The 19th edition Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles has announced an expanded virtual lineup of shorts and narrative and documentary features after canceling 2020’s event due to the pandemic and lockdown.
Taking place from May 20 to May 27, the IFFLA boasts 40 films spanning 17 languages, with 16 women directors.
The festival will open with Ajitpal Singh’s “Fire in the Mountains,” which immerses audiences in the splendor of the Himalayas, and close with Akshay Indikar’s “Sthalpuran (Chronicle of Space),” which explores the inner life of its young protagonist, Dighu. Singh and Indikar’s films will be followed by Q&As with Asif Kapadia and Anurag Kashyap, respectively.
Special programs include “Childhood on Edge,” curated by Uma da Cunha; a panel featuring South Asian showrunners; and a screening of Prakash Deka’s “Fireflies” followed by a panel on transgender and non-binary representation in India and the diaspora.
IFFLA’s feature lineup includes a vast array of highlights from 13 regions of India, including “Pebbles,” the debut film from director P.S. Vinothraj, and “Seththumaan (Pig),” from rookie filmmaker Thamizh. Bhaskar Hazarika will return to IFFLA with romance-thriller “Aamis (Ravening),” and Farida Pacha’s new intimate documentary “Watch Over Me” will premiere in North America.
The shorts competition lineup will spotlight notable films directed by women, such as Karishma Dube’s “Bittu” and Sushma Khadepaun’s “Anita.”
“This is a very special year for IFFLA,” said Christina Marouda, executive director. “Taking the festival online has given us the freedom to curate programs we would not have been able 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.”
Passes are on sale April 15 on the IFFLA website.