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The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Announces Film Lineup

Pan Nalin’s ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES opens the festival making its U.S. premiere after winning awards at festivals around the globe.

Festival to close with Anu Menon’s WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin.

Festival program features award-winning prestige titles from the festival circuit and more women filmmakers than ever before.



LOS ANGELES, CA (February 25, 2016) – The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced today its 2016 lineup of narrative and documentary features, short films, and galas for its 14th annual festival. Opening the festival on April 6 is the U.S. premiere of the ensemble powerhouse ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES, from filmmaker and four-time IFFLA alum Pan Nalin. Anu Menon’s poignant WAITING, starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin, closes the festival with its North American premiere on April 10. Gala tickets and passes are now available at Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 18, 2016.

The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. IFFLA will run April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festival’s home since its inception.

“India’s independent filmmakers are taking bold risks, defying convention, and responding to injustice in each of these visionary films, and the results are breathtaking,” said Mike Dougherty, Director of Programming. “I’m extremely excited for our Los Angeles audience to experience these films, which have garnered raves from around the world, or are making their world premiere with us.”

Festival opener ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents, and flaws of each of its female characters. This joyful yet powerful dramedy comes from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).

Anu Menon’s WAITING closes the festival with a poignant and stirring story that is as witty as it is heartrending. Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and the incomparable Kalki Koechlin reunite for the first time since they starred together in THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, giving beautiful performances as two strangers who develop a deep connection in the hospital while their spouses lie in comas.

Spice Affair will host the Openig and Closing Night Gala receptions in Beverly Hills.

This year the festival will feature three world premieres, including IFFLA alum Kranti Kanade’s CRD, two North American premieres, and ten U.S. premieres.

More features and shorts from female filmmakers will be presented this year by IFFLA than ever before, including Deepa Mehta’s gangster drama BEEBA BOYS; Leena Yadav’s PARCHED, a piercing examination of India’s patriarchal culture through the stories of four women; Ruchika Oberoi’s genre-bending triptych, ISLAND CITY; and Rinku Kalsy’s documentary FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN, about the fierce devotion shared by South-Indian superstar Rajinikanth’s fans.

IFFLA’s program is also notable this year for the number of award-winning titles it includes. UMRIKA received the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award; ISLAND CITY took home the Best Young Director Award of the Venice Days section at the 2015 Venice Film Festival; MASAAN garnered both Cannes’ Un Certain Regard’s prestigious FIPRESCI prize and the Promising Future Award for director Neeraj Ghaywan; PARCHED won the Stockholm International Film Festival’s first-ever Impact Award; and OTTAAL was just awarded the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus section of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.

The festival also features two LGBT titles, Hansal Mehta’s politically-charged ALIGARH and the short DAARAVTHA (The Threshold) by Nishant Roy Bombarde, which are bold and compelling statements from filmmakers in a country where homosexuality is a criminal offense under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Tamil cinema has recently emerged as a force on the world stage, and this is exemplified in the two engrossing Tamil features in the program: VISAARANAI (Interrogation) and KIRUMI (Virus).

Highlights in the shorts program include: the world premiere of MOCHI (THE COBBLER), an impressive directorial debut from Saqib Pandor, produced by Anurag Kashyap; the North American premiere of Anuj Gulati’s THE MANLIEST MAN, a boldly told, absurdist tale that reveals a visionary emerging director; and Payal Sethi’s gripping LEECHES, which tracks a woman’s dangerous journey to save her young sister from being sold as a One-Day Bride.

Attending the festival this year to present their films will be a host of celebrated filmmakers, including Bhaskar Hazarika (KOTHANODI), Kranti Kanade (CRD), Hansal Mehta (ALIGARH), Prashant Nair & Swati Shetty (UMRIKA), Pan Nalin (ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES), Ruchika Oberoi (ISLAND CITY), Q (BRAHMAN NAMAN) and Leena Yadav (PARCHED).

IFFLA will also host stars from a number of films, including Kalki Koechlin (WAITING) and many of the actors featured in ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES.

Tickets and Passes 
The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 6-10 at ArcLight Hollywood located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Gala tickets and passes are now available at Tickets for individual films will go on sale on March 18, 2016. For more information please visit or follow us on Twitter (@iffla).

Now in its 14th 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 and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.


India/2015/115min/DCP/Hindi and English
U.S. Premiere
Director: Pan Nalin

Logline: When an eclectic group of women gathers to celebrate the impending nuptials of a close mutual friend, sparks fly as they each discover the power – and the fury – of the angry goddesses that lie within.

