The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) today announced its full lineup of narrative and documentary features, and shorts for the festival’s 18th edition, which boasts 5 World, 1 North American, 4 U.S. and 10 Los Angeles premieres, spanning 12 languages, with 50% of all films premiering directed by women. The renowned premiere global showcase for groundbreaking Indian cinema, IFFLA will take place this year April 1-5 at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles. The Opening Night Gala presentation will take place at ArcLight Hollywood, with an after-party to follow hosted by Spice Affair in Beverly Hills. Passes and Gala tickets go on sale today, February 19. Individual tickets will go on sale on February 25 at www.indianfilmfestival.org.

The festival will open with An Evening with Imtiaz Ali, one of Hindi cinema’s most respected and charismatic writer-directors. Ali will be joined onstage by celebrated Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Netflix’s Sacred Games) to discuss the scope and influence of Ali’s career. Ali has captivated global audiences with his distinctive love stories that are relatable and original.  In 2005 he made his directorial debut with the charming Socha Na Tha, quickly followed by Jab We Met, which brought him instant acclaim. His 2009 film Love Aaj Kal was a massive critical success and box office smash, which he followed up with the stylistically rich Rockstar in 2011. 

Ali’s conversation with Kashyap will be followed by the screening of one of his most lauded films, 2014’s Highway, an enthralling road movie that thrust into the limelight Alia Bhatt (Dear Zindagi) one of the most formidable actors working in Hindi cinema today.

“We are thrilled to open this year’s festival with an insightful and unfiltered conversation with Imtiaz Ali, moderated by longtime friend of IFFLA Anurag Kashyap,” said Christina Marouda, IFFLA’s Executive Director. “Imtiaz’s intuitive work with actors and independent spirit are a natural fit for IFFLA.”

IFFLA’s Closing Night on April 5th will see the Los Angeles premiere of The MisEducation of Bindu, a delightful coming-of-age tale set in the American suburbs about a bright young Indian girl who resolves to test out of her high school, but must turn to the students who constantly torment her to raise the money for the test fee. Directed by Prarthana Mohan (Turn Around) and starring Megan Suri (How To Get Away With Murder), Priyanka Bose (Lion), and David Arquette (Scream 3), the film was produced by Mark Duplass (Safety Not Guaranteed) and Jay Duplass (Transparent) after it won their campaign in partnership with crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark to find America’s Next Generation of Indie Filmmakers. The cast and Mark Duplass are expected to attend.   

The MisEducation of Bindu

IFFLA’s feature lineup includes a vast array of highlights from the past year’s international festival circuit, including IFFLAalum Bhaskar Hazarika’s Tribeca 2019 selection, the romance-thriller Aamis (Ravening); SXSW 2020 sci-fi fantasy title Cargo, starring IFFLA favorites Vikrant Massey (A Death in the Gunj) and Shweta Tripathi (Masaan) as otherworldly astronauts charged with processing the recently deceased into reincarnation; Dolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars starring Konkana Sen Sharma (Omkaraand directed by Alankrita Shrivastava whose controversial previous film Lipstick Under My Burkha opened IFFLA 2017; Gitanjali Rao’s animated opus Bombay Rose, whose handpainted images took six years to complete before its debut in the 2019 Venice Film Festival; and Geetu Mohandaswho helmed India’s 2014 Oscar entry, Liar’s Dice, brings the Malayalam-language Moothon (The Elder One), a Toronto 2019 premiere which blends high-paced action with beautifully rendered queer themes.

This year’s selection highlights both filmmakers working in India and in the diaspora community, the latter notable especially in the festival’s diverse and exciting short film selection, whose highlights include the comedy Coffee Shop Names starring Danny Pudi (Community), Karan Soni (Deadpool 1 & 2), Kausar Mohammed (Silicon Valley); the world premiere of Uncle, starring Ajay Naidu (Office Space), Omar Maskati (Netflix’s Unbelievable), and Rizwan Manji (Schitt’s Creek); and the U.S. premiere of The Loyal Man, a riveting thriller set in France among the Tamil-speaking community. 

 “This year’s lineup exemplifies the boundless creativity on display in the Indian independent film community and its diaspora” said Mike Dougherty, IFFLA’s Director of Programming. “Visitors to IFFLA this year have their choice of animation, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, documentary, comedy, thriller and more, in films that in typical IFFLA fashion deal with hard-hitting political themes, and that challenge as well as entertain. I couldn’t be more proud of the films we’re presenting.”  

