India Kaleidoscope Film Festival – A Feast for Film Lovers

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Lassi with Lavina Guide to Upcoming Events:

India Kaleidoscope Film Festival – A Feast for Film Lovers

Wouldn’t you want to have a seat at the U.S. premiere of The Brawler (Mukkabaaz) by acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap? How about Pahuna, a film produced by actress Priyanka Chopra? Indeed not satisfied with grabbing our attention with everything from ‘Quantico’ to big Bollywood films to Hollywood, the super-star has also turned producer of a Sikkimese film!

You’ll have a chance to see both these remarkable films at the India Kaleidoscope Film Festival which runs from November 9 to 12, 2017 at the Museum of the Moving Image and is co-presented by ,The India Center, a New York based arts organization.
These are just two of the eight movies the film will screen, spanning seven regional languages and new independent cinema. A major plus point is that most of the directors will be attending – and at least half the directors are women. So the discussions promise to be thought-provoking – and lively!

The Opening Night film is Dark Wind (Kadvi Hawa) and with director Nila Madhab Panda in person, followed by a discussion and reception.

This is the North American premiere of the film which is in Hindi with English subtitles. With Sanjay Mishra, Ranvir Shorey, Tillotama Shome. Once famous for their farming, the people of the Mahua region in Rajasthan have forgotten the earthy scent of rainfall on their soil. In crushing debt, and unable to grow food, many farmers commit suicide. Hedu (Sanjay Mishra), the blind father of a farmer, fears his struggling son may do the same.

Gunu Baba (Ranvir Shorey), called the ‘god of death’ by villagers for the suicides attributed to him, arrives to collect bank payments, but is himself worried about the floods and frequent cyclones that threaten his family in the coastal village of Satabhaya, Odisha. Each wanting to save their own family, they decide to help one another. With stark landscapes and moral choices, Dark Wind is a wake-up call for a world suffering with climate change, still unprepared to face the consequences of their actions.”

The IKFF 2017 programming committee includes Priya Giri Desai (The India Center Foundation), Ashok Sinha (The India Center Foundation), Priyadarshini Shanker (NYU Cinema Studies), Anupama Kapse (Loyola Marymount), Tristine Skyler (writer and producer), Ritesh Mehta (Film Independent) and Sudeep Sharma (film programmer); with additional programming support from Uma da Cunha and Christina Marouda (Museum of the Moving Image, IFFLA). This year’s closing night screening will be held at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Theater in Manhattan.

It’s a chance to sit in frenetic New York and encounter the life stories of forgotten communities, of strugglers and people with heart.

 

Director Anurag Kashyap who will be attending the festival

Director Anurag Kashyap who will be attending the festival

Here is a brief glimpse of each film, each a celebration of independent cinema and regional languages.
THE BRAWLER (MUKKABAAZ)
Director: Anurag Kashyap [attending]
Friday, November 10, 2017, 7:30PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
US Premiere

In Hindi, 153 mins, Narrative
Official Selection — Toronto Film Festival, Busan Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival

With Vineet Kumar Singh, Zoya Hussain, Jimmy Shergill. Daring auteur Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Raman Raghav 2.0) adds a wholly original Indian perspective to the rich history of boxing and sport films. Aspiring boxer Shravan (Vineet Kumar Singh) slogs day and night to achieve his dream of being a recognized boxer. Things go awry when he falls in love with a high-caste, mute girl who happens to be the niece of his arch nemesis, the head of the state boxing federation. Shravan soon finds out that in India, boxing is about everything else but the sport, which is heightened by the volatile political climate of Uttar Pradesh.

THE GOLDEN WING (SONAR BARAN PAKHI) 
Director: Bobby Sarma Baruah [attending]
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 2:00PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
New York Premiere

In Rajbangshi, 86 mins, Narrative
Official Selection — Indian Film Festival of LA, Mumbai Film Festival

With Pranami Borah, Arati Barua, Pranjal Saikia. The life, music, and homeland of legendary folk singer Pratima Barua Pandey take center stage in THE GOLDEN WING. Born to royalty and raised in Western Assam, the film opens with young Pandey fascinated with the music and stories of servants and people working in the fields. Despite being dissuaded away from such “vulgar” music, she continues learning and performing the music of her people and sharing it with the world. Bobby Sarma Baruah, with images from the stunning Assamese landscape and original records from Pandey herself, offers a fresh take on the bio pic with an subject that deserves more recognition as an Indian and world artist.

