The oldest running festival
of Indian films in the US
goes beyond Bollywood,
reports Arthur J Pais
Acontemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is among the many beguiling films — some making their world premiere — at the New York Indian Film Festival May 4 to 8. 10ml Love, featuring
known Indian character artists Rajat Kapoor, Tisca Chopra,
Purab Kohli, Tara Sharma, Koel Purie, Neel Bhoopalam and
Manu Rishi, is directed by Sharat Katariya, a new name.
But the festival in its 11th year — previously known as the
Mahindra Indo American Arts Council Film Festival — also
has films by veterans like Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh.
‘One wedding, three couples, a whole lot of love, lust and
desire make for a heady mix,’ Katariya notes about his film,
‘but add to that a dash of magic potion and an enthralling
rendition of the Ramlila and you have a revelation on your
The festival, says founder Aroon Shivdasani, “is a once-a-
year opportunity to experience the rich and diverse film
cultures of the Indian subcontinent through a mix of film
screenings, discussions, industry panels, nightly parties, an
awards ceremony, and gala red carpet events.”
Frequent India Abroad contributor Aseem Chhabra is the
festival director this year.
In the Malayalam film TD Dasan Std VI B, Dasan gets his
dad’s address from his mother’s old suitcase and writes him
a letter. But the father, who left the family years ago, has
moved out. The letter reaches Nandakumar Poduval, an
advertising filmmaker who lives
with his 13-year-old daughter
Ammu in Bengaluru.
Do Dooni Chaar
Do Dooni Chaar,amovieportrait of a middle-class family of endearing characters, disappeared fast following its October
release. But the low-budget film,
directed by Habib Faisal and starring
Rishi and Neetu Singh Kapoor, generally got upbeat reviews, and has
become a kind of cult movie. The first
live action film from the Walt Disney
Company India, it is the New York
Indian Film Festival’s inaugural film.
Santosh Duggal, a schoolteacher in
Delhi, cannot afford a fancy life but his
family is a contended one. Enter
Phupho, Duggal’s ‘little’ sister from
Meerut. She invites them to a wedding
at her in-laws, and gives them an ulti-
matum: They have to come by a car.
The Duggals don’t own one. Phupho’s
solution? Buy one!