An exciting highlight of this year’s IFFLA will be back-to-back Master Classes with two of India’s top filmmakers Imtiaz Aliand Anurag Kashyap. Imtiaz Ali will discuss how he works with actors to create the vast world his characters inhabit within his films. Anurag Kashyap will discuss the arc of his career aided by various clips of his work to demonstrate how directing skills can develop over time, and lessons he’s learned on set over the course of his impressive filmography.. These exciting programs will run on Saturday, April 4 and are open to all audiences and passholders.

Tickets and Passes 
Passes and Gala tickets are now on sale. Individual tickets will go on sale on February 25. For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@iffla).

About IFFLA

Now in its 18th 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. 

Galas

Opening Night Gala

An Evening with Imtiaz Ali, followed by a screening of Highway

Join us for a special evening as we celebrate Imtiaz Ali, one of Hindi cinema’s most respected and charismatic writer-directors. The program will feature an on-stage conversation between Ali and Anurag Kashyap, acclaimed IFFLA alum and a veteran of Indian independent cinema, leading into a screening of Ali’s enthralling 2014 romantic road thriller, Highway. The red carpet event will take place at ArcLight Hollywood, followed by a dinner reception and after party hosted by Spice Affair.

Ever since his disarming debut in 2005’s Socha Na Tha, Imtiaz Ali has been felicitated for his distinctive viewpoint on love and romance, vulnerable male characters, and layered female characters. If in his 2007 commercial hit Jab We Met, Ali delighted audiences with the chemistry between a plucky Kareena Kapoor and a reticent Shahid Kapoor, in his 2011 Rockstar, he sculpted a monument of Ranbir Kapoor’s formidable acting talent while setting to story one of the memorable soundtracks of the decade. 

What makes Ali so popular with both cinephiles and everyday moviegoers is his enviable ability to marry utterly relatable characters with their unusually developed conflicts. Highway is a stellar example of all of Imtiaz’s virtues as a storyteller. 


Highway
India/2014/133mins/Hindi

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Producers: Sajid Nadiadwala, Imtiaz Ali

Screenwriter: Imtiaz Ali

Cinematographer: Anil Mehta 

Editor: Aarti Bajaj

Cast: Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda, Durgesh Kumar, Saharsh Kumar Shukla

Synopsis:

The film that overnight made Alia Bhatt one of the most formidable actors of her generation, Highway is the tale of the spoilt daughter of a powerful Delhi industrialist who on the eve of her wedding is abducted by a hard-hearted truck driver (an exceptional Randeep Hooda). Their escape from the authorities leads them through some starkly beautiful landscapes of Kashmir, Rajasthan and Punjab, as well as towards the confrontation of a deep common pain in their pasts. As an audience we become wayfarers along their endearing journey that spins the wheels of the rich girl–poor boy trope. Expertly reining in melodrama with an authentic sense of place, Imtiaz Ali guides his characters towards realizations about freedom and bondage, and most impactful of all, how their feelings for each other might not simply be a matter of circumstance. Highway is ultimately an empowering film about the courageous choices women make in a world dictated by men.

Closing Night Gala 

The MisEducation of Bindu

India/2019/92mins/English 

Director: Prarthana Mohan 

Producer: Edward Timpe

Screenwriters: Kay Tuxford, Prarthana Mohan

Cinematographer: Dani Sanchez-Lopez

Editor: Mike Villasuso

Cast: Megan Suri, David Arquette, Priyanka Bose, Philip Labes, Gordan Winarick, Jake Morrissy

Logline: 

Her homeschooling days behind her, Bindu is an Indian teen fed up with high school and determined to test out early. When a small fee is all that stands in the way of her freedom, she’ll have to confront her bullies and pool her resources before the day is up.

Synopsis: 

Teenage Bindu (Megan Suri) is having a rough year. Her stepfather (David Arquette) has convinced her mother (Priyanka Bose) to forgo homeschooling and enroll her in the local school, where she is constantly bullied. Bindu learns that testing out early of school could be an option – if she can only secure the money needed for the test fee before the end of the day. With the clock racing against her, Bindu will stop at nothing to collect the fee – even if this means befriending bullies and forging alliances with the weirdos that inhabit the school halls.

