2023 New York Indian Film Festival shows vast breadth and diversity of Indian cinema


The New York Indian Film Festival, a much-anticipated annual event went off successfully over the four-day period May 11-14, 2023.

Organized by the Indo American Arts Council, the festival featured new films, upcoming actors and directors, and included interactive sessions with renowned film makers and actors, among them Sharmila Tagore, and Manoj Bajpayee. Winners were announced at a star studded event at the SVA theater in New York City on Sunday May 14.

Manoj Bajpayee and Sharmila Tagore pose for a photo at the New York Indian Film Festival which ran from May 11-14. PHOTO: Praveen Prasanthan
Director of the New York Indian Film Festival Aseem Chhabra, speaking to Parikh Worldwide Media/ITV Gold at the NYIFF which ran from May 11-14, 2023. PHOTO: Praveen Prasanthan

Tagore and Bajpayee were the highlights on May 12, when there was a special screening of Rahul Chittella’s critically acclaimed film Gulmohar, followed by a Q & A moderated by NYIFF Director Aseem Chhabra.

This year’s NYIFF featured 35 films ranging from full length features to documentaries, and including world premieres of two movies.

On the evening of May 14, director Avinash Arun of ‘Pataal Lok’ fame captured top honors for his film winning the Best Director award and Best Actor and Best Actress awards for the leads Jaideep Ahlawat and Shefali Shah.

The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), North America’s oldest of its kind, which features cinema from India and the Indian Diaspora, announced the winners at a film screening and awards ceremony at the SVA theatre in New York City, May 14.

“On behalf of the entire board, I applaud all the winners and nominees. We are proud to continue our tradition of supporting and recognizing this stellar talent and bringing these acclaimed works to a new audience,” Dr. Nirmal Mattoo, Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) Chairman, is quoted saying in the press release. “This year, our aim was to reinforce the impact of Indian cinema on the global platform by bringing authentic storytelling reflecting the Indian experience.,” he added.

“I am delighted to announce that this year’s event has been very successful. A number of our screenings where completely sold out in our biggest theaters offering audiences a memorable experience. Not only did they get the opportunity to mingle with renowned celebrities such as Manoj and Sharmila, but they also engaged with numerous talented young filmmakers,” Festival Director of NYIFF 2023 Aseem Chhabra, said, adding, “It is with immense joy that we acknowledge an important milestone when a Malayalam film received the prestigious Best Film award at NYIFF. The selections made by our esteemed jury truly reflect the vast breadth and diversity of Indian cinema.”

“Tonight’s closing event was truly a testament to the New York community gathering together to celebrate Indian cinema and its global impact. It was heartening to see the overwhelming response,” added Suman Gollamudi, IAAC executive director. “It was personally a poignant and special moment to show a story centered around the relationship between a mother and her daughter on Mother’s Day,” she said referring to ‘Gulmohar.’

Team of film Gulmohar with Sharmila Tagore at center. PHOTO: Praveen Prasanthan

The 23rd Annual NYIFF Award Winners
The winners of each category are as follows.

Best Film: Saudi Vellakka

Best Director: Avinash Arun Dhaware (Three of Us)

Best Actress: Shefali Shah (Three of Us)

Best Actor: Jaideep Ahlawat (Three of Us)

Best Screenplay: Follower

Best Documentary by a Woman Filmmaker awarded by NYWFT Leslie Shampaine – “CALL ME DANCER”

Best Documentary (Short & Feature): To Kill a Tiger

Best Short (Narrative): Birha

Organizers and guests at the NYIFF which was held from May 11-14, 2023. PHOTO: NYIFF

From Left to Right: New York Indian Film Festival Curators Lakshmi Ramanathan and Consul General Randhir Jaiswal. PHOTO: NYIFF
From Left to Right:  Film Director Avinash Arun Dhaware and Actor Swanand Kirkire PHOTO: NYIFF
Padma Shri recipient and Chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, left, speaking about the New York Indian Film Festival, May 12, 2023. With him is Dinesh Khosla, executive director, SDK Foundation for Human Dignity | Founding Member & Professor Emeritus, CUNY School of Law. PHOTO: ITV Gold









From Left to Right: Film Director Avinash Arun Dhaware and Actor Swanand Kirkire at 2023 NYIFF, held May 11-14, 2023. PHOTO: NYIFF
From Left to Right: Director Harshad Nalawade, NYIFF Festival Director Aseem Chhabra,IAAC Executive Director Suman Gollamudi and SVP, Ravi Aurora, Mastercard, at the NYIFF event held May 11-14, 2023. PHOTO: NYIFF
Producer and Artist Manish Chauhan at the New York Indian Film Festival held May 11-14, 2023. PHOTO: NYIFF


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