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Disney’s Foray Into Bollywood to Kickoff NYIFF; Centerpiece & Closing Films Announced

Disney's Foray Into Bollywood to Kickoff NYIFF; Centerpiece & Closing Films Announced

The Indo-American Arts Council’s New York Indian Film Festival announced their Centerpiece, Opening and Closing Night films for the 11th edition today. The North American premiere of “Do Dooni Char,” Disney’s first live-action Indian production, will kickoff the event which runs May 4 – 8 in Manhattan.

“‘Do Dooni Chaar’ is a charming and sweet indie film that reflects the realities of a middle-class family in modern day Delhi,” said NYIFF Director Aseem Chhabra. “Written and directed by first time filmmaker Habib Faisal, the film is a perfect blend of authentic dialogues, characters and situations, with a touch of Bollywood charm. It is a great example of India’s new emerging cinema that has an indie soul, but working within the framework of Bollywood.”

Aparna Sen’s “Iti Mrinalini” will serve as the festival’s Centerpiece film, while Rituparno Ghosh’s “Noukadubi” will play as the Closing Night selection.

Indo-American Arts Council Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani expressed her excitement about the festival, “NYIFF energizes New York City’s diversity by presenting amazing independent and diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent while keeping a close watch on Bollywood’s foray into alternate cinema. The three film highlights of our eleventh annual film festival represent a Hollywood studio’s Indian social cinema, independent cinema, as well as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore.”

Below is the full release…

NEW YORK INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES OPENING, CLOSING, AND CENTERPIECE FILMS

[New York – March 8, 2011]  The Indo-American Arts Council has announced the feature films that have been selected for the Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night spots for the highly anticipated New York Indian Film Festival which runs May 4 to May 8 in Manhattan.

Opening the 11th annual edition of the IAAC’s popular film festival will be the North American premiere of Disney’s critically acclaimed family comedy DO DOONI CHAAR starring the legendary husband-wife acting couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. The Habib Faisal-directed film marks the Hollywood studio’s first live-action production in India and earned some of the best reviews of any Hindi film in recent years. It is a heart-warming comedy about the dreams and challenges of a middle-class family who take a chaotic journey to fulfill their dream of owning a car discovering the true meaning of family along the way. Special guests Kapoor, Singh, and Faisal will all be attending the red carpet premiere.

“Do Dooni Chaar is a charming and sweet indie film that reflects the realities of a middle-class family in modern day Delhi,” says NYIFF Director Aseem Chhabra. “Written and directed by first time filmmaker Habib Faisal, the film is a perfect blend of authentic dialogues, characters and situations, with a touch of Bollywood charm.  It is a great example of India’s new emerging cinema that has an indie soul, but working within the framework of Bollywood.”

The Closing Night selection is Rituparno Ghosh’s NOUKADUBI, an adaptation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s acclaimed novel, which stars sisters Riya and Raima Sen. Following the May 8 screening will be a special tribute to Tagore who was born 150 years ago on that day. Aparna Sen’s ITI MRINALINI will premiere as the Centerpiece selection. The Bengali film features Sen and her daughter, award-winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma, both playing the same title role at different ages.

“NYIFF energizes New York City’s diversity by presenting amazing independent and diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent while keeping a close watch on Bollywood’s foray into alternate cinema,” states Indo-American Arts Council Executive Director Aroon Shivdasani. “The three film highlights of our eleventh annual film festival represent a Hollywood studio’s Indian social cinema, independent cinema, as well as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore.”

New York City’s prestigious Paris Theatre will be the home to the star-studded red carpet Opening Night premiere of DO DOONI CHAAR on Wednesday, May 4, followed by a gala benefit dinner at the Jumeirah Essex House.  H.E. Meera Shankar, India’s Ambassador to the United States, will deliver the welcome address. The Centerpiece selection will screen at Tribeca Cinemas and will be followed by an afterparty at Tribeca Bar. The Closing Night of NYIFF and the Tagore tribute will take place at Asia Society on Sunday, May 8, along with the annual awards ceremony honoring the festival’s winners. Directors Sen and Ghosh will be attending the festival as well. 
Shivdasani adds “Major American studios partnering with India have flirted with NYIFF in the past – Fox Searchlight, Sony, Miramax, and now Disney’s contribution to our 2011 Opening Night – Do Dooni Chaar.  Clearly NYIFF is the best platform for these films to reach their ideal demographic market.”

Tickets for the Opening Night of the New York Indian Film Festival go on sale March 20 while tickets for all other screenings and events will be available starting April 10.

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