With brazen humor and a fantastic ensemble cast, director Prarthana Mohan dives into the peculiar and chaotic world of teenage misfits for her first feature film, weaving a coming of age tale that’s as uproarious as it is genuine. Suri embodies Bindu with a perfectly self-aware blend of inexperience and determination as she surprises herself and learns not everything is as seems among the eccentric student population. 

Narrative Features:

Aamis (Ravening)

India/2019/107mins/Assamese 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Bhaskar Hazarika 

Producer: Shyam Bora

Screenwriter: Bhaskar Hazarika

Cinematographer: Riju Das

Editor: Shweta Rai Chamling

Cast: Lima Das, Arghadeep Baruah, Neetali Das

Logline: 

Forbidden by society from consummating their desires, a PhD student and a married pediatrician sublimate their feelings for one another into a sensual obsession with exotic meats that drives them to break the ultimate taboo.

Synopsis: 

Both a wicked satire of the sexual repression of the Assamese professional classes and the “slow” food movement, Aamis is a titillating, brilliantly-written romantic thriller of erotic displacement and sensual obsession. Four years after his last film, Kothanodi (IFFLA 2016), writer-director Bhaskar Hazarika returns to IFFLA with this sweet love story of a Suman, a PhD student doing his thesis on meat eating practices of Assam, who inducts married pediatrician Nirmali into his foodie “meat club.” What begins as a bourgeois hobby spirals out of control as Suman and Nirmali’s appetite for one another is sublimated into an exotic shared gluttony that becomes stranger and stranger… until they reach the ultimate taboo.

Lima Das as Nirmali brings to IFFLA audiences one of the most memorable Indian heroines in recent memory in a performance so self-assured and riveting it’s hard to believe this is her feature film debut and that in real life she’s an endodontist. As dark as it is funny, as depraved as it is romantic, you won’t want to miss Aamis.

Bombay Rose

UK/France/India/Qatar/2019/93mins/Hindi 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Gitanjali Rao 

Producers: Rohit Khattar, Anand Mahindra

Screenwriter: Gitanjali Rao

Cinematographer: Paperboat Design Studios

Editor: Gitanjali Rao

Cast: Cyli Khare, Amit Deondi, Gargi Shitole, Makrand Deshpande

Logline: 

Several tales of love are connected by a single red rose in Gitanjali Rao’s animated feature debut.

Synopsis:

Gitanjali Rao’s feature animation debut is the culmination of six years of meticulous craft, in which gorgeous hand-painted imagery gives vivid life to several tales of love in India’s bustling metropolis, all connected by a single red rose. With seemingly effortless grace, the story weaves through the the star-crossed romance between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man, a widow’s rueful memories of a long lost lover, and the budding friendship between a precocious young girl and a penniless orphan. 

Inspired by classic Bollywood style, but clear-headed about the real world hardships that make such imaginative stories hard to replicate in life, Rao’s film is both delicate and sharp. She is attuned to the social issues that are woven into the fabric of her titular city, and while the beauty of her imagery makes for a sublime experience, the call for justice is unquestionably clear.

Cargo

India/2019/113mins/English 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Arati Kadav 

Producers: Navin Shetty, Shlok Sharma, Arati Kadav

Screenwriter: Arati Kadav

Cinematographer: Kaushal Shah

Editor: Paramita Ghosh

Cast: Vikrant Massey, Shweta Tripathi, Nandu Madhav

Logline: 

Prahastha, a demon who works in solitude aboard a spaceship transitioning the recently deceased into their next life, has his predictable routine thrown into chaos when a popular new demon is assigned to work alongside him.

Synopsis:

On a spaceship orbiting Earth lives a solitary demon named Prahastha, who for countless years has been charged with greeting the souls of the recently deceased and preparing them for rebirth into a new life. His career longevity and skill set has made him something of a celebrity among his fellow demons, but he’s always been content working alone, without fanfare, and with very traditional methods. Then one day, his superiors at Post Death Transition Services announce that he’ll be joined by a popular new recruit trained in newfangled methods, and suddenly Prahastha’s predictable routine is thrown into chaos.