When a successful but frustrated photographer, a wannabe Bollywood actress, a high-flying workaholic executive and mother, a struggling musician, a prudish princess and a housekeeper with a dark secret all gather together in a quaint Portuguese villa in Goa on the eve of the host’s wedding, no subject is off limits for this spirited group of women. Love, sex, careers, marriage, friendship, sexism and the benefits of a super hot next-door neighbor are all up for debate. But it is ultimately tragedy and the power of unity in the face of institutional misogyny that binds these women together forever in this joyful yet powerful dramedy from 2014 IFFLA Audience Award winning director Pan Nalin (FAITH CONNECTIONS).

Screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, ANGRY INDIAN GODDESSES takes a refreshingly uncensored look at the issues facing women in contemporary Indian society while celebrating the uniqueness, talents and flaws of each of its female characters.


India/2015/92min/DCP/Hindi and English
North American Premiere
Director: Anu Menon

Logline: While their spouses lie in comas, two strangers develop a deep connection in the hospital to help support each other through the trials of waiting and grief.

Young, outspoken, and impassioned Tara Deshpande receives tragic news: Her husband of only six weeks has slipped into a coma after a car accident. Despondent and desperate for answers in a situation where she has little control, Tara finds an unlikely friend in Shiv, a gentle and hopeful man who has become a regular  in the hospital where his wife has been in a coma for over 8 months. They can relate to each other deeply, both isolated from other support and waiting for an optimistic outcome. However, as each reaches an important crossroads in caring for their spouses, Tara and Shiv realize that their fear of change is holding them back from making necessary decisions.

Anu Menon’s WAITING is a poignant and stirring film that is as witty as it is heartrending. Reuniting for the first time since they starred together in THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and the incomparable Kalki Koechlin give beautiful performances that bring Tara and Shiv’s charming connection to life. Exploring the universal and personal experiences of grief in an honest and powerful way, WAITING is a tender film that proves the importance of our bond as humans is sometimes through sorrow and uncertainty.


Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Hansal Mehta (IFFLA alum)

Logline: The true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a linguistics professor at Aligarh Muslim University whose outing and threatened termination caused an uproar.

Canada/2015/103min/DCP/Punjabi and English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Deepa Mehta (IFFLA alum)

Logline: A ruthless and charismatic Sikh Canadian gangster leads his crew into war for drugs, money and respect.

Los Angeles Premier
Director: Q

Logline:  A team of misfits at Bangalore University makes an alcohol-fueled cross-country journey to the National Quiz Championships, determined to defeat their archrivals and lose their virginities.

This year’s Sundance Film Festival heard non-stop buzz about director Q’s latest brazen cinematic provocation: a 1980s-set coming-of-age sex comedy. There’s much more on this film’s mind than young lust and sexual hijinks…but it does have plenty of that to spare!

India/2016/108min/DCP/Hindi and English
World Premiere
Director: Kranti Kanade (IFFLA alum)

Logline:  As aspiring writer Chetan prepares to compete in a prestigious college theater festival, he explores his creative impulses in radical, hilarious and destructive ways.

India/2015/82min/DCP/Tamil and English
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Rinku Kalsy

Logline: An entertaining and unforgettable look at the godlike devotion by millions of fans for South-Indian super-star Rajinikanth.

U.S. Premiere
Director: Ruchika Oberoi

Logline: Three stories set in the sprawling city of Mumbai reveal the absurd, bittersweet and heartbreaking ways three characters attempt to push back against society’s plans for them.

Oberoi brilliantly plays with genre as her film effortlessly shifts from absurdist comedy to escapist fantasy to realist drama (there’s even a tinge of science fiction). Though each character’s journey is markedly different, their goals are similar: to push back against the demands forced on them without any regard for their personal desires. Oberoi’s unique vision won the Best Young Director Award of the Venice Days section at the 2015 Venice Film Festival.

KIRUMI (Virus)
U.S. Premiere
Director: Anucharan Murugaiyan

Logline:  An irresponsible young man finds work as a police informant, but his careless tactics soon anger some of Chennai’s most dangerous criminals, and put him and his loved ones in jeopardy.

First-time director Anucharan Murugaiyan delivers a riveting, white-knuckle thriller from a script co-written with rising star and Tamil filmmaker M. Manikandan (director of 2015 IFFLA Audience Award winner THE CROW’S EGG). Their collaboration is a fine example of Tamil cinema’s recent emergence as a force on the world stage, and a superb elevation of the crime genre into a stylish, sophisticated look at corruption from the inside.

