Exciting South Asian Lineup at Indian Film Festival Los Angeles
The 2022 Indian Film Festival Los Angeles (IFFLA), which is due to be held from April 28 to May 1, has announced its official lineup of selections. The 20th annual edition of the internationally acclaimed film festival, which this year returns to in-person screenings and events, will showcase 26 films (10 feature films and 16 short films).
Beloved IFFLA Alum Pan Nalin’s “Last Film Show”, a celebration of the love of cinema through the story of a boy who aims to open a theater with his friends, will have a presentation gala this year. The film debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in addition to traveling to film festivals around the world.
However, the highlight of this year’s IFFLA is the introduction of ‘Spotlight on South Asia’, which aims to showcase groundbreaking new work from the South Asian subcontinent and its diasporas.
The section will be opened by the psychological thriller “Rehana” by Abdullah Mohammad Saad (Rehana Maryam Noor). The film revolves around a professor and a single mother who struggles to bring justice to a male colleague accused of sexually assaulting a student. “Rehana” was the first Bangladeshi film to compete in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
“It all started with the image of a stubborn woman,” Saad told DH. “I do not intend to make a statement. My only intention is to investigate the complexity of human nature and try to understand and capture it as much as possible. I hope Rehana will raise questions. questions that will encourage our audience to think and feel something.”
IFFLA would also have a short film program with works by top emerging authors from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
“IFFLA’s legacy has been to discover and nurture emerging talent of South Asian descent,” IFFLA Executive Director Christina Marouda told DH. “Our goal is to support and elevate these exciting, underrepresented voices who have already proven their talent with at least one successful project and help them take their storytelling careers to the next level.”
Saad, too, is thrilled that South Asian filmmakers are finally getting their due on the world stage.
“The Bhutanese film ‘Lunana’ (2019) is the best example of this,” he said. “The Oscar nomination for the film speaks volumes about the genuine and passionate effort of South Asian filmmakers who continue to make films despite so many obstacles.”
Meanwhile, Anmol Sidhu’s ‘Jaggi’, a story about a schoolboy in rural Punjab who faces toxic masculinity and sexual abuse when his high school peers consider him gay, is set to have a world premiere at IFFLA 2022.
Faraz Ali’s “Shoebox” and Natesh Hegde’s “Pedro” will have their North American premieres. “Shoebox” is a coming-of-age story about a young woman and her father’s struggle to keep the family’s one-screen movie theater running. Pedro revolves around a taciturn electrician shunned by society after being involved in a drunken incident.
The main program of shorts features 11 exceptional voices – including eight women – telling remarkable stories in a range of genres and formats, including queer dramas, pandemic and futuristic satires, psychological horror, experimental documentaries and hybrids as diasporic comedies.
Of these four world premieres, they are expected to make waves, including Megha Ramaswamy’s “Lalanna’s Song”, co-produced by Guneet Monga, Ambiecka Pandit’s coming-of-age drama “Under the Water “, produced by Vikramaditya Motwane, “Adventures of Faisal Rehman” by Mir Ijlal Shaani; and the documentary “Holy Cowboys” by Varun Chopra.
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