In her feature debut (a selection at the 2020 South by Southwest Film Festival), director Arati Kadav crafts a dazzlingly peculiar world with its own charming mythology, aided by a playful, lovingly constructed visual design and fetching lead performances by IFFLA favorites Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi (with fun cameos by Hansal Mehta and Konkona Sen Sharma). This sci-fi/fantasy parable about death and what comes after ultimately revels in the beautiful messiness of being alive.

Children of the Sun (Gaadi)

Sri Lanka/2019/103mins/Sinhalese 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Prasanna Vithanage

Producers: Sandya Salgado, Alan McAlex, Ajay Rai, H.D. Premasiri, Prasanna Vithanage

Screenwriter: Prasanna Vithanage

Cinematographer: Rajeev Ravi

Editor: A. Sreekar Prasad

Cast: Sajitha Anuththara, Dinara Punchihewa

Logline:

In early 1800s Ceylon during the advent of British colonialism, a forbidden love story unfolds when a Buddhist noblewoman is exiled to marry a man from the outcast community after the noblemen’s covert deal to oust the island’s Tamil king goes awry. 

Synopsis:

It’s 1814 AD. Ceylon’s Buddhist nobility is approached with an offer by a wormtongue British agent to secure the route from the highlands to the coast in exchange for help to overthrow the maligned Tamil King. Obviously colonizers can never be trusted, and the coup fails. The price is paid by a conscientious Buddhist noblewoman who is forcibly married to a charismatic noose maker from the local community of outcasts. A quite unexpected love story begins to unfold in the island’s lush mountainside. 

Eminent Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage and cinematographer Rajeev Ravi (Gangs of Wasseypur) evoke remarkably magnetic performances from leads Sajitha Anuththara and Dinara Punchihewa. The spirit of Children of the Sun’s revitalizing journey is classical, like the epics, where mobility across social barriers entails the burden of taboo and clandestine heroism. What makes this little known chapter of the subcontinent’s longstanding conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese breathtakingly specific is Vithanage’s intersectional exploration of religion, region, caste, gender and clan. Undeniably too, the resilience of two characters who uneasily confront the fateful twigs of doom with the steady balm of devotion. 

Dolly Kitty And Those Twinkling Stars

India/2019/130mins/Hindi 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Alankrita Shrivastava 

Producer: Ekta Kapoor

Screenwriter: Alankrita Shrivastava

Cinematographer: John Jacob Payyapalli

Editor: Charushree Roy

Cast: Konkona Sen Sharma, Bhumi Pednekar, Aamir Bashir, Amol Parashar

Logline: 

Two cousins—one a dreamer in a call center for a romance app, the other a government employee faking romance IRL—find themselves desperately entangled in the trappings of love and desire in the materialistic enclaves of Noida.

Synopsis: 

Dolly (Konkona Sen Sharma) and Kitty (Bhumi Pednekar) are cousins deeply unhappy amidst the lonely materialistic enclaves of Noida. Dolly’s husband calls her frigid; she hasn’t seen her mother in years; and she is in denial of her child’s gender identity; and yet she connives her way towards her dream condo while developing a crush for a local delivery boy. Kitty, younger, inexperienced and still idealistic, finds herself dazed by the horny men who dial into her job at a call center for a romance app, but she is determined to find that one decent fellow out there. 

The sisters’ search for genuine intimacy initially drives them apart, even as the men in their lives prove gutless romeos. Anchored by committed performances by Konkana Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar, IFFLA alum Alankrita Shrivastava’s (Lipstick Under My Burkha) surprisingly tender melodrama cruises the bombastic urban cultures of northern India where souls desperate for connection abandon themselves behind shocking pink facades, unable to extract the boys from the toys or the caresses from the carnival rides. 

Eeb Allay Ooo!

India/2019/97mins/Hindi 

US Premiere 

Director: Prateek Vats

Producer: Shwetaabh Singh

Screenwriter: Shubham

Cinematographer: Saumyananda Sahi

Editor: Tanushree Das

Cast: Shardul Bhardwaj, Mahender Nath, Shashi Bhushan, Nutan Sinha, Naina Sareen, Nitin Goel 

Logline: 

Hired as a “monkey repeller” to scare away primates from Delhi’s government buildings, Anjani unexpectedly connects with his animal aggression as he struggles against his exploitative boss and the pressures of social conformity. 

