16th Annual New York Indian Film Festival Announces Open Night Gala on May 7th


New York, NY (April 4, 2016) – The New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) announced the Opening Night Gala film: Bardroy Baretto’s Nachom-ia Kumpasar (Let’s Dance to the Rhythm).  LET’S DANCE TO THE RHYTHM is a Konkani feature film- a tribute to Goan music and her musicians. Narrated through the emotional rollercoaster of a love story destined to tragedy, it celebrates Goan music through the eyes of its eclectic’s generation of musicians in the 1960s and 70s.

“Lets Dance to the Rhythm is a beautiful representation of another era, where jazz music flourished outside of the realms of the popular Hindi cinema of Bombay. The film is a joyful celebration of the music, the energy and the musicians and it is a story that not many people know about, states Film Festival Director  Aseem Chhabra. “It is truly a happy film and a perfect way for us to launch the 16th edition of the New York Indian Film Festival.”

The festival is widely recognized as the oldest, most prestigious Indian film festival in the United States, showcasing some of the greatest talents working in the diaspora. Celebrating its 16th year, NYIFF will run May 7 to 14 at a variety of prestigious New York City venues, including the Skirball Center for Performing Arts, where the opening and closing films are set to take place.

In addition, the centerpiece and closing films were announced.  Renowned filmmaker Hansal Mehta will be closing the festival with his latest work, ALIGARH.  Director Mehta provides a look into the real life incident of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation. Siras was the professor of Marathi at the Aligarh Muslim University. After successfully appealing his suspension, he died under suspicious circumstances.

HIGHWAY will be featured as the centerpiece film. Umesh Kulkarni’s HIGHWAY is a Marathi film set on the Bombay-Pune Highway and it examines diversity and soul searching. Aroon Shivdansani, Executive Director and Artistic Director of IAAC states “The excitement is growing as our festival approaches!  Our flagship event, NYIFF 2016 is proving to be even more exciting than last year!” She adds “The recently announced Indian National Awards included both our 2015 Opening & Closing Night films as well as five films from our current schedule.  This year our festival has grown in the number of days, the number of films screened, as well as the depth and variety of themes and languages.  Three theatres will screen films simultaneously all day for 8 days with films from all over India and the subcontinent representing myriad regional languages (with English subtitles) while the fourth theatre will entice audiences with fascinating panels on LGBT, Regional Language Cinema, Directors’ First Films, Animation, Industry Panels on Shooting in NYCity & NYState as well as Special Events such as the presentation of films from three generations of filmmakers in the Bimal Roy/Basu Bhattacharya family.  Guests to our Opening & Closing Night Galas will be welcomed by amazing local dancers, while filmmakers & celebrities walk off the red carpets to glamorous cocktail parties prior to the reality screenings.”

Celebrating its 16th year, NYIFF will run May 7 to May 14. Memberships may be purchased at: http://www.iaac.us/Contribution.htm. Festival Passes and Individual Tickets are on sale at the film festival website: http://www.iaac.us/NYIFF2016

The Indo-American Arts Council is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit, secular service and resource arts organization charged with the mission of promoting and building the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication and performance of Indian Sub-Continental and cross-cultural art forms in North America. The IAAC supports all artistic disciplines in the classical, fusion, folk and innovative forms influenced by the arts of India. We work cooperatively with colleagues around the United States to broaden our collective audiences and to create a network for shared information, resources and funding. Our focus is to work with artists and arts organizations in North America as well as to facilitate artists and arts organizations from the Indian Sub-Continent to exhibit, perform and produce their works here.

The New York Indian Film Festival is the oldest, most prestigious Indian film festival in the United States.  It is dedicated to showcasing, promoting and building an awareness of Independent, art house and diaspora films from/about/connected to the Indian subcontinent.  Our mission is to encourage filmmakers to tell their stories, to educate North America about them and their talent and to facilitate the making and distribution of these films. NYIFF boasts eight days of premiere screenings of feature, documentary & short films, industry panels, special events, retrospectives, red carpet galas, an award ceremony, packed audiences and amazing media coverage.

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