Bollywood spices Hollywood with mega-event
India is finally getting its day in the L.A. sun courtesy of a mega-showcase of that country’s arts, business, technology and spirituality.There’s even a chance to chow down on Indian delicacies and a closing-night dance extravaganza. Marketed as “India Splendor,” the event runs Aug. 10-15 and will focus on Indian cinema. It has lined up a plethora of prominent Indian nationals — film producers, directors and performers as well as politicos and spiritual gurus — to participate. Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the nation’s independence, “India Splendor” is spearheaded by MGlobal Trust in association with ICM and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. “Our vision has been to bring all the facets of Indian culture, including our booming film industry, to the U.S. in jointly celebrating this momentous mark in history,” said Bhupendra Kumar Modi, chairman of Indian conglom MCorp Global. Idea behind the event is to make Indian culture more accessible to U.S. audiences. “Indian cinema is an important force, and we are pleased to help lead an exchange of ideas and artistic expression between filmmakers from Mumbai to Los Angeles,” added ICM chairman-chief exec Jeffrey Berg. Veteran India-born Hollywood producer Ashok Amritraj is the event’s cultural ambassador. Opening-night film is “Chak de India” (Come on India), which centers on Indian sports-themed pics and is the first Hindi feature to debut day-and-date in India and America. Movie stars Shah Rukh Khan and is directed by Shimit Amin, who will participate after the screening in a Q&A with the film’s writer, Jaideep Sahni. There’s also a tribute to late Indian film legend Raj Kapoor and a 25th anni screening of “Gandhi.” The fest will unspool at four venues: the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (AMPAS); the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater; and the James Bridges Theater and Royce Hall, both at UCLA.