Synopsis: 

Eeb – allay – ooo! These are the three vocables used by “monkey repellers” to drive away the nettlesome rhesus macaques that beg for food from tourists in front of Delhi’s government buildings. Shy Ananji has just arrived in Delhi, where his pregnant sister’s husband helps him find work in the monkey repelling profession. Limited in training and tools, Ananji finds it impossible to intimidate the brazen macaques until he creates a costume imitating the macaques’ natural predator, the Langur. Disguised by face paint and armed with a giant tail, Ananji is able to channel his inner animal aggression, finally becoming an effective repeller and even finding joy in his work. But his nonconformity puts his job at risk, pushing Ananji to the brink of desperation.

Director Prateek Vats and writer Shubham slyly use the dynamics of monkeys and men to deliver a powerful message about the discourses of power. Vats brilliantly contrasts the territorial nature of primates with the male obsession with human displays of aggression: guns, military formations and nationalist parades. Coming to IFFLA straight from raves at the Berlinale, Eeb Allay Ooo! is a wise humanist satire about the alienation of the working class and the monkey business outside (and inside) the walls of government. 

Just Like That

India/2019/120mins/Hindi 

US Premiere

Director: Kislay 

Producer: Shwetaabh Singh

Screenwriter: Kislay

Cinematographer: Saumyananda Sahi 

Editor: Tanushree Das

Cast: Mohini Sharma, Harish Khanna, Sadhna Singh, Trimala Adhikari, Saumya Jakhmola, Shivam Sharma

Logline: 

After her husband of 52 years dies, Mrs. Sharma defies the expectations of her family and refuses to move in with them, choosing instead to forge her own path and strike up new friendships that make her the talk of her small town. 

Synopsis: 

After the Sharma family unexpectedly loses its patriarch, the newly widowed and elderly Mrs. Sharma surprises everyone by refusing to move in with her son and daughter-in-law downstairs. Instead, she begins to enjoy her newfound financial freedom and strikes up friendships with a salon worker and a tailor that raise eyebrows and stir whispers all across Allahabad. Even as she explores a sense of independence that’s within her grasp for the first time, her actions cause ripples that reveal a simmering unrest in the small town.  

Kislay’s impressive debut feature sparkles with humor, intimacy and nuance as it navigates societal limitations around gender roles and the small pleasures to be found in defying expectations. This meditative slice-of-life portrait of a family in quiet turmoil proves both devastating and profound, allowing us to bask in characters that are as complex and human as the world around them. Ultimately, this stirring look at the cost of liberation marks the arrival of an exciting new cinematic voice in Kislay.

Moothon (The Elder One)

India/2019/119mins/Malayalam, Hindi 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Geetu Mohandas 

Producer: Vinod Kumar

Screenwriter: Geetu Mohandas

Cinematographer: Rajeev Ravi

Editors: Ajith Kumar, Kiran Das

Cast: Nivin Pauly, Shashank Arora, Roshan Mathew, Sanjana Dipu, Sobhita Dhulipala

Logline: 

14-year-old Mulla leaves home behind to find his long-lost brother in the dangerous streets of Mumbai, falling under the sway of a local crime boss with secrets of his own.

Synopsis:

14-year-old Mulla undertakes a perilous journey to find his long-lost brother in this breathtaking feature from director Geetu Mohandas, her second after India’s 2014 Oscar entry, Liar’s Dice. Leaving his mundane existence behind and taking a boat to the bustling streets of Mumbai, Mulla almost immediately falls in with a group of Dickensian young kids who undertake petty crimes at the behest of a local crime boss. As Mulla draws closer to the truth of his brother Akbar’s whereabouts while avoiding the dangers of living on the streets, we learn in flashback about the heartache that led to Akbar’s disappearance.

Mohandas’ film skillfully shifts between the pulse-pounding thrills of action cinema and a surprising, beautifully-rendered love story that handles queer themes with delicacy and grace. In exploring questions of gender, queer love, and familial bonds on such a grand, sweeping scale, she delivers a film that feels almost unprecedented.

Documentary Features:

Because We Are Girls 

Canada/2019/85mins/English, Punjabi 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Baljit Sangra 

Producers: Selwyn Jacob, Shirley Vercruysse 

Screenwriter: Baljit Sangra

Cinematographer: Grant Baldwin

Editors: Carmen Pollard, Jessica Dymond

Cast: Jeeti Pooni, Kira Pooni, Salakshana Pooni, Narinder Pooni, Gurdev Pooni

Logline: 

The dark underbelly of a Punjabi Canadian family in Williams Lake, British Columbia lies exposed when three sisters break more than two decades of silence by taking legal action against their sexually abusive cousin and confronting the members of their immediate family who enabled him. 

