‘Chittagong’ to open Gotham’s Indian fest

Sidebar includes retrospective of Benegal's films

The New York Indian Film Festival celebrates the centenary of films in India with a retrospective of leading helmer Shyam Benegal. Opening-night pic on May 23 is “Chittagong,” which also kicked off the L.A. Indian fest earlier this month.

Set during the 1930s, pic helmed by Bedabrata Pain centers around a schoolboy movement against the colonial British rulers.

The 12th edition’s centerpiece is a colorized version of the late Dev Anand starrer “Hum dono.” The unspooling of the 1961 film will serve as a tribute to the Bollywood multihyphenate.

An NYIFF sidebar is devoted to a retrospective of Benegal’s films including “Mamoo,” “Sardari Begum” and “Zubeidaa.” The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director. While Benegal worked in Hindi cinema, his movies became part of a wave of non-Bollywood pics in the 1970s.

“To commemorate the 100th year of Indian cinema, our 2012 lineup celebrates all that NYIFF finds inspiring about great films — depth, character study, ingenious plots and riveting messages,” said Aroon Shivdasani, exec director of the Indo-American Arts Council, the nonprofit org that puts on the fest.

Pics unspool at lower Manhattan’s Tribeca Cinemas. Fest ends May 27, but the closing-night film has yet to be announced.

Visit iaac.us/NYIFF2012/index.htm for more information.