Offbeat "India Now" Film Festival At MoMa

Film maker Mira Nair and Author Salman Rushdie at a pre-event cocktail party on Sunday, April 22, 2007
India Now
The Indo American Arts Council brings a string of offbeat Indian films, including some from Bollywood, to New York's Museum of Modern Art from April 22-30. It's the first time an American Museum is embracing an Indian film festival in such a grand manner.

All the films have had recent releases in India and have been brought over after receiving critical acclaim from filmgoers in India. The films from Bollywood include "Omkara," an award-winning adaptation of Shakespeare's "Othello," and "Khosla ka Ghosla," a comedy about a middle class family duped by a land shark. Both films have English subtitles.

2Some of the independent movies include "Parzania," which is based on a true story about a Parsi family who lost their son in the 2002 riots in Gujarat between the Hindus and Muslims; "Shoonya," which is inspired by T.S. Eliot's play "Murder in the Cathedral"; "Kaalpurush" (Memories In The Mist), featuring Rahul Bose, a versatile Indian actor who has been seen in numerous roles in mainstream as well as offbeat cinema. He plays an office clerk coping with his faltering career and sudden celebrity of his ambitious wife.

"Maati Maay" (A Grave-Keeper's Tale) is a Marathi film with English subtitles based on a short story, "Baayen" (Witch) is about a lower-caste children's grave-keeper who abandons her job to follow her maternal instincts only to be banished by the rest of the village. Nandita Das, the acclaimed Indian actress who played a lead role in two of Deepa Mehta's trilogy movies, "Fire" and "Earth," plays the protagonist in this film, too. "The Bong Connection" is about the Indian diaspora. It is a story of two young Indian men, one a musician from New York who moves to Kolkata, India, and the other an ambitious Bengali computer engineer to gets a job in Houston, Texas, according to a India Film Festival press release.

3 Bollywood is only one part of India's thriving film industry. There is also a parallel cinema of independent films that are very well received in the country.

Aroon Shivdasani, executive director of the IAAC said in a statement, "We are very excited by this collaboration with the MoMA, as it marks recognition of a viable audience for Indian films by a major American museum."

Visit the Museum of Modern Art's Web site for more information on the event.