Synopsis:

1980’s. The Pooni’s — a conservative Punjabi family in small town Canada. A household steeped in patriarchal values. A place where girls are raised on a steady diet of Bollywood nostalgia that teaches them to be demure and subservient to men. Raped systematically over a period of years by an older cousin who was meant to protect them, the girls of the Pooni household grew up internalizing this culture of shame. Twenty years later, the sisters find the collective strength to take their abuser to court and to express the ways in which this invisible trauma has affected three generations of women. Blending home videos with regressive Bollywood songs and first-person testimonies, the documentary provides us with an intimate and incisive look at the quietly devastating impact of abuse.

Because We Are Girls is a shivering homage to our childhood selves that scarcely had the language to express what was done to us. It is an introspective window that allows us to contemplate our own mothers and grandmothers — and wonder about the secrets that they’ve carried with them. What all in our families have we unseen? At a time when Indian girls are still beholden to the same cage, Because We Are Girls is an act of courage that celebrates women reclaiming their lost power in the face of willful negligence and irreparable harm. An essential film. 

Pariah Dog

USA/2019/77mins/Bengali, English 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Jesse Alk 

Producer: Jesse Alk

Screenwriters: Jesse Alk, Koustav Sinha

Cinematographer: Jesse Alk

Editor: Jesse Alk

Cast: Subrata Das, Malika Sarkar, Kajal Halder, Pinaki Dasgupta

Logline:

Four marginalized, deeply compassionate individuals battle with personal pain, poverty and social discrimination to do the thing they love above all: take care of the pariah stray dogs that roam the streets of Kolkata.

Synopsis: 

Kolkata, City of Joy, has a notorious problem: its large population of stray dogs is famished, diseased, and treated with despicable indignity. In this milieu, four fearless individuals, misunderstood and marginalized in their own way, have dedicated their lives to become their caretakers. Pinku, a painter and toto driver, comforts puppies as they convalesce in his arms. Kajal, who subsists in a shanty, vaccinates and feeds packs of canines by night. Subrata, a yodeling rickshaw driver with gameshow aspirations, uses his street cred to spread awareness. And Milly, an outspoken part Russian oldtimer, fights shameless land grabbing to give strays identities, genealogies and minimum healthcare. 

With the roving disposition of a gleaner, director Jesse Alk lenses the animated streets and pariah dogs of Kolkata with sparkling perspicacity and empathy. Moreso, he crafts gallant portraits of the human caregivers for whom the strays have become their art, their music, nay, their life’s work. Pariah Dog is an assuredly composed ode to the ethical continuity between humans and other species, and an absolute must-see for dog lovers and animal rights activists everywhere. 

Shorts:

Bittu 

India/USA/2020/17mins/Hindi 

World Premiere

Director: Karishma Dev Dube

Producer: Mary Evangelista

Screenwriter: Karishma Dube

Cinematographer: Shreya Dube

Editors: Colin Elliott, Karishma Dube

Cast: Rani Kumari, Renu Kumari, Saurabh Saraswat

Logline: 

When adversity strikes, the future may depend on Bittu, a defiant young girl with a brilliantly foul tongue.

Coffee Shop Names

USA/2020/8mins/English 

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Deepak Sethi 

Producer: Valerie Steinberg

Screenwriter: Deepak Sethi

Cinematographer: Jack McDonald

Editor: Stephanie Kaznocha

Cast: Danny Pudi, Karan Soni, Kausar Mohammed, Anders Holm

Logline: 

As they wait for the barista to call out their coffee drinks, three Indian colleagues fantasize about their alternate personas that inspired their fake Americanized names.

Custody

India/2019/23mins/Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi 

US Premiere

Director: Ambiecka Pandit

Producer: Ambiecka Pandit

Screenwriters: Ambiecka Pandit, Karan Pandit

Cinematographer: Satya Rai Nagpaul 

Editor: Atanu Mukherjee

Cast: Karan Pandit, Trimala Adhikari, Geetika Vidya, Swaroopa Ghosh, Tanaji Dasgupta, Sanghmitra Hitaishi

Logline: 

When carelessness results in tragedy, a group of friends celebrating New Year’s Eve in Mumbai turn on each other.

