The New York Indian Film Festival kicks off June 4-13 with 58 screenings and interactive discussions. Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council and powered by MovieSaints, NYIFF celebrates the 21st year of independent, art house, alternate cinema from India and brings this rich collection of films to audiences in the U.S. and North America. Some films will also stream globally. Also, 24-hour online support will be provided by MovieSaints to ensure audiences across three continents have a seamless experience throughout the duration of the festival.
“Last year, we had to reimagine the film festival in a virtual format, and it involved pivoting to an online platform. We emerged stronger with a larger footprint as global audiences engaged with the films,” said Suman Gollamudi, IAAC executive director. “This year, with the pandemic creating even more distress, we feel a greater responsibility to provide filmmakers an outlet to showcase their work. Plus, offer audiences hope through cinematic stories that give meaning, form and shape to lift our emotions.”
Presented virtually for the second year in a row, the festival will feature 58 screenings (23 narrative features, 8 documentary features and 27 short films). The lineup will include worldwide, globally outside of India, the U.S. and NY premieres. Screenings will be followed by post-screening discussions with the filmmakers and acclaimed and celebrated personalities from the film industry.
“We aimed to truly underscore the NYIFF commitment to diversity and cultural representation in film,” said Aseem Chhabra, NYIFF festival director. “This year, we will feature films in 15 languages spoken in India: Assamese, Bengali, English, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. All films will have English subtitles.”
“NYIFF’s mission is to provide filmmakers, actors and industry professionals a platform to showcase their work, as well as foster an environment where filmmakers exchange ideas and interact with discerning and diverse audiences, journalists and aficionados,” Chhabra added.
Films screened at NYIFF 2020 went on to win six National Awards, the most prominent film awards ceremony in India.
Many of the films being shown at the festival have won accolades at leading international film festivals. Nasir won the NETPAC Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and Sthalpuran won the Young Cinema Award at the Asian Pacific Screen Awards. Apart from these, we are proud to present to our audience, films that have played at Berlinale, Sundance Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and Rotterdam International Film Festival, among others.
“For the first time, the 2021 lineup truly reflects the incredible diversity of Indian cinematic creativity,” said Dr. Nirmal Mattoo, chairman IAAC. “This standout collection of films introduces new voices, fresh perspectives and original storytelling, which enhances the NYIFF curatorial legacy of spotlighting movies that go on to receive critical global acclaim.”
“In addition, we will be unveiling a newly designed award in 2021,” continued Mattoo. “Conceived and created by IAAC Board Member and sculptor, Raj Shahani, this iconic award will epitomize the excellence that NYIFF seeks to foster with its annual awards presentation.”