Five-day fete to showcase 50 feature films and documentaries

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New York, Nov 7 (UNI) A five-day festival, being organised here by the Indo-American Arts Council and the Mahindra and Mahindra group, will showcase 50 films and documentaries.

Billed as the biggest South Asian film festival outside India, it will premiere 'Saawariya', the first Bollywood movie co-produced by Sony Pictures and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

The closing ceremony will include 'The Last Lear' by director Rituparno Ghosh, starring Amitabh Bachchan.

Addressing a news conference organised by the council at the Consulate General of India yesterday on the eve of the inauguration of the November 7-11 festival, Anand Mahindra, vice chairman of the Mahindra and Mahindra group, said his organisation has earlier focused on education. As part of an increased participation in socio-cultural activities of the Indian community, the group joined hands with the council to organise the five-day event here.

The vice chairman of the group, who studied filmmaking in the US, joked if his company's business of tractors and other vehicles goes down, he could turn to filmmaking.

Aroon Shivdasani, executive director of the council, said the films for the festival were chosen on the basis of certain criteria.

Many of the films don't reflect the general Bollywood-style characteristics. Though the films are in different languages and lengths, all of them have subtitles in English.

The seventh annual event by the council, but the first being held in collaboration with the Mahindra group, will have seven categories for awards, which will be presented on the concluding day.

Many filmmakers and actors were present on the occasion and briefly described their films and characters.

For the closing ceremony, Salman Rushdie, Madhur Jaffrey, Sarita Choudhry, Shashi Tharoor, Mira Nair and Konkana Sen Sharma are expected to be present.


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