UP DOWN AND SIDEWAYS (Kho ki pa lü)
Directors: Anushka Meenakshi, Iswar Srikumar [attending]
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 4:30PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
North American Premiere

In Chokri, 83 mins, Documentary
Official Selection — Yamagata Documentary Film Festival, Mumbai Film Festival

UP DOWN & SIDEWAYS is a sensory take on the everyday lives of the community of rice cultivators in Phek – a town in Nagaland – and their memories of love and loss created from working together on the fields. On the field, people often come together in farming collectives called müle and work and sing together over many seasons. As the seasons change, so does the music, transforming the mundane into the hypnotic. In the lyrics of their music is reflected the philosophy of Li; the fact that its base polyphonic structure cannot be created with a lone voice. The love that they sing of is a metaphor for the need for the other — the friend, the family, the community — to build a polyphony of voices. An unforgettable sonic and visual journey to a land and people with traditions that have sustain them for generations.

PRAKASAN
Director: Bash Mohammed [attending]
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 7:00PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
International Premiere

In Malayalam, 84 mins, Narrative
Official Selection — Mumbai Film Festival

With Dinesh Prabhakar, Laya Krishna. Deep in the tropical forests of south India, Prakasan (Dinesh Prabhakar) decides to leave his seemingly idyllic life for a government job in the big city. Despite the warnings from friends and family, Prakasan makes the long trek and is immediately shocked by the language and customs of everyone he meets. Still committed to being successful in his new surroundings, he is further tested when he learns his job is to educate sex workers. Director Bash Mohammed’s second feature, PRAKASAN is a wryly funny, touching, and timely story on migration from the village to the city.

 

Paakhi Tyrewala, director of Pahuna which is produced by Priyanka Chopra

Paakhi Tyrewala, director of Pahuna which is produced by Priyanka Chopra

PAHUNA
Director: Paakhi Tyrewala 
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 2:00PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
U.S. Premiere

In Sikkimese, 79 mins, Narrative
Official Selection — Toronto Film Festival

With Ishika Gurung, Anmoul Limboo, Manju KC Nanu. When three young Nepalese children, including a baby brother, are separated from their parents as they flee into Sikkim, they hear tales from other villagers about the supposed evil deeds of the Christian priests that will take them in. Amrita and her brother Pranay decide to go off by themselves in order to survive. In a new land, they survive only on the kindness of the hill people and their resolve to protect each other. A heartwarming and family friendly debut feature from director Paakhi Tyrewala, PAHUNAis produced by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Dr. Madhu Chopra as part of a planned series of films set in India’s cinematically underrepresented areas.

LAST DAYS. LAST SHOT
Director: Sumira Roy [attending]
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 4:30PM
Venue: MoMI Redstone Theater
U.S. Premiere

In Hindi/Bengali/Bhojpuri, 53 mins, Documentary
Official Selection — DOCWOK, Scandinavian Film Festival Helsinki, Film South Asia

Life and death co-exist every day on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi. LAST DAYS. LASTSHOT tells the story of two people living in the ancient city. Vikram takes photos of the dead before their cremations as a last memento for family members. Dada was once a celebrated artist in Tokyo and runs a guesthouse with his Japanese wife. Elegantly told with a lighthearted playfulness, Sumira Roy’s debut documentary shows two contrasting views of life and death.

CYCLE 
Director: Prakash Kunte [attending]
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 7:00PM
Venue: SAG-AFTRA Foundation Theater
International Premiere 

In Marathi, 102 mins, Narrative

With Hrishikesh Joshi, Priyadarshan Jadhav, Bhalachandra Kadam. In rural 1960s Maharashtra, Keshav (Hrishikesh Joshi) is a respected fortune teller with a loving family and one prized possession: a beautiful foreign made bicycle. One night when two bumbling thieves steal his bike, Keshav is crushed and, despite his friends and families best attempts to cheer him up, he feels he has lost a part of himself. Meanwhile, when nearby villagers recognize the bike’s as Keshav, the thieves come up with an elaborate story and struggle to stay one step ahead in their ruse. Featuring gorgeous cinematography and strong performances, CYCLE is a charming and heartwarming tale of the power of goodness.

.Museum of the Moving Image Summer M. Redstone Theater 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, Queens, New York 11106 |  movingimage.us/indiakaleidoscope.

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Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. Twitter@lavinamelwani & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

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