KOTHANODI (The River of Fables)
U.S. Premiere
Director: Bhaskar Hazarika

Logline:  A darker side to motherhood is revealed in these Assamese folktales about four women’s strange and unsettling relationships with their children.

MASAAN (Fly Away Solo)
India, France/2015/109min/DCP/Hindi
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan (IFFLA alum)

Logline:  Four very different lives intersect along the Ganges, each longing to escape the moral constructs of a small town.

In the past year, IFFLA alum Neeraj Ghaywan’s debut feature has become one of the most celebrated independent Indian films in recent memory. Its premiere in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section saw the film win the prestigious FIPRESCI prize, and the section’s jury honored Ghaywan with the Promising Future Award. The film’s release in India garnered rave reviews and is poised to make stars of its talented young cast, including Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadda and Shweta Tripathi.

OTTAAL (The Trap)
U.S. Premiere
Director:  Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair

Logline: When an orphan’s kind grandfather falls ill, the young boy is confronted with the bleak fate of millions of children worldwide.

Winner of the Crystal Bear in the Generation Kplus section of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, OTTAAL is directed with patient mastery by director Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, and anchored by a heartbreaking performance from its young lead, Ashanth K. Sha.

Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Leena Yadav

Logline: Four small-town women struggling with mistreatment and misogyny find surprising ways to take control of their lives.

Leena Yadav’s drama premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and went on to play the Stockholm International Film Festival, where it won the festival’s Impact Award. With vivid, lived-in performances and a script by Yadav that never simplifies what is a complex reality for many Indian women, PARCHED spotlights a harsh patriarchal culture and the women and girls who remain steadfast within it.

Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Prashant Nair (IFFLA alum)

Log line: A young man must learn the truth about what happened to his older brother after he left their small Indian village for the magical, faraway land of “Umrika.”

Showcasing winning performances by Suraj Sharma (LIFE OF PI) and Tony Revolori (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), UMRIKA won the Sundance World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award along with other accolades at festivals around the world. With a moving mix of humor, piercing loss and sacrifice, writer-director and IFFLA alum Prashant Nair captures the power of stories about the faraway, mythical places that are never quite real, but we still risk everything to reach.

VISAARANAI (Interrogation)
Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Vetri Maaran

Logline: When a Tamil-speaking immigrant lands in jail on trumped up charges, he must navigate a labyrinth of police brutality and corruption.


ASHRUT (Silent Voices)
Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Pritha Chakraborty

Logline: An intimate documentary portrait of three sisters and their mother that explores the women’s unrealized dreams and confinement to domesticity.

India/2015/24min/HDCAM/Hindi and English
World Premiere
Director: Collin D’Cunha (IFFLA alum)

Logline: An immigrant construction worker in Dubai who can barely make ends meet must find a way to send an expensive gift to his wife back in India.

Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Megha Ramaswamy

Logline: A young girl mourns the death of her stuffed bunny.

CHHAYA (The Shadow)
Director: Debanjan Nandy

Logline: Fantasy and reality vehemently clash in the nursing home quarters of a lonely widower.

DAARAVTHA (The Threshold)
U.S. Premiere
Director: Nishant Roy Bombarde

Logline: Torn between a patriarchal Indian upbringing and his natural urge to identify with the opposite gender, an adolescent boy discovers his sexuality.

India/2016/27min/DCP/Urdu and Dakhani
U.S. Premiere
Director: Payal Sethi

Logline: A woman embarks on a dangerous journey to save her young sister from being sold as a One-Day Bride.

Los Angeles Premiere
Director: Sonejuhi Sinha

Logline: An undocumented motel worker faces a life-altering decision when she discovers she’s pregnant.

India/2015/15min/DCP/Punjabi and Hindi
U.S. Premiere
Director: Divij Roopchand

Logline: All this rap-loving Sikh boy wants for his thirteenth birthday is a new hairdo.

MOCHI (The Cobbler)
India/2016/20min/Blu-ray/Hindi and Marathi
World Premiere
Director: Saqib Pandor

Logline: When a struggling shoe repairman loses an expensive pair of shoes, his entire world starts to crumble.

India/2014/18min/Blu-ray/Hindi and Tamil
U.S. Premiere
Directors: Shamik Sen Gupta and Pallavi MD

Logline: When a rickshaw driver discovers a young boy in the back seat of his auto, he embarks on a dark journey to find the child’s parents.

India/2016/23min/DCP/ Hindi and Bundeli
North American Premiere
Director: Anuj Gulati

Logline: When the village potter fails to produce a son, the community Chief calls for a “manlier” man to help the family bear a male offspring.

Read More at IFFLA

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