Anurag Kashyap masterclass will be a highlight at IFFLA 2022

iNDICA News Bureau-

The 2022 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced details of its closing gala presentation, the addition of a masterclass with celebrated filmmaker and IFFLA alumnus Anurag Kashyap, and the festival’s annual One-on-One program to connect its filmmakers with industry executives and encourage further career development. This year’s jury members were also revealed.

The 20th annual edition of the internationally acclaimed film festival will wrap up with a first look at IFFLA alumnus Kahlil Maskati’s feature screenplay Alim Uncle, presented as a live table read featuring a dozen of top Los Angeles-based talent, and a preview of Nimisha Mukerji’s Warner Bros. Discovery 150 supported project, New Country.

The evening, taking place at Regal LA Live (1000 W Olympic Blvd), will include the awards ceremony and be book-ended by red carpet entrances and one of IFFLA’s signature after parties at The Continental Club (116 W 4th Street).

IFFLA executive director Christina Marouda said, “This year’s closing celebration will be focused on the future of our filmmakers. Emphasizing a commitment to the next generation of filmmakers and the films and television projects they create is essential to what we do.

“Ending this edition with a flourish of readings, previews and performances is exciting and beyond appropriate for where our heart is this year. And to be able to add a masterclass from a beloved alum, Anurag Kashyap, whose filmmaking journey has been in many ways parallel to IFFLA’s growth, could not be more fitting for this year’s landmark celebration.”

IFFLA will close its 20th anniversary edition with a first look at two exciting projects from diaspora filmmakers. Previously announced, more details are now available regarding the live table read of Kahlil Maskati’s feature screenplay in development, Alim Uncle.

The film will tell the story of Haris, a struggling young Indian American man who reunites with his cousins on a road trip across New Jersey after the sudden passing of his Alim Uncle.

Directed by Fawzia Mirza, the reading will be brought to life by top Los Angeles-based talent, including Rizwan Manji, Kausar Mohammed, Nabeel Muscatwalla, Pia Shah, Anna Khaja and Rupak Ginn.

Following the Alim Uncle table read will be a special sneak preview of the Warner Bros Discovery 150 supported project New Country by Nimisha Mukerji and Mark Ratzlaff. In this episodic dramedy in development, Mukerji, drawing from her own life, tells the story of an Indian American medical student in 1989 who decides to become a country singer. The preview will feature actor Melinda Shankar and a live performance by rising musical artist Shirsha.

The evening will conclude with the awards ceremony, presented in-person by this year’s jury. The Feature Films jury has Lakshmi Iyengar (executive vice-president, Minor Realm), Smriti Mundhra (Academy Award nominee, director, St Louis Superman) and Jonathan Wysocki (director, Dramarama). The Short Films jury comprises Geetika Lizardi (writer, Bridgerton, Mira, Royal Detective), Sid Mehra (manager of development and production, Endeavor Content) and Carey Williams (director, Emergency, R#J).

A recent addition highlighting IFFLA’s commitment to the development of new talent and future projects by emerging talent of South Asian descent is the masterclass with Anurag Kashyap, one of India’s leading auteurs of independent, cutting-edge cinema and television, and someone whose films have frequently been presented at the festival through the years. Kashyap will discuss lessons learned during his storied career, its peaks and valleys, his transition to the episodic medium, and thoughts on the festival circuit, and offer advice to the next generation of storytellers. The masterclass will take place Saturday, April 30, at Regal LA Live.

Kashyap is a director, writer, producer, editor and actor known for his work in Hindi cinema. He has won several accolades, including a National Film Award and four Filmfare Awards. For his contribution to cinema, the Government of France awarded him with Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 2013.

Kashyap burst on to the scene with Black Friday (IFFLA 2005) and rose to prominence with the two-part crime drama, Gangs of Wasseypur (IFFLA 2013). The film made it to the Guardian newspaper’s 100 Best Films list.

In 2016, he co-directed India’s first Netflix original series, the critically acclaimed crime thriller Sacred Games. He recently co-founded a new production house, Good Bad Films, with Dhruv Jagasia and Akshay Thakkar.

The prolific Kashyap recently produced a series of features and shorts, including previous IFFLA selections Trapped, Moothon (The Elder One), Bebaak and IFFLA 2022 film Paka (River of Blood).

IFFLA’s annual One-on-One Program will include a slate of 20 film executives who will meet with several of this year’s filmmakers to offer advice and help them take the next steps to develop new projects and hone their filmmaking careers.

Companies and organizations expected to be represented include Anonymous Content, Awedacious Originals, Family Owned, Film Independent, Global Media Makers at Film Independent, HBO, Lionsgate, Marginal, SK Global Entertainment, Sikhya Entertainment, Sony, Sundance and Tulsea.

In addition to the impressive list of directors, actors and performers presenting new works, IFFLA has confirmed attendance at the festival by a number of filmmakers and actors representing this year’s films. They include Muneeza Ayaz, Jeena Ayaz (1978); Akanksha Cruczynski (Close Ties to Home Country); Deepak Sethi, Valerie Steinberg (Coffee Shop Names); Terrie Samundra (Kunjo); Pan Nalin, Cyril Morin (Last Film Show); Arindam Ghosh (Once Upon a Time in Calcutta); Fawzia Mirza, Ryan Logan (The Queen of My Dreams); Hena Ashraf (The Return); Nita Kumar (Shankar’s Fairies); Faraz Ali, Noopur Sinha (Shoebox); and Amrita Bagchi (Succulent).

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