The 13th annual Indian Film Festival of LA


The 13th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) returns to ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles, the festival’s home since its inception. IFFLA is widely recognized as the premiere showcase for groundbreaking Indian cinema globally.

Celebrating its 13th year, the fest opens on April 8 with Red Carpet Gala and the world premiere of HARAAMKHOR, written and directed by Shlok Sharma and starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Nagesh Kukunoor’s award-winning DHANAK (RAINBOW) will close the festival with its US premiere. Sharma and Kukunoor will be in attendance along with the star and producer of HARAAMKHOR – Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Guneet Monga.

Nagesh Kukunoor’s award-winning DHANAK (RAINBOW) will close the festival with its US premiere. Sharma and Kukunoor will be in attendance along with the star and producer of HARAAMKHOR – Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Guneet Monga  The festival is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema.

Shlok Sharma’s riveting feature debut, HARAAMKHOR, is produced by India’s most prominent producers, Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Ugly, Bombay Velvet) and Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox, Gangs of Wasseypur). Monga was honored at IFFLA in 2013 with the Industry Leadership Award. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur, The Lunchbox, Miss Lovely) in a masterful performance as a teacher having an illicit affair with one of his students, HARAAMKHOR, explores innocent young love that is put on a collision course with the messy reality of budding adulthood.

“We’re thrilled to kick off our 13th edition with the world premiere of HARAAMKHOR. Shlok’s film resonates to something we all can understand- the beautiful complications of youth. It invigorates us to have a filmmaker return to IFFLA, and especially so when their first feature is as powerful as this,” said IFFLA’s Artistic Director, Jasmine Jaisinghani.

Fresh from his award-winning premiere at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, Nagesh Kukunoor arrives at IFFLA with DHANAK. The gorgeous tale of a brother and sister who embark on a journey across Rajasthan in an attempt to meet the great Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, DHANAK is filled with color, magic and music in a celebration of childhood and family.

“I have been a longtime fan of Nagesh’s work and look forward to welcoming him back to IFFLA,” said festival Founder/Chair Christina Marouda. “DHANAK is a stunning film – infectious in its joyous spirit and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us. We can’t wait to share it with the IFFLA audiences, who I know will be just as charmed as we were.”

For both filmmakers, their screenings at IFFLA will be a homecoming. Shlok has had two short films in the festival, one of which – TUBELIGHT’S MOON (KA CHAND) – won the Audience Award in 2011. Nagesh Kukunoor’s 3 DEEWAREIN (3 WALLS) played at the inaugural year of the festival in 2003.

Nirvana-Bombay Palace will host the Opening and Closing Night Gala receptions in Beverly Hills. Tickets to the galas are now available on

IFFLA 2015 presents 25 films, including four world premieres, seven North American premieres, two U.S. premieres, and 10 Los Angeles premieres. The films hail from six different countries, including India, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Cuba, in 10 different languages, from Hindi and Tamil to English, Spanish, and German.

Highlights include: the centerpiece and world premiere screening of ONE CRAZY THING, directed by IFFLA alum Amit Gupta (JADOO) and featuring BAFTA ‘Breakthrough Brit’ winner Ray Panthaki and Daisy Bevan (THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY) in a comedic story about a man who meets the girl of his dreams, but struggles to find a way to tell her how he became an internet sensation and the Los Angeles premiere of Academy Award-winner Danis Tanović’s latest feature film TIGERS, starring Bollywood heartthrob Emraan Hashmi in a political thriller based on the true story of a salesman who took on a multinational pharmaceutical corporation guilty of marketing a baby formula that caused hundreds of infant deaths.

Additional highlights include: JAI HO, a documentary feature on one of the most prolific composers in the world, A.R. Rahman directed by Umesh Aggarwal; Following a world premiere at Cannes in 2014, Kanu Behl’s TITLI is shot on Super 16 and stars gifted newcomer, Shashank Arora, in a coming of age story set against Dehli’s dark side where perpetual cruelty and violence prevail; and MISS INDIA AMERICA, directed by IFFLA alum Ravi Kapoor and starring Tiya Sircar (THE INTERNSHIP) and Hannah Simone (New Girl), is the story of a woman’s plan to win the crown after her boyfriend runs off with the former Miss India America.

