Nina Paley's film takes top prize at Indian fest

Nina Paley’s “Sita Sings the Blues” took the grand jury prize for narrative feature at the seventh annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles while Nandita Das’ helming debut “Firaaq” got an honorable mention at the fest, which closed Sunday.

“Children of the Pyre,” by Rajesh Jala, took the doc prize and Dipti Gogna’s “Narmeen” won the laurel for short. Audience kudos went to Sooni Taraporevala’s “Little Zizou” for narrative, Faiza Ahmad Khan’s “Supermen of Malgaon” for doc and Gregg Helvey’s “Kavi” for short.

Fest opened April 21 with “Fakir of Venice” and unspooled 21 pics from five countries at the ArcLight in Hollywood, closing with “Yes Madam, Sir.” Highlights included a salute to Bollywood thesp Anil Kapoor (“Slumdog Millionaire”) and the awarding of the Industry Leadership kudos to Richard Fox, exec VP of Warner Bros. Intl., and Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment. IFFLA again featured its Rhythm Village with free outdoor concerts.

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