HOME > FILM GUIDE & EVENTS > 2013 Festival Events
2013 Festival Events

Festival events at a glance:


The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles launches its 11th season with the West coast premiere of GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, made by pioneering director Anurag Kashyap. Gathering accolades from Cannes, Sundance and many more, GANGS chronicles three generations of deep vengeance between feuding families. Set in Wasseypur, during the tumultuous times of India’s Independence and industrialization, Kashyap’s epic tale in two parts is a powerful and gritty portrayal of family, honor, and vengeance.

Following the red carpet screening and Q&A with Anurag Kashyap, guests and ticket buyers will be treated to a reception at an elegant venue nearby ArcLight Hollywood. The Opening Night Gala is sponsored by IFFLA's long time supporter Wells Fargo. A party not to be missed, the gala will play host to a live DJ set, and Indian fusion cuisine by No Tomatoes, setting up the tone for the entire week of festivities.

Opening night gala ticket includes GANGS OF WASSEYPUR Part II screening on April 10 at 8:45 PM.


After six days days of exciting and thought provoking film screenings along with industry events, parties and engaging panel discussions, IFFLA will conclude its 11th edition with the official Awards Ceremony and the Los Angeles premiere of Academy Award® nominated director Deepa Mehta’s MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN.

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims its independence from Great Britain, two babies are switched at birth. Saleem, the illegitimate son of a poor woman, and Shiva, the offspring of upper-class parents, are bound to live out each other’s destinies. Mehta skillfully casts a spell of wonder and delight in this lyrical kaleidoscope of bittersweet love, loss and triumph. From the tales of their ancestral roots to the birth of their own children, the two main characters remain as charismatic and complex as the motherland herself: strong and fiercely romantic, tormented and at times broken, but always hopeful. Salman Rushdie penned the film’s screenplay of his beloved Booker® prized novel MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by, in this highly anticipated, masterful collaboration between two of India’s boldest storytellers. Epic in its scope, but at the same time delicately intimate and deeply moving, MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN is an enthralling cinematic feast not to be missed.

Following the red carpet screening, and Q&A with Deepa Mehta, a reception for guests and ticket holders will be held at an elegant venue nearby ArcLight Hollywood. The Closing Night Gala is made possible partially by support from the Los Angeles Canadian Consulate and Ontario State. It is hosted by IFFLA Trustee Prakash Agarwal.



6th Annual IFFLA Industry Leadership Awards

Presented to
Bela Bajaria, Executive Vice President, Universal Television
Guneet Monga, CEO and Producer, Anurag Kashyap Films, and Sikhya Entertainment

Keynote Speaker
Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International

The IFFLA Industry Leadership Awards were created to recognize the achievements of industry executives who have had a substantial and personal impact on the creation and distribution of Indian themed content globally and have led the expansion of the entertainment and media industry in India. This year we honor two individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership within and in relation to the Indian entertainment community.

Bela Bajaria, a veteran network and cable television executive, was named Executive Vice President, Universal Television in August 2011. She oversees creative programming for one of the country's largest and most successful television studios, which is responsible for such hit series as "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," “30 Rock,” "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Grimm," "Smash," “Bates Motel,” and "Parenthood."  The studio also produces new series such as "The Mindy Project," "Go On," "Chicago Fire," “Deception,” and "Guys with Kids". Bajaria was previously the Senior Vice President of Cable Programming for CBS TV Studio and the Senior Vice President of Movies and Miniseries for the CBS Network. Upon creating the cable division at CBS TV Studios in 2007, she shepherded many cable dramas and comedies from prolific writer/directors, including a docu-comedy for Showtime that was produced by Glenn Gordon Caron, “Common Law," and "Panic Boys" for Showtime.  While at CBS, Bajaria also worked on numerous cable projects by notable writers such as Carol Mendelsohn, Julian Fellowes, Augusten Burroughs, Anthony Zuiker and James Ellroy. 

