By Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi
The Alankrita Srivastava-directed “Lipstick Under My Burkha”, which has been refused certification by the Central Board of Film Certification for being a “lady-oriented film” among other things, will open this year’s Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA).
The festival, which will take place from April 5 with Zee Cinema as the presenting sponsor, will also screen “Death in the Gunj” the directorial debut of Konkona Sen Sharma, who, incidentally stars in “Lipstick Under My Burkha”.
The festival will screen several other interesting films that have been in the news in recent times, such as “Sexy Durga”, which won an award at the recent International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and “Hotel Salvation” which was premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
“As India’s diverse array of talented filmmakers continues to be recognized around the world for their compelling and daring work, IFFLA is extremely proud to collect the best films from emerging voices and experienced masters and present them to Los Angeles,” said Mike Dougherty, IFFLA’s director of programming.
“Lipstick Under My Burkha”, produced by noted filmmaker Prakash Jha, has an ensemble cast of Konkona Sen Sharma, Ratna Pathak Shah, AahanaKumraand PlabitaBorthakur. It’s described as a dramatic, but irreverent and vibrant film about women and faith.
It was premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival 2016 and recently won the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival.
The festival will close with the Los Angeles premiere of “Hotel Salvation”, the debut feature of ShubhashishBhutiani, whose 2013 short film “Kush” was shortlisted for the Live Action Short Film Oscar and won IFFLA’s 2014 Audience Award. The film’s star Adil Hussain will attend IFFLA’s Closing Night gala representing the film.
Also featuring in the festival will be first-time filmmaker AnanyaKasaravalli’s “Harikatha Prasanga” (The Chronicles of Hari), which is about a renowned theatre actor’s struggle with gender identity which she co-wrote with writer GopalakrisnaPai and her father, acclaimed director Girish Kasaravalli. Another interesting film to be showcased is debut filmmaker PadmakumarNarasimhamurthy’s “Billion Colour Story”, which was included in Best of Fest in Palm Springs and recently played at Busan and BFI London.
Among other films to be shown in the festival are, AdoorGopalakrishnan’sthriller “Once Again” in Malayalam, Suman Mukhopadhyay’sBengali “Ashamapta” (Incomplete) and HaobamPaban Kumar’s Manipuri “LoktakLeirembee” (The Lady of the Lake).
IFFLA’s programme this year also features an impressive slate of award-winning and topical documentary films including “Machines” by Rahul Jain, which won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography at Sundance, and “The Cinema Travellers” directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya which won “L’Œil d’or Special Mention: Le Prix du documentaire” at the Cannes Film Festival.
Another interesting documentary to be shown at the festival is “An Insignificant Man” directed by KhushbooRanka and Vinay Shukla. The film centres on Arvind Kejriwal and gives a behind-the-scenes look at his creation of the AamAadmi Party and its campaign in the 2013 Delhi elections.