The 2019 New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) announced its showcase films for Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night. NYIFF will open with Sir directed by Rohena Gera and close with The Last Color directed by Vikas Khanna. The Festival will be run May 7th to 12th at the Village East Cinemas in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (181-189 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003).
Festival Director Aseem Chhabra stated, ‘We are proud to share a wonderful collection of new films from India. This selection of exceptional titles showcases the beauty, power and glory of film story telling at its best. Our audience will be excited by the protagonists and fall in love with their journeys.’
Chairman Dr. Nirmal Mattoo said, ‘The 2019 NYIFF selection is the culmination of a global search process by our festival director and curators. We will present award winning releases. We will showcase for the first time, regional movies which present the depth and breadth of India. Original, fresh, transformative dramas will give the audience the deep immersive experiences that they seek. The audience will join us in giving critical acclaim and recognition to the artists who give us so much.’
Opening Night Film: SIR
Director: Rohena Gera
Cast: Tillotama Shome, Vivek Gomber, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Rahul Vohar, Ahmareen Anjum
Synopsis: A prosperous young Indian man falls in love with his servant, a widow with the dream of becoming a tailor. “Sir” is an award-winning film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (Critics’ Week).
Centerpiece Film: PHOTOGRAPH
Director: Ritesh Batra
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sanya Malhotra
Synopsis: A struggling Mumbai street photographer pressured to marry by his grandmother convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée during a family visit. Despite vast cultural differences, the pair develops a surprising connection that challenges their worldviews in a wistful and funny romance from Ritesh Batra (“The Lunchbox”). “Photograph” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shown at the Berlinale as a Special Gala presentation.
Closing Night Film: THE LAST COLOR
Director: Vikas Khanna
Cast: Neena Gupta, Aqsa Siddiqui, Princy Sudhakaran, Rudrani Chettri, Aslam Sheikh
Synopsis: Nine-year-old fearless tightrope walker and flower seller, Chhoti, savors her dream to save Rs. 300 ($ 4), so she can attend school. “The Last Color” traces Chhoti and her best friend Chintu’s daily struggles for survival on the streets of the ancient city of Banaras, India. Chhoti befriends Noor, a white-clad widow who suffers a life of total abstinence and is disallowed from taking part in any festivities, especially Holi, the Indian festival of colors. Over time, Chhoti and Noor’s friendship and uplifting spiritual bond breaks through the barriers of the social system. “The Last Color” is a story of promises kept and promises broken, a friendship that knows no bounds, and the freedom and victory of the human spirit.