LIGHTS! CAMERA! CELEBRATION!
2ND ANNUAL INDIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET ON FEB. 18 IN TAMPA
India International Film Festival (IIFF) 2011 opens on Friday, Feb. 18, at Channelside Cinemas in Tampa with a red carpet event. The second annual festival, a three-day event, will be held on President’s Day Weekend from Feb. 18-20 with movies, cultural entertainment, music, food and fun for the family.
The festival, organized by the INDO-US Chamber of Commerce, will include full-length independent films, regional films, documentaries, short films and animated short films.
The festival’s opening feature “Ashes” is a directorial debut by Ajay Naidu (“Office Space,” “Bored to Death,” “30 Rock,” etc.) is a film about a young New Yorker who cares for a mentally ill brother (played by Faran Tahir of “Iron Man,” “Star Trek”) while falling into a life of crime. The film’s director, producer and several actors, including Samrat Chakrabarti, are expected to attend the red carpet event along with other filmmakers, whose films are being presented at the event.
This year’s festival makes it special for Tampa Bay, as it becomes the venue for several World Premieres and U.S. premiere for others. More than 55 films were submitted for this year’s festival from countries such as United Kingdom, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, India, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Denmark, Japan and, of course, United States. “It is a great feeling to know that the festival has grabbed attention from filmmakers from everywhere and that they would consider our festival to be the World Premiere location for their film,” said Rahul Korlipara, chair of the sourcing committee.
“One of the goals is to promote local filmmakers/actors and provide them a platform to showcase their talent. We are glad that this year we have begun doing that by having a short film and also music videos by local filmmakers in our programming,” said Francis Vayalumkal, founder and one of the organizers of the festival. This will be the world premiere of the locally made short film “Fresh Arrangement,” directed by Monica Bassi. IIFF is also the venue for the World Premiere of the First Music Video by Orlando-based Prita Chhabra.
“Moner Manush” (U.S. premiere) by Gautam Ghosh, which recently won Best film at International Film Festival of India;
“I am Kalam,” by Nila Madhab Panda about trials and tribulations of a small boy yearning to attend school;
“Blood & Curry” (World Premiere), a suspense thriller by Atul Sharma about an Indian-American man from Los Angeles who tries to get away with the murder of his wife;
“Life Goes On,” by Sangeeta Datta about a devastated husband rediscovering life after his wife's death;
“Life! Camera, Action,” by Rohit Gupta, about the journey of a young, Indian-American woman who pursues a career in filmmaking against her family’s wishes;
“Visible Bra Straps,” (World Premiere), a story of two women whose differences connect them.
Documentary features include: “A Journey in my Mother’s Footsteps,” (World Premiere).
For a complete listing of film schedules and each day’s activities, visit www.iifftampa.com
Opening night’s red carpet reception is followed by the feature film, Q&A session with the filmmakers and actors, and dinner and party at Channelside. Other days’ events include cultural entertainment, Bollywood dance workshop, discussions with film-makers and a closing reception. The festival will include films in English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and some films with partial Gujarati and Marathi languages. There will be a Bollywood feature as well.
Individual movie tickets are $10; the festival pass, which includes entry into every film screening, and all events of the festival (excluding Saturday night party), is $75; a one-day pass that allows admission into all films and on-site events for Saturday or Sunday is $25; a two-day pass is $40; and if you wanted to attend just the opening night, the cost is $50, which includes dinner and cocktails. Film passes are available online at www.IIFFTampa.com, as well as the following locations: Apna Bazaar (Fowler Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard locations,) Cilantro Indian Cuisine, Taste of India, Mayuri Indian Restaurant, GroStyles, Prerana’s Beauty & Boutique, Royal Sweets, Tampa Grocery and Best of India.
For more information, sponsorship, celebrity interviews or other questions, call Francis Vayalumkal at (813) 719-0303 or e-mail francis@IIFFTampa.com
Before we know it … here comes February 2011. It was like yesterday the malls had Christmas decorations all around and now it seems like love is in the air. READ MORE...
With enough solar energy reaching the earth's surface every hour to provide all the power the world needs for a year, solar power has the potential of becoming an essential component of the long-term solution to our energy needs. READ MORE...