The 2015 lineup also includes titles from the diverse regional language cinemas of India. Along with Bengali and Malayalam films, IFFLA will screen two Marathi language features, including the North American Premiere of ELIZABETH EKADASHI. Tamil language titles include the documentary AMMA AND APPA about a filmmaking South Indian/German couple and their parents, and the U.S. premiere of the delightful THE CROW’S EGG, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Produced by famed South Indian actor Dhanush (best known for the popular song “Why This Kolaveri Di” from the film 3), THE CROW’S EGG follows two young boys in a slum who try to get their first bite of pizza after seeing it in an ad.

“Many of the films at this year’s IFFLA look at contemporary youth from diverse backgrounds, united in their creative ways of overcoming life’s situations. The palpable energy of youth spirit runs throughout our film lineup, and these stories take you on an adventurous journey,” said Jasmine Jaisinghani, IFFLA’s Artistic Director. “I believe our audiences will engage with these riveting characters and be fully entertained.”

A special inclusion for IFFLA 2015 is a Secret Screening for passholders only, offering a first look at a film that has become a sensation in festivals around the world, winning numerous awards. The film is slated to release later this year. Directed by one of the most exciting auteurs in contemporary Indian cinema, and featuring a powerhouse performance by one of India’s brightest young stars, this is a film IFFLA passholders won’t want to miss!

The festival’s popular “Bollywood by Night” series returns this year with an exciting screening of Bollywood smash TAAL. Directed by Subhash Ghai and featuring Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and Akshaye Khanna. Originally released in 1999 to worldwide acclaim, TAAL features iconic music composed by A.R. Rahman and is considered one of the best soundtracks in Bollywood history.

The shorts competition showcases an eclectic selection of 10 films including narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated works. Highlights of this year’s program include: acclaimed director Gitanjali Rao’s TRUELOVESTORY, a stunning animated film that made its premiere at the Critics’ Week section of Cannes; Jayisha Patel’s multiple award-winning documentary A PARADISE (UN PARAISO); and the U.S. premiere of three of India’s National Award winners, Pranjal Dua’s FLY, BIRD (CHIDIYA UDH), Christo Tomy’s VIRGIN (KANYAKA), and Ruchir Arun’s MANDRAKE! MANDRAKE!.

In addition, screening with JAI HO will be Satyajit Ray’s TWO, a spellbinding and deeply affecting short film by India’s master storyteller, which has been beautifully preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

Attending the festival this year to present their films will be a host of celebrated filmmakers, including Nagesh Kukunoor (DHANAK), Kanu Behl (TITLI), Amit Gupta (ONE CRAZY THING), Ravi Kapoor (MISS INDIA AMERICA, Paresh Mokashi (ELIZABETH EKADASHI), Bikas Mishra (FOUR COLORS), Shlok Sharma and award-winning producer Guneet Monga (HARAAMKHOR).

IFFLA will also host a number of the films’ stars, including: Ray Panthaki and Daisy Bevan from ONE CRAZY THING; critically-acclaimed Nawazuddin Siddiqui for HARAAMKHOR; and MISS INDIA AMERICA’s Hannah Simone (New Girl), Tiya Sircar (THE INTERNSHIP), and Meera Simhan (Anger Management) who is also the film’s co-writer.

The 2015 narrative film jurors are: director Sean Baker (STARLET, TANGERINE); actor/producer Abhay Deol (ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, DEV. D, and ROAD MOVIE); long time member and frequent board director of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Yoram Kahana; Executive Vice President of Physical Production for Warner Bros. Pictures, Ravi Mehta; and author and film curator, Berenice Reynaud (Nouvelles Chines, A City of Sadness).

The short film jury includes: star of NBC’s hit show “Community” Danny Pudi; producer and Outfest Director of Programming, Lucy Mukerjee-Brown; Shorts Programmer at Sundance Film Festival, Lisa Ogdie; and Heather Morris Washington, Manager of the Emerging Writers Fellowship at Universal Pictures.

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, honoring entertainment industry business executives, 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. The festival will showcase more than 30 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony. This year will feature again the wildly popular “Bollywood by Night” series, live music, and dance performances.

About ArcLight Cinemas ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington. ArcLight Cinemas operates five theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo and La Jolla, and one theater in Bethesda, Md., with additional theaters under construction in Chicago and Santa Monica, California, slated for a 2015 opening. ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood. Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA.

The 13th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) runs April 8-12 at ArcLight Hollywood, located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd between Vine and Ivar. Festival Passes and Gala tickets are now on sale at Individual screening tickets go on sale March 20.

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About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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