Guneet Monga, CEO and Producer AKFPL and Sikhya Entertainment, was named one of the top 12 women achievers in the Global Entertainment industry by The Hollywood Reporter and among the Top 50 Indians changing India by India Today. The Oscar nominated producer has paved the way for Indian cinema globally, with three of her films premiering at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival: PEDDLERS by Vasan Bala, and GANGS OF WASSEYPUR, Part 1 and 2 by Anurag Kashyap. Her credits include the Oscar nominated short film, KAVI, directed by Gregg Helvey, AIYYA, THAT GIRL IN YELLOW BOOTS, and SHAITAN by Bejoy Nambiar. She has also co-produced TRISHNA by Michael Winterbottom. Monga’s forthcoming projects include MONSOON SHOOTOUT by Amit Kumar, HARAAMKHOR by Shlok Sharma, TOBA TEK SINGH by Pan Nalin, and the Oscar winning director Danis Tanovic’s next venture starring Emraan Hashmi.

Paul Federbush (International Director, Feature Film Program at the Sundance Institute) will be presenting Bela Bajaria’s award, and Guneet Monga’s award. Rupak Ginn (THE NAMESAKE, JUST WRIGHT, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, “Royal Pains”) will serve as MC.

Supported by





LAUGHING AT OURSELVES: A Conversation with Actors and Creatives

Presented by SAG-AFTRA National Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee, EEO & Diversity Department and SAGIndie

Kunal Nayyar (actor, Big Bang Theory), Hannah Simone (actor, New Girl), Sarayu Rao (actor, Monday Mornings), Luvh Rakhe (writer, New Girl), and Sunil Nayar (Executive Producer, Revenge) are some of the top acting and creative names in television today. Moderated by Parvesh Cheena (actor, Outsourced), this lively and honest discussion explores the panelists’ triumphs, heartbreaks, and rise in the industry, where they go from here as well as the choice many of them have made to be multi-hyphenates (i.e. actor-writer-producers) in the business. They’ll reflect upon the growing representation of Indians in television, and the reasons why comedy has been a popular genre for discovering South Asian talent. Join them as they reveal how they draw from their own life experiences – and their ability to laugh at themselves both personally and culturally-- to create characters and tell stories that have led them to on-screen success.

Moderator: Parvesh Cheena, Actor
Parvesh Cheena is best known for playing Gupta on NBC's sitcom Outsourced. He is also the voice of Blades on The Hub Network's Transformers: Rescue Bots. He recently executive produced his first film short, …OR DIE. Cheena made his film debut as 'Samir' in Barbershop, and reprised his role in its sequel. He is a proud Los Angeles Board Member of SAG-AFTRA and board member of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles.

Sunil Nayar, Producer
Sunil Nayar is an executive producer of Revenge on ABC. His past credits include Body of Proof, CSI: Miami and Oz.

Kunal Nayyar, Actor
Kunal Nayyar is a British Indian actor best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, and Gupta in Ice Age: Continental Drift. Nayyar also produced and narrated the documentary BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES, which has its world premiere at IFFLA this year.

Luvh Rakhe, Writer/Producer
Luvh Rakhe is currently a writer/producer on Fox's New Girl. His past credits include It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Life As We Know It, Outsourced, and Worst Week.

Sarayu Rao, Actress
Sarayu Rao is an Indian American actress that can be seen every Monday night on TNT, playing a spitfire heart surgeon in the new David E. Kelley medical drama, Monday Mornings. She has accumulated many TV credits, including recurring roles on the FOX series Sons of Tucson, NBC’s Outsourced and CBS's NCIS: LA. Additionally, she was in the feature film LIONS FOR LAMBS, directed by Robert Redford.

Hannah Simone, Actress
Hannah Simone currently stars on FOX's hit series, New Girl, playing Zooey Deschanel's model best friend, Cece. Simone can also be seen in H+, the second Warner Premiere Digital Web series made in conjunction with Dolphin Entertainment and produced by Bryan Singer. On the big screen, she recently filmed a small part in Spike Lee's Oldboy opposite Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson.


Today's Pioneer Voices Changing the Landscape of Indian Cinema

Join us for a round table discussion with some of the most innovative voices leading the independent movement in Indian cinema today. From the screenplay to the screen, learn how these IFFLA filmmakers managed to not only realize their vision but to also gain recognition at top tier international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and Toronto. An intimate and honest look at the feats and challenges that filmmakers face today.

Lisa Tsering, Film critic for The Hollywood Reporter and entertainment editor for India-West

Vasan Bala, Director, PEDDLERS
Vasan Bala grew up in a bustling metropolis, describing his childhood to be like a chapter from R.K.Narayan’s Malgudi Days. Always fascinated with the moving image, he discovered his voice while working with mentor, Anurag Kashyap. He started making short films and worked as a writer on the upcoming BOMBAY VELVET directed by Anurag Kashyap. His passion was solidified while working with Michael Winterbottom as Associate Director on TRISHNA. Winterbottom’s relentless free-flowing and organic process of storytelling inspired Bala immensely and led him to fulfill his dream with his debut of PEDDLERS. The film made its world premiere at the 2012 International Critic’s week during Cannes, and has launched Bala in the world cinema spotlight as a filmmaker to watch.

