Beyond Bollywood: LA Indian Fest

More than 30 features, documentaries, and shorts will screen during the 3rd edition of the fledgling Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

The program promises to provide ample demonstration that there is life beyond the elaborate Bollywood productions that dominate the public’s perception of the Indian film industry. Q&A sessions are scheduled following many of the films with the directors present.

Black - Image courtesy of Indian Film Festival of Los AngelesOpening Night Gala tonight is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s BLACK, “a cathartic tale of a deaf, mute and blind girl, and her teacher who brings a ray of light into her world.”

Thursday’s program begins in the late afternoon with A BREATH and is followed by the documentary program WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THESE? and LITIGATING DISASTER, and finishes with the US Premiere of EMPTY CANVAS.

Friday gets underway with a repeat showing of EMPTY CANVAS, BLACK FRIDAY (“the first feature to address the serial bombings that rocked Mumbai over a decade ago”), and THE JOURNEY, an earnest but plodding lesbian drama that’s won several awards.

Saturday has a children’s program beginning at noon, and shorts take center stage in the afternoon. And then a flock of films explode in the late afternoon and evening, and you’ll have to check out the site to make your pick.

The festival closes Sunday evening, April 24, with a gala screening of HARI OM, in which “an autorickshaw driver and a French tourist set out on a cross-cultural journey through Rajasthan as he eludes gangsters and she attempts to catch a glimpse of the ‘real’ India.”

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