By B B Nagpal
In perhaps the largest festival of Indian films overseas since the world was hit by COVID 19, as many as sixteen features and 29 shorts are being screened at the New York Indian Film Festival.
The sixteen features include narrative and documentary films. The festival will continue till 9 August. The Virtual festival has been powered by Movie Saints, an Online Box Office for Curated Independent Films. While the Festival is held every year in the American metropolis, it is being done as a Virtual Edition in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Festival also features three discussions: Remembering Irrfan Khan in a conversation between director Mira Nair and actor Karl Penn about the making of the film ‘The Namesake’ in 2006 moderated by Aseem Chabra; NYIFF Best Actor Manoj Bajpai in a conversation with Aseem Chabra; and a discussion on one year of the film ‘Article 15’ with director Anubhav Sinha with actors Sayaani Gupta, Manoj Pahwa, Zeehan Ayub, and Kumud Mishra and moderated by Satish Kalluri.
The feature-length films in Hindi are: ‘Kastoori (The Musk)’, and ‘Aani Maani’. The others are ‘Run Kalyani’ (Malayalam), ‘Nimtoh’ (invitation) (Nepali), ‘Ahaa Re’ (The two lovers)’ (Bengali), and ‘Knock, Knock, Knock’ (English, Hindi).
The documentaries are ‘Aunty Sudha, Aunty Radha’ and ‘This Freedom Life’ (Yeh Freedom Hai’, both in Hindi. In Queer Retrospectives, the shorts are ‘Wig’ (Hindi), ‘Silence in the wind’ (Assamese) and two films in English and Hindi: ‘Halwa’ and ‘Saving Chintu’.
In Connections Explored, the shorts are ‘Arabian Nights’ (Marathi), ‘Baaje’ (Grandfather) (Bepali), ‘Cul-de-sac’ and ‘Uncle’ in English, three Hindi films: Bhau’ (Brother), ‘Exodus and Exile’ (The Ned Hope Prevails), and ‘Level 13’, and three films in Hindi and English: Take 2’, ‘What did you think’ and ‘Nawab’.
The section Social Ideas and Solutions has: ‘Flying Wagon’ (Cheel Gaadi) and ‘Comedy’ in Hindi; ‘Five Pebbles’ (Panchike) in Gujarati. ‘Hawah’ in Braj and Hindi, ‘Vijay Bond’ (Struggle of an actor) in Malayalam, ‘Sekool’ in Ladakhi, English and Hindi; Bengali films ‘Moonlight Dreams’ and ‘Krantodorshi’ (Foresighted) and silent film ‘Missing’.
The short documentaries are: ‘Darshan – the Living Art of India’ in Hindi, English, and Bengali; ‘Gladiators on Wheels’ in Hindi; ‘In thunder lightning and rain’ (Malayalam), ‘Utran conversations’ in English and Hindi’, ‘Urmila Artist Mithila Artist’ in Maithili and English; and ‘Niru’s News’ and ‘Tailing Pond’ in English.