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IFFLA 2014 Announces Award Winners


FANDRY & SIDDHARTH Take Home Top Awards

TIM,Entertainment, Staff

After a hectic 12th season of great entertainment from the one of the most respected movie industries in the world next to Hollywood, The IFFLA 2014 on Sunday announced the winners of its most prestigious awards. Winners were recognized to a packed house at the ArcLight Hollywood theatre. The juries awarded Nagraj Manjule’s FANDRY the top Jury prize for Best Feature, while Richie Mehta’s SIDDHARTH captured the Audience Award. POWERLESS won the jury’s choice for Best Documentary, while FAITH CONNECTIONS proved to be the audience favorite. The Shorts jury awarded their top honor to ALCHEMY, and the audience award went to KUSH.

In a statement supporting their choice the jury had this to say, “All of the films were a pleasure to watch. We are in awe of and inspired by the stories that the filmmakers brought to us. So many of the films dealt with the exploitation of children, such as child labor. The film we chose – ‘Fandry’ – features stunning cinematic quality and powerful story-telling, capturing the inner life of its young hero, and providing a detailed and intimate illustration of the social power structure of his village.”

2014 Jury by Category


DAVID CHUTE began writing about movies for publications in the late 1970s. He has worked as a publicity writer and unit publicist, and has contributed freelance pieces to the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Premiere, LA Weekly, The Village Voice, and Asian Cult Cinema. His many contributions to Film Comment include two midsection supplements he guest-edited, “Made in Hong Kong” (May-June 1988) and “Bollywood Rising” (May-June, 2002). He reviews Bollywood movies regularly for Variety.

JOHN ORLANDO is Head of Digital Development for Crackle and Sony Pictures Television. He develops and oversees production on the franchises Cleaners, Chosen, and Playing It Forward, as well as the first Sony Pictures feature developed for digital distribution, Extraction.John began his career in entertainment as editor of a magazine for Disney Channel. He subsequently co-founded Threshold Digital, a media/technology company. Since then, John has worked as an executive at William Morris Agency, John Wells Productions, United Artists, and Circle of Confusion.

MEERA SIMHAN is an actress and writer currently in post-production on Miss India America,a feature she co-wrote with Ravi Kapoor. The film was partly inspired by her solo theatre show of the same title, which she wrote and performed. The show played in cities throughout the U.S., including Los Angeles, Chicago, Memphis, and New York. Simhan received her training as an actress at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and then went on to work in theatre and television in the UK for five years. Since returning to the U.S. she has had numerous recurring and guest starring roles in television, including Anger Management, New Girl, Touch, The Mentalist, Parenthood, House, Heroes, and Numbers. Her film credits include Hello I Must Be Going, which opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Raspberry Magic, The 5,Homecoming, and most recently Baby Steps, which is currently in production.


DILCIA BARRERA is a Short Film Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and works with Elvis Mitchell’s curated film series for Film Independent at LACMA. Since 2007, she has worked for numerous film festivals, previously serving as Senior Programmer at AFI FEST, Programmer for The Philadelphia Film Festival, and a screener for the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program. A Los Angeles native, Dilcia has a Spanish/Portuguese Literature degree from UCLA.

BRIAN KNAPPENBERGER is an award-winning writer, producer, and director best known for the Sundance selection The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Other credits include Bloomberg Game Changers, Life After War, and Murder in Kyiv. His list of camera credits includes the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring environmental documentary 11th Hour and Sundance award-winning documentary Scratch.Brian makes movies for the Sundance Channel, PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel.

CHRIS SALVATERRA started his career in entertainment at Universal Pictures, where he oversaw the production of American Pie. Chris then joined Casey Silver Productions, where he shepherded Ladder 49 and Hidalgo. At Participant Media, he oversaw the production of films such as Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, and Fast Food Nation. In 2010, Chris formed Katonah Pictures with partner Dan Abrams. Katonah produced Gone and 96 Minutes, and currently has numerous projects in development.


GENA DESCLOS is Senior Vice President, Post Production, at HBO Entertainment, overseeing post-production on all HBO original series, films, and mini-series. During her tenure, she has directly supervised such shows as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadwood, Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Entourage, and True Blood. Prior to HBO, Gena held various production, post-production, and producer titles for broadcast and cable networks, as well as film studios. She began her career at Lucas Film TV Ltd.

KAMAL K.M. is a directing graduate of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India. Kamal has worked extensively with renowned cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan as an associate director and writer on Before the Rains and Tahaan. I.D., his directorial debut feature film, has screened at various film festivals, including Busan, Abu Dhabi, Marrakech, Rotterdam, Edinburgh, and Los Angeles Film Festival, garnering numerous awards. Kamal is currently preparing his next feature film with India’s brilliant rising young star Fahadh Faazil, produced by Sree Gokulam and Resul Pookutty.

HEIDI ZWICKER has been contributing to various Sundance Institute programs for the past nine years, beginning with the Feature Film Program, International. In 2010, she was hired as the programming department’s World Cinema Coordinator and began serving as an Associate Programmer for the festival in 2012. Additionally, Heidi has been a Programmer at Palm Springs International Shortfest since 2011. She also manages the Sundance Collection at UCLA.

Now in its 12th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, honoring entertainment industry business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

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