2018 INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS

The 16th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) concluded on Sunday evening (April 15) with a red carpet and gala that featured the Los Angeles premiere and official HFPA screening of Rima Das’ VILLAGE ROCKSTARS, one of the most lauded Indian films on the festival circuit, which also just took home four top awards at the National Film Awards in India, including Best Feature Film. The evening also featured the presentation of the festival’s Grand Jury and Audience Choice Awards presented by HBO.

VILLAGE ROCKSTARS took home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature. In awarding the Grand Prize, the narrative jury stated: “This film explores gender expectations in a gentle manner. It blends beautiful cinematography with naturalistic performances in a fun and uplifting coming-of age story. Working as a one woman army, this director created an unforgettable portrait of childhood.”

A special jury mention was made for Sushama Deshpande’s performance in AJJI. The jury stated: “Taking on difficult characters is always a challenge for an actor. It takes courage to humanize and portray a role that breaks the stereotypes. This actress demonstrated undeniable talent and commitment to deliver an authentic and grounded performance.”

The Grand Jury Prize for Best Short was presented to THE CAREGIVER, directed by Ruthy Pribar. Regarding the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short, the jury awarded, “a film that we loved for its elegant representation of the nuances between compassion and survival, and for its understated yet decisive storytelling.”

A special jury mention was made for COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO, which the jury called “an incredible short film about apartment hunting in Mumbai that not only manages to be well-paced, gripping and bold but also a heart-wrenching perspective into gender inequality in metropolitan India.”

The audiences at this year’s IFFLA chose TAKE OFF directed by Mahesh Narayanan as their favorite narrative feature film of the festival. LOVESICK, directed by Priya Giri Desai and Ann S. Kim took the Audience Award for Best Documentary, and AN ESSAY OF THE RAIN directed by Nagraj Manjule was chosen as Best Short.

IFFLA is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. The 16th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) took place April 11-15, 2018 at Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center in Los Angeles, California. This year the festival featured four world premieres, three North American premieres, two U.S. premieres, and 14 Los Angeles premieres. The lineup represented an impressive 12 languages and a strong list of first and second time filmmakers, including 11 female filmmakers.

Narrative Jury:
Carlos Aguilar (Film critic)
Haifaa Al-mansour (Director)
Sujata Day (Actor)

Shorts Jury:
Giulia Caruso (Film producer)
Aneesh Chaganty (Director)
Guinevere Turner (Screenwriter)

GRAND JURY AWARDS

Best Feature: VILLAGE ROCKSTARS, directed by Rima Das
Features Special Mention: Sushama Deshpande’s lead performance in AJJI
Best Short Film: THE CAREGIVER, directed by Ruthy Pribar
Short Film Special Mention: COUNTERFEIT KUNKOO, directed by Reema Sengupta

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS

Best Feature (Narrative): TAKE OFF, directed by Mahesh Narayanan
Best Documentary: LOVESICK, directed by Priya Giri Desai and Ann S. Kim Best Short: AN ESSAY OF THE RAIN, directed by Nagraj Manjule

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