The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) announced the full lineup last night for their 16th year of celebrating independent, art house, alternate, and diaspora films from/about/connected to the Indian subcontinent (May 7 – May 14). Dedicated to bringing these films to a New York audience, the festival will feature 40 screenings (35 narrative, 5 documentary) –all seen for the first time in New York City. In addition, the festival will also feature five programs of short films.
The festival highlights various cinemas of India’s different regions. All the films are subtitled in English and some of the languages this year include Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telegu, Assamese, Haryanavi and Urdu. This year’s festival will feature a couple of sidebars –NFDC restored first films of filmmakers and a three-generations sidebar, films of Bimal Roy, Basu Bhattacharya and Aditya Bhattacharya.
The festival’s film lineup includes 2016 National Award winners A Far Afternoon, Birds With Large Wings and The River of Fables. The River of Fables is an Assamese language feature film written and directed by Bhaskar Hazarika and stars Seema Biswas and Adil Hussain. The story of the film is based on folktales from Assam, India.
“We are thrilled to be able to share these films with the New York audience,” states Aseem Chhabra, NYIFF festival director.
“Three of the feature films are National Award winners. And out of the nearly 40 shorts we are showing this year, there are two National Award winners:Famous in Ahmedabad and Daarvatha. ”
Straight from the Sundance Film Festival,Brahman Naman is a true Indian teenage comedy. It is funny, touching and will be universal in its appeal. It is about the exhilaration and confusion of being 17 – the pleasure of being in a gang, breaking the rules, acting big, falling in love – coming of age.
From the Tamil films, Crime in Punishment is the latest film from NYIFF alum and 2015 NYIFF award winner M. Manikandan. For The Love of a Man is a documentary film that explores the popularity of the Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth.
Good Ol’ Boy is the feel-good, coming-of-age story of Smith, a 10-year-old boy from India growing up in Small Town, America in 1979. This Diaspora film features actors Samrat Chakrabarti (Midnight’s Children, The Waiting City) and Poorna Jagannathan (Delhi Belly, Nirbhaya).
Bengali master, Soumitra Chatterjee starrer Peace Haven is the story of three septuagenarian friends who embark on a journey to build their very own mortuary.
Multiple award winner and fresh from the international film festival circuit Parched is a story about women set in the heart of parched rural landscape of Gujarat, India. It traces the bittersweet tale of four ordinary women Rani, Lajjo, Bijli and Janaki. We see them unapologetically talk about men, sex and life as they struggle with their individual boundaries to face their demons and stage their own personal wars.
In an era when Bollywood music ruled the Indian households and when Ghazal as a genre was limited to only the connoisseurs, Jagjit Singh made Ghazals a necessity of every music lover’s collection. Kaagaz Ki Kashti traces the life journey of a down-to-earth, small-town boy, who made it big by breaking through the norms and the Ghazal scenario, by texturing traditional Ghazal singing with western instrumentation and making it simple and hummable, enticing new listeners into becoming Ghazal fans.
“The 2016 festival features a wide array of films from all over the South Asian diaspora,”
states IAAC founder Aroon Shivdasani.
“This year our films reflect the reality of India, dealing both with LGBT issues that have surfaced in the supreme court and on the streets, as well as strong feminist films dealing with female infanticide, child marriage, domestic abuse, trafficking and several other key issues that affect women in a world that still leans towards chauvinism.”
Festival Passes and Individual Tickets can be purchased at the festival’s website.