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  • Carrie Specht

17th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Announces 2019 Lineup


17th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced its 2019 lineup including, narrative and documentary features, shorts, the opening night gala event, and the opening night tribute to the iconic Indian actress, Tabu (Life of Pi, Haider). Widely recognized as the premiere global showcase for groundbreaking Indian cinema, IFFLA will take place April 11-14 at Regal L.A. LIVE. Opening and Closing Gala presentations will take place at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills with dinner receptions to follow, hosted by Indian restaurant Spice Affair.

The opening tribute to Tabu includes a moderated discussion, and is paired with a screening of her latest film Andhadhun (directed by IFFLA alum Sriram Raghavan). Known to millions of fans worldwide for her intense, masterful performances, Tabu is regarded as one of the most talented Indian actors of her generation, having been honored with two National Film Awards, six Filmfare Awards and notably, the Padma Shri from the Government of India in 2011. Her strong individuality and unwillingness to compromise set apart her persona (and the characters she portrays) beloved by Indian audiences around the world. Tabu has primarily acted in Hindi films, but has also worked extensively in the South Indian film industry and internationally as well, by doing films in English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali.

“We have discussed honoring Tabu for a long time, and this year felt like the right time,” said Christina Marouda, IFFLA’s Executive Director. “ Her work and personality embody everything that IFFLA is about -- being fearless, versatile, independent in spirit, unwilling to compromise, brilliant in the range of her performances, and simply beautiful. With half of the festival’s 2019 line-up directed by female filmmakers, this couldn’t be a stronger celebration of women in Indian cinema.”

The film Andhadhun sees Tabu taking on the comedic villainess role of Simi, a desperate actress who (in a somewhat "American-ish" situational comedy style), is caught disposing of her husband’s body in front of a presumably blind pianist Akash (Ayushmann Khurrana). The story follows Simi, Akash, and his suspicious girlfriend (Radhika Apte) in a wicked story of ambition, romance and organ harvesting. Directed by Sriram Raghavan whose film, Johnny Gaddaar played at IFFLA in 2008.

IFFLA 2019 will also feature three world premieres, two North American premieres, two U.S. premieres, and 11 Los Angeles premiere screenings. The impressive lineup represents 9 languages, and includes a diverse collection of female and first-time filmmakers along with festival alumni returning with their latest projects.

“We’re incredibly proud of the intelligent, crowd-pleasing and adventurous films in this year’s lineup. Two of the themes that really stand out amongst all those that we’re seeing this year are intergenerational stories and stories that dive into political conflict,” said Dougherty. “With both there's an interesting conversation to be had on how filmmakers are examining the changing world, and how that world is moving towards a bold new future. I’m excited to explore these themes further with our filmmakers and audience members.”

Additional highlights from this year’s lineup include a trio of Sundance and Slamdance favorites, director Ronny Sen’s unforgettable feature debut, and the exhilarating and imaginative real-life journey from theatre-turned-film director Anamika Haksar. Other highlights include a family drama directed by UCLA alum Ronak Shah, a the heartwarming family film directed by Safdar Rahman and starring Sunny Pawar. Additional lineup details, including the Closing Gala and television panel participants are available online at indianfilmfestival.org. Use the link to explore the range of Indian cinema available today, and expand your cultural horizons by going to the movies.

Passes and Opening Gala tickets are now on sale. Individual tickets will go on sale on March 6. For more information please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@iffla).

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