The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), which turns 14 this year, will take place from April 6-10, 2016 at ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.
Since its inception in 2003, IFFLA has spotted numerous talented indie filmmakers through their critically acclaimed films much before the rest of the world discovered them. Many of the filmmakers who have showcased their films at IFFLA in the early stage of their career, have gone on to make it big in the industry.
Notable such films showcased at IFFLA include Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Black Friday’,Nishikant Kamat’s ‘Dombivli Fast’, Vishal Bahradwaj’s ‘Maqbool’, and several career-defining short films including Ritesh Batra’s ‘Gareeb Nawaz’s Taxi’, Raam Reddy’s ‘Ika’, Neeraj Ghaywan’s ‘Shor’, Umesh Kulkarni’s ‘Girni’,and Shlok Sharma’s ‘Tubelight Ka Chand’ to name a few.
Other program highlights include Nagraj Manjule’s ‘Fandry’, Bikas Mishra’s ‘Chauranga’, Avinash Arun’s ‘Killa’, Anand Gandhi’s ‘Ship of Theseus’, Richie Mehta’s ‘Siddharth’, Pan Nalin’s ‘Ayurveda: Art Of Being Valley of Flowers and Faith Connections’, Shashanka Ghosh’s ‘Quick Gun Murugun’, and Nagesh Kukunoor’s ‘Teen Deewarein’ and ‘Dhanak’.
Noted artists like Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Ismail Merchant, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Anil Kapoor, Abhay Deol, and several other luminaries have graced the festival over the years.
This year, the festival will screen approximately 30 films from or about India (features, documentaries and shorts including animation). The full line-up of films along with the opening and closing red carpet galas will be announced by the first week of March.
IFFLA,which is the first Indian Film Festival in the world to put independent Indian cinema on the spotlight, bridges the gap between Hollywood and the Indian entertainment industry.
One of the major highlights of the five-day festival is its venue, ArcLight Cinemas strategically located in the heart of Hollywood. The festival takes advantage of its proximity to the entertainment industry by hosting its popular among filmmakers One-on-One program inviting agents, managers, producers, distributors, and exhibitors to have private meetings with the festival’s filmmakers.
Another unique opportunity of direct access to the Hollywood industry is IFFLA’s partnership with HBO that hosts a filmmaker luncheon during the festival, connecting the creative, talent development, and production executives with the festival’s filmmakers.
Indie Filmmakers share their experiences of the festival:
Anurag Kashyap – “Being in IFFLA made a huge difference to me, probably the biggest so far in my life, winning an award in IFFLA and the reviews we got and getting the film noticed helped me a lot gain credibility back home in India. IFFLA gave me a new lease of life. It has brought a lot of attention to India. I see it growing from strength to strength because of their selection of the films. You can judge the best Indian films that are coming out this year by the films that are selected for IFFLA, that’s a great barometer for our cinema. The way they go about selecting films is amazing.”
Sriram Raghavan – “IFFLA makes sure that days are packed, you watch movies, then there are programs, there are a lot of interactions with all kind of professionals from the field. This facilitates a lot of filmmakers like me, like ‘Johnny Gaddaar’ was a small film but I got to meet a lot of people from various American companies. It’s a wonderful week you spend there; you come back with whole lot treasure of memories with people you know and things that have happened.”
Neeraj Ghaywan – “IFFLA is a very dear festival to me. This is where my first short film (Shor) played and won the best short film. I will never forget the warmth and camaraderie I experienced here. I watched some lovely Indian films and had great interactions with cinephiles. IFFLA is truly one of the best Indian film festivals in the world.”
Nandita Das – “I first went to IFFLA with ‘Provoked’. But my real experience with IFFLA was when I went for ‘Firaaq’, Every time it’s a new audience. The festival has a very interesting mix crowd of Indian diaspora but also lot of mainstream Americans, people who are interested in Independent films. It’s a very casual, intimate, yet a fast growing festival. It’s one of those Festivals that you remember as a lovely memory; it’s Indian yet a global fest.”
Sudhir Mishra – “I think IFFLA definitely adds to the perception when an Indian film is shown there because a kind of audience sees it, is film educated, film savvy and has been exposed to all sorts of films. Every filmmaker wants to reach out to that kind of audience. IFFLA definitely provides a big service to the cause of Indian cinema.”