WEST PALM BEACH INDIAFEST SET FOR FEB. 19; PUNTA GORDA SHOWCASE INDIA ON FEB. 27
The Palm Beach India Association has scheduled its eighth annual IndiaFest Saturday, Feb. 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Meyer Auditorium, 105 Evernia St. In the past years, more than 10,000 people have attended the free event.
The Indian American Cultural Center will hold its Showcase India Sunday, Feb. 27, in Punta Gorda. The 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. event will be at Charlotte Harbor Event Center, 75 Taylor St. Adult tickets are $10; children 6 to 12 years of age are $5.
IndiaFest will feature Prita Chhabra as the opening act. A native of Montreal, she was raised in Orlando, where she attended Cypress Creek High School and Valencia Community College (in addition to being part of many choirs and working at Disney World). She then attended Vanier music school in Montreal and is now pursuing her music career full-time between Toronto and Orlando. Chhabra is world premiering her debut music video "Roots" at the second annual Tampa India Film Festival (see story on this page). She performed at the inaugural after-party at the Tampa film festival last year.
Showcase India and IndiaFest will both feature a variety of music, dance and cultural performances; food, jewelry, audio and video, clothing and crafts vendors and art exhibits.
For more information on Punta Gorda Showcase India, call (941) 639-5833, (941) 743-2277 or (941) 639-0025.
LAKELAND, JACKSONVILLE, OCALA, TAMPA, ORLANDO TO HOST EKAL FUNDRAISERS
Lakeland, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa and Orlando will hold their Ekal Vidyalaya fundraisers in February and March. Presenting film songs, ghazals and bhajans at all the concerts will be the Manoj Mishra Musical Group. He will be accompanied by Nirupama Dey, 2007 “Sa Re Ga Ma” finalist. Rajendra Nakashe will be on the tabla/dholak, Ashwin Rokade on the keyboard and Pramod Katekar on the guitar.
A charitable trust, Ekal Vidyalaya (www.ekal.org) initiates, supports and runs non-formal one-teacher schools in India. The movement strives to create a network of non-formal schools and health education that will educate and empower children in tribal India.
LAKELAND: For more information on the Feb. 25 show at 8 p.m. at Shri Swaminarayan Temple, 2793 New Tampa Highway, call Nilesh Patel at (863) 853-9315, Hasmukh M. Patel at (863) 965-1453 or Jay Patel (863) 802-1868 or e-mail email@example.com
JACKSONVILLE: For more information on the Feb. 26 show from 5 to 8 p.m. at Landmark Middle School, 101 Kernan Blvd. N., call Dilip Kothekar at (904) 737-1269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
OCALA: For more information on the March 4 show at 7:30 p.m. at India Association Cultural & Education Center, 2030 N.E. 36th Ave., call Nand Kishore Karve at (352) 237-3084 or e-mail email@example.com
TAMPA: For more information on the March 5 show from 6 p.m. at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road (tickets are $25), call Jawahar Tauk at (727) 480-3829 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
ORLANDO: For more information on the March 6 show, call Suresh Gupta at (407) 619-1500 or e-mail email@example.com
COME FEB. 12, DANCE FUSION WILL SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET IN ORLANDO
On Feb. 12, Central Floridians will be swept off their feet by Dance Fusion. Dance Fusion has been in production nationwide for seven years and this is the second year that it will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. An experience unlike any other, Dance Fusion brings together some of the most electrifying teams from across the nation competing for cash prizes. Teams incorporate a unique style of dancing where the western culture meets the eastern. It's a fun show for all ages where you will see Bollywood, classical, bhangra, garba/raas, and hip hop performed in a fusion style.
Dance Fusion is hosted by two non-profit organizations – Exit 10 and JSK Entertainment. Both are staffed with talented young professionals and students.
Some of the teams performing in Dance Fusion are:
University of Texas at Austin - Mohini
University of Texas at Austin - Saaya
Georgia Tech - Qurbani
University of South Florida - Fusion
University of North Carolina - Ek Ta al
Stony Brook - Khatra
University of Virginia - Sharaara
Brown University - Badmaash
University of Maryland - Dhoom
Northwestern University – Deeva
University of Central Florida – Garba Knights
For group tickets and sponsorship, call Krunal Patel at (239) 250-1497 or Neal Patel at (407) 616-8872. For more information, visit www.Dance-Fusion.com
or write to