The Flying Trunk

India/2019/13mins/Pahari 

World Premiere

Director: Siddharth Chauhan 

Producer: Siddharth Chauhan

Screenwriter: Siddharth Chauhan

Cinematographers: Yashwant Kumar Sharma, Siddharth Chauhan

Editors: Kartik Jaryal, Ish Sharma & Siddharth Chauhan

Cast: Arush Thakur, Divya Tegta Saagar, Zunchi Devi, Sheetal Mehta

Logline: 

In a remote Himalayan village, a young orphan boy’s imagination is fueled by his eccentric grandmother’s fantastical tales.

Ghazaal 

India/2019/15mins/Persian 

Director: Ragini Bhasin 

Producer: Kevin Wang

Screenwriter: Ragini Bhasin

Cinematographer: Connor Vickers

Editor: Emma Wang

Cast: Ghazaal Khirandesh, Bilal Khirandesh, Farid Khirandesh

Logline: 

A resourceful teenager living in a refugee camp where basic personal hygiene has become a luxury is on a mission to survive the onset of her menstrual period.

The Loyal Man

France/2019/37mins/Tamil, French 

US Premiere

Director: Lawrence Valin 

Producers: Simon Bleuzé, Marc Bordure 

Screenwriters: Marlene Poste, Lawrence Valin 

Cinematographer: Maxence Lemonnier

Editor: Anais Manuelli

Cast: Lawrence Valin, Aurora Marion, Anthonythasan Jesuthasan

Logline: 

A devoted henchman’s loyalty to Sir, the feared leader of the Parisian Tamil mafia, is shaken when he takes a young immigrant woman under his wing.

Proof (Saboot)

India/2019/20mins/Hindi

Los Angeles Premiere

Director: Nishtha Jain 

Producer: Ritesh Jaltare 

Screenwriter: Nishtha Jain

Cinematographer: Deepti Gupta

Editor: Nishtha Jain

Cast: Ritesh Jaltare, Susmita Sur, Martin Jishil, Nidhi Mishra, Aman Jeet, Rakhi Mansha

Logline: 

A novice gynecologist at a government hospital in Delhi gets a lesson in callous indifference and bureaucracy when a victim of sexual assault arrives for care at his clinic.

The Shower

USA/2019/14mins/English 

World Premiere

Director: Mahesh Pailoor 

Producers: Adil Chamakh, Pia Shah

Screenwriter: Pia Shah

Cinematographer: Taylor Frontier

Editor: Mahesh Pailoor

Cast: Pia Shah, Emily C. Chang, Rupak Ginn

Logline: 

Two worlds collide when Maya’s oldest friend shows up at her baby shower, single and child-free.

The Song We Sang 

India/2020/20mins/English, Hindi 

World Premiere

Director: Aarti Neharsh

Producers: Rahul Tejwani, Chintan Bhatt, Manan Bhatt

Screenwriters: Aarti Neharsh, Chintan Bhatt

Cinematographer: Nishant Gala

Editor: Manan Bhatt

Cast: Serena Walia, Ayushi Gupta

Logline: 

Roaming the streets of Ahmedabad on a festive Navaratri night, two young women may have the chance to fall for each other.

Sunday 

India/2019/10mins/Hindi

North American Premiere

Director: Arun Fulara

Producer: Arun Fulara

Screenwriter: Arun Fulara

Cinematographer: Rangoli Agarwal

Editor: Kaivalya Kayande

Cast: Shrikant Yadav, Prakash Joshi

Logline: 

A middle aged man makes a pilgrimage to his favorite barber shop every Sunday, rain or shine. And it’s not just for a shave.

Uncle

USA/2019/12mins/English

World Premiere

Director: Andrew Carter

Producers: Kahlil Maskati, Andrew Carter, Omar Maskati, Cory Yee, Amy Hartman

Screenwriter: Kahlil Maskati 

Cinematographer: Patrick Ouziel

Editor: Andrew Carter

Cast: Omar Maskati, Ajay Naidu, Rizwan Manji

Logline: 

A father and son’s daily morning commute is the perfect time for some good bickering and their chance for connection.

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