Anand Gandhi, Director, SHIP OF THESEUS
Filmmaker, playwright and artist, Anand Gandhi is deeply interested in philosophy, evolutionary psychology and magic. SHIP OF THESEUS, his directorial feature debut premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival’s City-to-City program. It has gone on to a very successful festival run winning accolades at numerous international film festivals, including Tokyo, Mumbai, Dubai and London. Recently, the Critics' Circle UK celebrating its centenary, voted SHIP OF THESEUS as one of fifteen "life-changing" films. Gandhi is currently engaged in writing, directing and producing films under his banner Recyclewala Films, which was spearheaded with actor Sohum Shah.

Hansal Mehta, Director, SHAHID
Hansal Mehta has directed many films including his early independent features JAYATE, DIL PE MAT LE YAAR, and the cult gangster film CHHAL. For much of the last ten years, Mehta has directed more commercial and mainstream films including YEH KYA HO RAHA HAI, RAAKH, and WOODSTOCK VILLA. After a soul-searching sabbatical to explore social work and rural life, Mehta has returned to his independent sensibilities with SHAHID. The film had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival's ‘City to City’ program. SHAHID is a deeply personal story that reflects Mehta’s anger and concern towards intolerance and bigotry based on religion, class or race.

Nitin Kakkar, Director, FILMISTAAN
The son of a photographer, Nitin Kakkar grew up on a staple diet of Bollywood in the heart of Mumbai. Working as an assistant in film and television, Nitin eventually found his own voice and went on to make his award winning short, BLACK FREEDOM. His feature debut FILMISTAAN made its world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival where it received Special Jury Mention. Since its premiere, FILMISTAAN has gone on to win the hearts of audiences worldwide playing in numerous film festivals including Palm Springs, Mumbai, Kerala and Goteborg Film Festival.


The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (April 9-14, 2013) presents the IFFLA Family Day: An entire afternoon full of activities for kids and a Disney movie!

The event begins Saturday, April 13th, 12:00 PM with a screening of Disney’s ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE, a  retelling of a beloved tale from the epic Mahabharata of Arjun, the exceptional archer, who grows from timid prince to fearless warrior. This brilliant collaboration between UTV Motion Pictures and Walt Disney captures the lavish grandeur and bloodthirsty intrigues of the time in stunning animation. 

Following the film, guests are invited to the ArcLight Hollywood Courtyard for activities including arts and crafts, a fight choreography demonstration by Peter Berube, a Bollywood dance-along with Stuti Kejriwal of the Dancing Buddhas, and more. This event will be directly followed by IFFLA’s music and dance program, Rhythm Village curated by Rukus Avenue. In addition, grab a delicious meal from IFFLA's favorite food truck, India Jones Chow Truck on Sunset Boulevard throughout the day.

Tickets for this event are FREE and will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

Reserve your free tickets now.


DJ Rekha



ArcLight Hollywood Courtyard


IFFLA's Rhythm Village presented by Rukus Avenue celebrates the intimate relationship between music and cinema.  Held annually since 2008, the Arclight courtyard is transformed into a colorful vibrant display of music and dance, designed to enhance the filmgoers experience.

From April 12th to April 13th Rhythm Village's outdoor musical program promises to entertain with world class musicians, enchanting singer songwriters, eclectic fusion bands, groovy dj sets, and a variety of captivating dance forms.

Don't miss IFFLA's Rhythm Village Unplugged, an after hours acoustic session created to allow for a more intimate experience. These up close and personal performances reveal the deeper side of the artist and their journey through music. Be sure to grab a drink and get cozy with your  in IFFLA's Rhythm Village Lounge.

Brainstorm and M safir

Suvah Entertainment is the brainchild of Vivek Malhotra, Amit Apte, and Abhimanyu RajP who have over 10 years of experience in the music industry. They are committed to discovering and developing the best talent as well as producing world class music for their artists. 

Elephants with Guns

Based out of Los Angeles, Elephants with Guns collects music, sounds and noises from different parts of the world, wraps them in twine, and presents them to you.

