Indian Film Festivals outside India
As the Indian diaspora has dispersed globally by leaps and bounds, the reach of Indian cinema has transcended beyond Indian boundaries. Indians abroad have persistently promoted Indian Cinema at various global filmmaking platforms in a bid to educate other parts of the world about Indian culture, or to promote mutual ties or to preserve the Indian essence among their own. No matter what the motive, the best platform to celebrate exemplary filmmaking is a Film Festival.
The realm of Indian Cinema stretches beyond India to such an extent that Indian film festivals are now being organized annually on a monumental scale in various countries. Most of these events are competitive. Shorts, independent films, features, documentaries and sometimes animations from India or pertaining to India are eligible for submission. The regional criteria is not confined to Bollywood (Hindi) alone. In this article, we have listed some very prestigious Indian Film Festivals held throughout the world. We aim at informing our readers about what these festivals entail and important dates to remember.
New York Film Festival of India (NYIFF)
Year established 2001
Key people Aroon Shivdasani (Executive Director, Indo-American Arts Council)
Festival dates for 2016 May 7th – May 14th
NYIFF is the oldest Indian film festival in United States and one of the most prestigious in the world established just after the 9/11 attacks in New York City.
The motive behind the move was to educate Americans about the Indian culture.
Every year, about 40 Indian film productions (features, shorts, documentaries and independent) or any film production related to India are screened.
Every year, an eminent Indian filmmaker/ actor is honored with a retrospective. As a part of this retrospective, a number of their films are screened during the festival.
Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA)
Year established 2003
Key people Christina Marouda (Chair), Rupak Ginn (Secretary)
Festival dates for 2016 April 6th –April 10th (recently concluded)
The festival aims at promoting Indian cinema in an entirety rather than only Bollywood cinema. It is a fantastic forum for emerging filmmakers (feature, documentary, independent and short).
Selected filmmakers and cast are given an opportunity to directly interact with their audience in a question and answer session after they present their production.
The festival offers one-on-one ten minute meetings of participating filmmakers with major production and distribution houses.
London Indian Film Festival (LIFF)
Year established 2010
Key people Tony Matharu (Patron), Cary Rajinder Sawhney (Executive and Programming Director)
Festival dates for 2016 July 14th – July 24th
The festival stresses on promoting independent, thought –provoking and powerful Indian feature films and shorts.
Of the multiple awards the Satyajit Ray Short Film Award is worth a mention.
It is one of the largest South Asian film festivals in Europe.
Extravagant India! International Indian Film Festival, Paris
Year established 2013
Key people Pierre Assouline (President), Gabriele Brennen (Festival Director),
Ranvir Nayar (Advisor for Indo-French Relations), Manoj Srivastava (Programming)
Festival dates for 2016 October 2016 (exact dates to be announced)
Submission is open till May 31st, 2016
Three genres, independent, shorts and documentaries are judged in the competitive arena. An animated film, a classic and an Indo-French coproduction are featured out of the competition.
The festival accentuates contemporary and thought-provoking young Indian cinema from all regions of India.
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)
Year established 2012
Key people Victoria State Government, Australia, Pamela Chopra (Film producer and playback singer)
Ronnie Screwvala (Founder, UTV), Ross Fitzgerald (Director, Visy Industries)
Vidya Balan (actress and ambassador of IFFM)
Festival dates for 2016 to be announced soon
This festival is an initiative of the State Government of Victoria (Australia) and is presented in partnership with Film Victoria.
Although, Bollywood is the focal mass generator of the festival, there are also sub-categories providing independent, short, documentary, ex-pat and international filmmakers from other nations in the sub-continent to present their talents under one roof. The festival is attended by a lot of luminaries from Bollywood.
A major highlight is the sub-category Girl Power, which showcases ‘girl power classics’ and thought-provoking female-centric films.
Indian Film Festival Japan (IFFJ)
Year established 2012
Key People Suresh Thati (CEO Thati Media Corporation)
Festival dates for 2016 October 7th – October 21st in Tokyo
October 8th – October 21st in Osaka
Submission is open for 2016
This festival provides a common platform for both Indian and Japanese media and create new collaborative opportunities for both nations in the field of films.
It particularly emphasizes on promoting Bollywood movies in Japan and also features regional Indian offerings.
The selection process involves selecting 20 best movies to be screened out of all submissions. A panel of international jury determines the three best movies during the final evaluation.
Indian Film Festival The Hague, The Netherlands (IFFTH)
Year established 2011
Key People Munish Ramlal (Chairman), Rene Wolf (Secretary), Ricardo Burgzorg (Festival Director)
Festival Dates for 2016 October 5th – October 12th
Submission is open for 2016
The festival celebrates cinematic talents in all genres – feature films, shorts, independent, animations and documentaries. Bollywood and other Indian film productions, both get substantial visibility.
The programme includes a valuable ‘Do-it-yourself’ Day for film professionals to source and collaborate with each other and get a feedback on their productions.
The festival parallel runs India-related events exhibiting Indian culture.
Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH)
Festival dates for 2016 October 28th and October 29th
Submission is open till August 31st 2016
Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Germany
Also known as the Indisches Filmfestival, this is one of the largest film festivals of Europe which was founded in 2004.
Festival dates for 2016 July 20th – July 24th
Wikipedia pages: NYIFF, IFFLA, LIFF, Extravagant India!, IFFM and IFFJ
Photo By Sujit.jha3 - Got it from Extravagant India - International Indian Film Festival, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48884024