New York Indian Film Festival moved to May

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Saturday, January 22, 2011

WASHINGTON - The oldest and most prestigious film festival for Indian cinema in North America has been renamed “The New York Indian Film Festival” and pushed up from November to May 4-8, the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) announced.

Aseem Chhabra, noted film writer and long-time IAAC Film Festival selection committee member, has been named Film Festival Director for the signature event of the year, the 11th Annual IAAC Film Festival.

The New York Indian Film Festival continues its tradition of launching at the world-famous Paris Theatre in Manhattan with its star-studded Opening Night red carpet premiere which will take place on May 4 followed by a gala benefit dinner at the opulent Jumeirah Essex House.

Film festival screenings will take place from May 5 through May 8 at Tribeca Cinemas with the Closing Night selection to screen at Asia Society followed by the annual awards ceremony and afterparty.

Opening and Closing Night film selections will be announced soon. In addition, the festival will also host an exclusive celebrity-filled celebration honouring the 150th anniversary of the birth of India”s legendary Nobel Prize-winning artist and poet Rabindranath Tagore at Asia Society on May 8.

The IAAC has announced a call for submissions with a deadline of Feb 20.

Filmmakers can find details on the organization”s web site:

“We start 2011 with a whole new energy for our annual IAAC Film Festival - a new name, a new Film Festival Director and a move to Spring,” says IAAC Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani.

“I am really excited about these changes and look forward to presenting New York with a fresh and exciting selection of films this year,” adds Chhabra.

Created in 2001 in the wake of the Sep 11, 2001 attacks on New York City, the film festival was started to create a better understanding of the people and stories from the Indian subcontinent by bringing the most acclaimed feature films, shorts, and documentaries from that region and its Diaspora to America”s biggest and most remarkable city.

Mira Nair’s “Monsoon Wedding” closed that year’s festival ahead of its worldwide theatrical release and was joined over the years by numerous films such as Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-nominated “Water”, Nair’s “The Namesake”, the Academy Award-winning “Born Into Brothels” as well as the New York Premiere of Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” which won eight Oscars.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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