Ajitpal Singh's 'Fire in the Mountains' to open Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

·3-min read

Mumbai, Apr 15 (PTI) The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) on Thursday announced the lineup of its 19th edition, set to open with filmmaker Ajitpal Singh's accalimed 'Fire in the Mountains'.

The festival will be held virtually and geo-blocked to California, from May 20-27. IFFLA would showcase 40 films in 17 languages, including movies by 16 women directors.

IFFLA will open with the Los Angeles premiere of 'Fire in the Mountains', feature directorial debut of Singh. The film had its World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2021 in the 'World Cinema Dramatic Competition'.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, of 'Amy' and 'Sienna' fame, will join Singh for a conversation and Q&A, highlighting the journey of the making the movie.

Marathi film 'Sthalpuran' (Chronicle of Space) by Akshay Indikar will be the closing film on May 27.

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap will join Indikar in a Q&A discussion about the film which is billed as an 'exploration of the inner life of its protagonist, a young boy named Dighu.' Uma da Cunha, IFFLA's Programming Advisor since the festival’s inception in 2002, will curate a special program titled 'Childhood on Edge'.

The programme will present three features 'Bridge', 'The Tenant' and 'Vanaja' and three shorts 'Rettai Jadai', 'Kanya' and Singh's 'Rammat-Gammat' to showcase characters on the verge of the transformation from childhood to adulthood.

Christina Marouda, Executive Director, said taking the festival online has given the team the freedom to curate programmes which wouldn't have been possible to present in a physical setting.

'We have expanded our reach to all California residents, doubled the shorts program with a strong representation of films from the diaspora, added special programs like 'Childhood on Edge', and curated discussions on timely and pressing topics, celebrating the independent film community from India and the Indian diaspora,' Marouda said in a statement.

The festival will also host a panel featuring South Asian showrunners, a special screening of Prakash Deka's 'Fireflies', followed by a panel on transgender and non-binary representation in India and the diaspora.

The programming highlights also includes Tiger Award-winning director PS Vinothraj's Tamil film 'Pebbles', Sajin Baabu's Malayalam drama 'Biriyaani', director Bhaskar Hazarika's romance-thriller 'Aamis' and Pushpendra Singh’s 'Laila Aur Satt Geet'.

IFFLA would see the North American premiere of debut filmmaker Thamizh’s 'Seththumaan', a film about the caste politics of food culture in rural Tamil Nadu. The festival also features a line-up of films directed by women, most notable in the shorts competition line-up. Karishma Dube's Academy Award shortlisted 'Bittu', the 2020 Venice Biennale selected 'Anita' by Sushma Khadepaun and Suneil Sanzgiri's 'Letter From Your Far-Off Country' are part of the short film line-up.

The short film category would also have the world premieres of 'American Anomie' by Shahriar Azim and 'Last Night In Vegas' by J Nicholas Meese.

Other highlights from the shorts lineup include 'For Each Other' the latest film by National Award winner Rima Das, Grand Prix winner of the 2020 Cannes’ Cinéfondation competition, 'Catdog' by Ashmita Guha Neogi, 67th National Award winner 'Custody' by Ambiecka Pandit, Alisha Tejpal's 'Lata' and 'Angh', directed by Theja Rio among others. PTI JUR BK BK