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Quendrith Johnson is filmfestivals.com Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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IFFLA Offers a New Virtual Showcase: 17 Days & 17 Years Indian Cinema 6/19 to 7/5

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Hollywood makes a shorthand distinction between Westerns and Bollywood with "dots or feathers," and while in this woke climate that phrase may die out, there is no doubt what a powerhouse India is in terms of filmmaking. Whether you call it the cinema of Bollywood, or the artistic treasures from the second most populous country on earth, Indian output in the undustry far outstrips all others. That said, here is a chance to really enjoy and admire 17 years of Indian Cinema from June 19 through July 5.

Los Angeles, CA: The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) – the premiere venue for the best annual showcase of independent cinema from India and its Diaspora – announced today a special virtual showcase, the first of its kind, IFFLA Over the Years17 days celebrating 17 years of Indian cinema. Accessible via the IFFLA website (www.indianfilmfestival.org) beginning on June 19 through July 5, 2020, this virtual showcase of over 120 narrative features, documentaries, and short films by festival alumni will be available online either freely or via popular streaming services. Many of these fascinating films have never seen a general release in the U.S.

IFFLA Over the Years is the festival’s response to the ongoing uncertainty in the film festival world. To that end, the previously announced 2020 lineup will be moved to 2021 so that filmmakers and audiences can join together and share the festival experience in person.

“We are beyond thrilled to be presenting this online showcase of alumni films,” said Christina Marouda, IFFLA’s founder. “Traveling through 17 years of programming has allowed us to reconnect with so many of our alumni with whom we share fond memories. We are excited for this opportunity to collaborate with them to offer new audiences worldwide the chance to discover some of the most visionary voices of Indian independent cinema in recent years. We also hope recent IFFLA attendees have a chance to catch up with films from our first decade, and early attendees who could not join us in recent years are able to discover some of the newer gems we’ve presented. There is literally a film for everyone’s appetite.”

IFFLA Over the Years is curated into 12 categories highlighting the diverse viewing experiences available to audiences. Humor Me Now contains lighthearted, comedic stories such as the late Manish Acharya’s Loins of Punjab, while Grit and Thrills focuses on darker themes in films like Anurag Kashyap's career-defining Gangs of Wasseypur, and Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped.

A Female Lens features films made by and/or centering on women such as Karishma Dev Dube’s Devi (Goddess), starring Priyanka Bose (Lion); “This Is Not Fiction presents award-winning documentaries including Faiza Ahmad Khan's hilarious Supermen of MalegaonStories of Youth” highlights children and adolescence in films such as Rima Das’ festival favorite Village Rockstars, which was India’s Oscar entry for 2019, and Shubhashish Bhutiani's Oscar-shortlisted short film Kush. “Diaspora Windows” shares stories of Indian characters living outside of India with highlights including Lena Khan’s The Tiger Hunter and Ruthy Pribar’s The Caregiver

Over 70 short films are included in “Keeping it Short” with Neha RT's uproarious satire The Shaila(s) and Jennifer Rosen's piercing Laksh, making their online premiere with this virtual showcase.

Finally, Richie Mehta's India In A Day, Shonali Bose's Amu, Devashish Makhija's Taandav, Tanuj Chopra’s Pia, and Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s The Hour of Lynching are new additions to IFFLA’s programming by alumni.

IFFLA thanks all the 2020 sponsors for their commitment and invaluable contribution. IFFLA Over the Years is made possible in part by the generous support of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and the LA Arts COVID Relief Fund initiated by the J. Paul Getty Trust Foundation and administered by the California Community Foundation.

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Learn More 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.

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