Do you love films? Do you love Indian Films and workshops and red carpet? Well then keep reading because this event is just for you! The India International Film Festival of Tampa Bay is ready to roll out the red carpet for it’s 5th year festival which will take place at Muvico Centro Ybor in Tampa’s historic Ybor City district. The festival takes place between August 28th and 30th. The three-day event will showcase short films, feature films and documentaries which explore a plethora of subjects including contemporary relationships, domestic violence, spiritual bliss, old age, abuse, environmental issues and many more. The schedule includes English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and a few other language films. We hope that these films, while entertaining, will leave audiences with a greater understanding of the Indian subcontinent’s culture, influences and ideologies. This year’s festival will feature 33 films covering a wide gamut of perspectives from the humorous to the shocking. 33 films! Yes, that’s a lot of films but a variety of them! So be prepared to get the popcorn and check out all the shorts and features and even workshops!
The dynamic festival begins with our opening night reception on Friday, August 28th at 6:30 p.m. Filmmakers, actors and screenwriters from around the world will dazzle our red carpet with traditional Indian attire and provide interviews for local, national and international press corps before mingling with attendees. Our Opening night feature, Haraamkhor is a directorial debut by Shlok Sharma, who will attend the festival.
Innocent young love is put on a collision course with the messy reality of budding adulthood in Haraamkhor. Young student Kamal is infatuated with his 15-year-old classmate Sandhya, and together with his best friend Mintu devises countless imaginative schemes to win her affection. But Sandhya has a troubling infatuation of her own: she is carrying on an affair with her teacher, Shyam (another masterful performance by Nawazuddin Siddiqui). When the two young boys catch on to this illicit arrangement, events are set into motion that could lead to tragedy for all involved. The opening night festivities with conclude with a Q&A session with the filmmakers, dinner and an after-party.
The second and third day of the festival will start at 1 p.m. with film screenings in two theaters simultaneously. We are proud to provide festival goers the opportunity to watch films that have won accolades in prestigious events such as the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Fest, Venice International Film Festival, India’s Prestigious National Awards and others. A few of the films from the 2015 schedule – Court, Winner of India’s prestigious national awards and winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals, is a quietly devastating, absurdist portrait of injustice, caste prejudice, and venal politics in contemporary India. An elderly folk singer and grassroots organizer, dubbed the “people’s poet,” is arrested on a trumped-up charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is a ridiculous and harrowing display of institutional incompetence, with endless procedural delays, coached witnesses for the prosecution, and obsessive privileging of arcane colonial law over reason and mercy.. Other features include Saari Raat – Directed by Aparna Sen as a tribute to legendary Bengali playwright and theater personality Badal Sircar. In the film, a couple on vacation gets caught in a storm and seeks refuge in a stranger’s house. Through the long night, they face issues past and present, after which nothing can ever be the same. Refugees of Shangri-LA – Bhutan’s international reputation precedes it as the Himalayan Kingdom of “Gross National Happiness”. However, Bhutan’s exiles will tell you a different story; One of cultural persecution, loss of a beloved home, a twenty-year-wait in refugee camps and finally, a new chance in a new country. In the past five years, 75,000 Bhutanese refugees have resettled to America, many settling in Florida.
Jaya – A short film which is a coming-of-age drama about a fifteen-year-old girl in a Mumbai street gang, who masquerades as a boy and makes a living as a thief, until the day she encounters a man she believes to be her long-lost father. The movie stars teenagers from the streets and slums of Mumbai, and takes place almost entirely in the city’s bustling streets and markets. A Rainy Day – a Marathi movie that explores themes of trust, extra-sensory perception and corruption. The movie is directed by multiple national award winning director Rajendra Talak and sound design by Oscar winner Resul Pookkutty. We will also celebrate this year’s festival with an after-party/lounge at Aloft Tampa Downtown at 9:30 pm on Saturday, August 29th.
A complete list of films and schedule is available on the festival website www.IIFFTampa.com
Individual movie tickets are $10; The Festival Pass, which includes entry into every film screening, and all events of the festival, is $75; A One-Day Pass that allows admission into all films and on-site events for Saturday or Sunday is $25; A Two-Day Pass is $40; and if you wanted to attend just the opening night, the cost is $50, which includes dinner and cocktails. Tickets and Passes are available online at www.IIFFTampa.com, and at the event.
Be sure to attend and we will see you this weekend on the red carpet!