The Indo-American Arts Council announced today that it will host a virtual edition of the 20th anniversary of the New York Indian Film Festival. NYIFF’s physical festival was earlier postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The dates of the ‘NYIFF 2020: Virtual Edition’ are July 24-30, 2020. NYIFF will collaborate with the Movie Saints platform (www.moviesaints.com) to stream the films online.
The week-long festival will stream over 40 films – feature length narratives, shorts and documentaries. The films programmed will be in various languages including Assamese, Bengali, Haryanvi, Hindi, English, Ladakhi, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali and Tamil.
Unlike in the past when the New York Indian Film Festival program could only be experienced in Manhattan, ‘NYIFF 2020: Virtual Edition’ will offer many films to audiences across North America. Some films will also have a global reach.
Each screening of the feature length narrative or documentary film will be followed by a conversation with the filmmaker and the cast members. Some of the Q&As will be moderated by film personalities who are NYIFF alumni. The audience will have an opportunity to interact with the cast through the Q&A.
The New York Indian Film Festival is the oldest Indian film event in North America. Over the years, the festival has held New York premieres of a wide range of films, many of them critically acclaimed, including Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, Slumdog Millionaire, Shahid, Fandry, Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Gangs of Wasseypur.
NYIFF was launched in the fall of 2001 as a response to the September 11th terror attacks on the city’s landmark buildings. The idea was to encourage New Yorkers to come back to theaters and enjoy films as a community activity.
“We were disappointed to postpone this year’s New York Indian Film Festival because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said NYIFF festival director Aseem Chhabra. “But we are thrilled to bring the virtual edition of the festival with the same films we had selected for NYIFF 2020. And in partnering with Movie Saints we can take our program beyond the New York City limits.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the closure of theaters but we believe that in such trying times arts, including films are even more important for the community’s well-being. So, this year we have decided to bring the films directly into your living rooms.” said IAAC Vice Chairman Rakesh Kaul.
More details about the film festival lineup are expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.