New York Indian Film Festival unveils 2022 lineup

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New York Indian Film Festival poster. Photo: provided by organizers

At an in-person press event at the Indian Consulate in New York, April 19, 2022, The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), North America’s oldest such event now in its 22nd year, announed its lineup of independent, art house, alternate and diaspora films with on-demand streaming offered by Shift72 from May 7-14, 2022.

There will also be a closing night film screening and awards presentation at the Village East Cinemas, 181 2nd Ave., New York, NY 10003 on May 14, 2022, starting at 4:30 p.m., organizers said in a press release.

“For two years now, we have offered virtual streaming of films, providing filmmakers with even more outlets to showcase their work. We emerged stronger with a larger footprint as global audiences engaged with the films,” Suman Gollamudi, Indo-American Arts Council, IAAC, executive director, is quoted saying in the press release. “This year, we are excited to offer an in-person closing event and award ceremony on May 14 in New York.”

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“We look forward to sparking a resonating dialogue about the ongoing impact of Indian culture on the world on the 75th Anniversary of Independence,” said Dr. Nirmal Mattoo, IAAC Chairman.

Presented by the Indo-American Arts Council, Inc. (IAAC), NYIFF brings alternative, independent cinema from the global Indian community to a New York audience.  Presented virtually for the third year in a row, the festival will feature 60 screenings (18 feature narratives, six (6) documentaries and 36 short films).  Key highlights from the lineup include:

  • A second centerpiece film – Faraz Ali’s Shoebox (Hindi) explores a young woman’s complex relationship with her father as the world around them changes drastically
  • First NYIFF screening of a Sanskrit-language film, with Bhagavadajjukam
  • Special children’s films screenings – Boomba Ride (Assamese) and Gandhi & Co. (Gujarati)
  • Unique documentary tributes to the late lyricist, poet and activist Kafi Azmi in the Kaifinama, and film critic and larger-than-life Bombay personality, Rashid Irani in If Memory Serves Me Right
  • A collection of shorts exploring LGBTQ stories set in India with Dal Bhat, Keep Punching, Kiss, Man & Wife, My Mother’s Girlfriend, Pariah and The Way We Are

Also, several well-known Indian film personalities will be featured in a wide array of works, including, among others, Abhishek Banerjee from Patal Lok (Mr. Lawyer) and Adarsh Gourav from The White Tiger (Kiss).

“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 13 languages spoken in India: Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.  All films will have English subtitles.”

Each of these films along with the complete collection of NYIFF-recognized titles will be available for viewing starting May 7, 2022, at online.nyiff.us.  Available for purchase starting April 19, 2022, the cost to view each film ranges from US$4.99 for feature films (narrative and documentaries) and US$0.99 for shorts.  Some films will also be available for viewers outside the U.S.

Audiences outside the U.S., excluding India, can pay in their local currencies. In India, the cost will be Rs. 150 for features and shorts starting at Rs. 50.  Discounted festival passes will also be available.

The massive collection of films includes categories such as Feature Narrative Films, Feature Documentaries, Short Narratives, and Short Documentaries.

This year’s nominations were also detailed in the press release in the categories Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Child Actor, Best Short (Narrative), Best Short (Documentary), and Best Documentary (Feature).

The winners will be announced as part of the closing event on May 14, 2022.

Nominees:

Best Film

  • Burqa
  • Godavari
  • Nishiddho/ Forbidden
  • Once Upon a Time in Calcutta
  • Shoebox

 Best Director

  • Aditya Vikram Sengupta (Once Upon a Time in Calcutta)
  • Faraz Ali (Shoebox)
  • Natesh Hedge (Pedro)
  • Nikhil Mahajan (Godavari)
  • Noopur Bora (Three-Legged Horse)

Best Screenplay

  • Bhagavadajjukam
  • Demons
  • Waiting for Dawn/ Bhor Er Oppekha
  • Mahishasur Marddini
  • Powai

Best Actor

  • Gopal Hedge (Pedro)
  • Jitendra Joshi (Godavari)
  • Kalaiyarasan Harikrishnan (Burqa)
  • Muzaffar Khan (Jhini Bini Chadariya/ The Brittle Thread)
  • Tanmay Dhanania (Nishiddho/ Forbidden)

Best Actress

  • Aloknand Roy (Waiting for Dawn/ Bhor Er Oppekha)
  • Amrita Bagchi (Showbox)
  • Kaani Kusruti (Nishiddho/ Forbidden)
  • Mirna (Burqa)
  • Shreelekha Mitra (Once Upon a Time in Calcutta)

Best Child Actor

  • Arnav Abdagire (Arjun)
  • Indrajeet Pegu (Boomba Ride)
  • Jinay Haria (Dal Bhat)
  • Reyaan Shah (Mintu) & Hiranya Zinzuwadia (Mitra) (Gandhi & Co.)
  • Shreyas Kota (Deid)

Best Short (Narrative)

  • Keep Punching
  • Lawyer/ Vakeel Babu
  • Succulent
  • The Daughter/ Suta
  • The Way We Are/ Phir Kabhi

Best Short (Documentary)

  • Kicking Balls
  • Listen With Your Heart
  • Murmurs of the Jungle
  • The Bat Man and Woman of India
  • Aakhri Safar/ The Last Journey

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • 15 Seconds a Lifetime
  • If Memory Serves Me Right
  • Kaifinama
  • Taangh/ Longing
  • The Beatles and India
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