A documentary made on the life of activist Sampat Devi Pal will be screened at the 14th New York Indian Film Festival in New York.
Thirty-four award-winning and critically-acclaimed movies from South Asia, including from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, will be screened at the at the festival that will run from May 5 to 10.
‘Gulabi Gang’, directed by Nishtha Jain, is based on the life of Pal, a child bride and former government health worker.
Pal formed the gang of pink sari-clad women in 2006 which works for rights of women in impoverished Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The festival, which celebrates independent, art house, alternate and diaspora films, would feature 23 narrative and 11 documentary films, including Nagesh Kukunoor directed ‘Lakshmi’ and Gurinder Chaddha’s ‘Bhaji on the Beach’.
‘Lakshmi’ is yet to be seen in India after it missed its January premiere date in the country due to censorship issues involving its theme of child prostitution and human trafficking. The film premiered at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in California, where it won the Audience Award for Best narrative feature.
Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Ugly’, a sensational tale of corruption, indifference, and systemic violence that begins when a 10-year-old daughter of an aspiring actor disappears, will open the festival that is organised annually by the Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC).
Apart from the Marathi, Bengali and movies from the Northeast that will be showcased at the festival, four films by Pakistani filmmakers, two from Sri Lanka and one from Nepal will also be screened.
The festival’s Marathi films include multiple-award winning film ‘Fandry’, which revolves around a Dalit boy and his love for a girl from a higher caste.
Among the Pakistani movies to be screened is Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi’s ‘Zinda Bhaag’, which stars acclaimed Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah.
The film, set in Lahore, follows three young men desperate to get on the fast track to success in an eye-opening glimpse of modern Pakistan.
The festival would also showcase ‘Acceptance’, a film by student filmmaker Ryan Matthew Chan that tells the true story of an underprivileged scholar from India who lies about being accepted into Harvard to gain access to the opulent life of his peers.
Chan is still working on his undergraduate Yale degree while touring the festival circuit for his film.
“The 2014 festival features a wide array of films from all over the South Asian diaspora. This is exemplified by the inclusion of three Bengali films, four films by Pakistani filmmakers, a Sri Lankan film as well as NYIFF’s first Assamese film ‘As the River Flows’,” IAAC founder Aroon Shivdasani said.
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