New York City’s diversity by presenting amazing independent and diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent while keeping a close watch on Bollywood’s foray into alternate cinema. The three film highlights if our eleventh annual film festival represent a Hollywood studio’s Indian social cinema, independent cinema, as well as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore.” Shivdasani adds “Major American studios partnering with India have flirted with NYIFF in the past – Fox Searchlight, Sony, Miramax, and now Disney’s contribution to our 2011 Opening Night – Do Dooni Chaar.  Clearly NYIFF is the best platform for these films to reach their ideal demographic market.”

The prestigious Paris Theatre in New York City will be the home to the star-studded red carpet Opening Night premiere of “Do Dooni Chaar” on Wednesday, May 4. Following the premiere will be a gala benefit dinner at the Jumeirah Essex House. India’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Meera Shankar, will deliver the welcome address. Tribeca Cinemas will be hosting the screening of the Centerpiece selection, followed by an afterparty at Tribeca Bar. Both the Closing Night of the NYIFF and the Tagore tribute will take place at Asia Society on Sunday, May 8, along with the annual awards ceremony honoring the winners. Directors Sen and Ghosh will also be attending the festival.

Created in 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York City, the IAAC’s film festival was started to create a better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian subcontinent by bringing the most acclaimed feature films, shorts, and documentaries from that region and its Diaspora to America’s biggest and most remarkable city.  Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’ closed that year’s festival ahead of its worldwide theatrical release and was joined over the years by numerous films such as Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-nominated ‘Water’, Nair’s ‘The Namesake’, the Academy Award-winning ‘Born Into Brothels’ as well as the New York Premiere of Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which won eight Oscars. With the help of loyal supporters such as Nair, Mehta, Salman Rushdie, Mani Ratnam, Shyam Benegal, Madhur Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi, Padma Lakshmi, Shashi Tharoor, the Indian Consulate, and the late Ismail Merchant, the IAAC’s film festival has been able to bring cinema from one of the world’s most vibrant film industries to audiences across New York City.

Tickets for the Opening Night of the New York Indian Film Festival go on sale March 20 and tickets for all other screenings and events will be available starting April 10.

For the latest news, updates and ticket information about the New York Indian Film Festival, visit www.iaac.us. Images and trailers are available upon request.

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