Asli Baat

Asli Baat was founded in 2008 at the University of Southern California as a way for singers to share their enthusiasm for South Asian music. Since then, Asli Baat has grown into an award winning performance group placing first at Anahat, the annual premiere South Asian a cappella competition at UC Berkeley, in 2012 and 2009. Asli Baat blends both classical and contemporary South Asian music with Western musical styles including hip hop, jazz, R&B, rock, and pop.

Duke Westlake

A beat showcase by rising underground hip hop producer, Duke Westlake.

Reshama Damle

Reshama Damle is an internationally acclaimed performer, choreographer, and educator of the exquisite art of Raqs Sharqi (Egyptian "belly dance") and other Middle Eastern folklore, and the artistic director of Henna & Dates Dance Theater.

Pooja Admane

Rajasthani dancer Pooja Admane hails from New Delhi but recently has relocated to San Diego California. Pooja started her formal classical Indian dance training in Odissi and Kathak. She has also perfected the beautiful hypnotic art of Rajasthani Folk Dance. She travels the globe to share her passion with others and will be gracing the Rhythm Village stage for the very first time.

Sonia Rao

Performing at the Rhythm Village Unplugged Acoustic Lounge at 10:00 PM

Sonia’s music went worldwide when she was featured on NBC’s The Voice, receiving repeated praise from Cee-lo and Christina Aguilera. Since then she has shared the stage and sung duets with such artists as Daniel Bedingfield, Elliot Yamin, and Keaton Simons. Her music has been featured on shows such as MTV's Underemployed, Jersey Shore, and E! Network's Married to Jonas. She recently released her debut album, “Calm Her.”


ArcLight Hollywood Courtyard


Theater Dance Performance by Shyamala Moorty

Shyamala Moorty is a choreographer, interdisciplinary performance artist, and facilitator who is dedicated to healing, connecting, and transforming individuals and communities. Shyamala will perform "Potty Talk", a young woman discovers her heritage through South Asian and Western ideas about culture, hygiene, and class collide as theater, Bollywood dance, and paper flood the stage. Created and performed by Shyamala Moorty, directed by Leilani Chan.

Shivani Thakkar

Shivani Thakkar, is an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer with credits in Canada, USA, and India. She is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Manu Kala Mandir Dance Productions, and Founder/Choreographer of the MKM BollyStars – Canada’s premiere Bollywood Dance Troupe. Shivani’s work includes specialties in Bharata Natyam, Bollywood, Tap, Jazz, and Ballet.


Karmagraphy introduces Bollywood culture and dance in a new light to the Western commercial world. The duo’s experience in film and television includes dancing in Bollywood films starring Shahid Kapoor and Genelia D'Souza; judging for India’s biggest dance competition show – Just Dance; and appearing on shows for Bravo, Showtime, NBC and CBS.

Kamal Khan

Kamal Khan has been on stage since the age of 10 performing in a variety of musicals, and being featured on TV and in commercials, most recently on NBC’s “Outsourced”. More recently, Kamal released his first music video, Pariyon Ki Rani.

Chak De Phatte

Chak De Phatte! is a Bhangra performance group in Los Angeles. This form of dance originating in Punjab as a “Harvest dance” is celebrated everywhere by people of all ages and races- from the radio, to pop music, and even competitive college competitions.

Saum G

Saum G has an innate ability to bring his electronic techniques to life through a talent that is hard to match. In addition to his technical production abilities, Saum plays live cello at every performance, as well as provides vocals to many of his popular tracks. He has shared the stage and worked with many notable artists including Skrillex, Bassnectar, Judge Jules, Rupam Islam, Big Gigantic, and Ghostland Observatory.


Vinita is currently signed under AMG Management. In early 2012, she released her single, “Take Me For One Night” ft. Mann which was an immense success on the UK and Bermuda radio charts. Geared to take off in 2013 with her single “Whatchu Want” (available on iTunes and Amazon), her current project is a Remix E.P. from DJs around the world.


Performing at the Rhythm Village Unplugged Acoustic Lounge at 10:00PM

Fueled by inspiration and innovation, Varshini Muralikrishnan is a singer, keyboardist, composer from Los Angeles. Heavily influenced by Indian classical music, Varshini’s contemporary style ranges from sounds integrating Hiphop and R&B, world fusion, Jazz, and other global influences.