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All About 7th Annual IFFH, 2015

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Board Members with the awardees and the Consul General of India
at the 7th Annual IFFH, 2015 on March 5
at the Studio Movie Grill in City Center.

By Vanshika Vipin

HOUSTON: It was back in 2009 when Sutapa Ghosh established the Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH). Initially some people wondered whether the idea of having IFFH would really work or not because most of the Indians who made trips back home could have watched the films there and talking about non-Indians they are just aware of the Bollywood musicals nothing else. After all the struggles and hiccups finally IFFH was voted as the “Best Film Festival of Houston-2014” by Houston Press. IFFH today is stronger than ever, with audiences from the diverse cultural communities of our city. On March 3, 4, and 5, the 7th annual event was held at the Studio Movie Grill in City Center.

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From left: Mohammed Iqbal Khan (Actor), Ananth Mahadevan (Actor and Director), Sutapa Ghosh (Founder and Festival Director), Viveck Vaswani (Actor, Director and Producer).

Filmmakers from different backgrounds and genres were present at the event with their cinematic creations for the audiences. Every Indian short film, documentary and feature film presented at the event was very unique in its own approach and had a deep meaning along with lot of learnings for the audience. All the directors of the films were one by one presenting and introducing their creation to the audience and then gave a Q&A after that. Starting with Director Rucha Humnabadkar, introduced “For Here or to Go?” about a young Silicon Valley software engineer trying to get his visa extended. The film was a hit and got Opening Night Audiences. This was then followed by Director Roopa Barua whose Riders of the Mist,” was a documentary about the bareback racing tradition in Assam, India, gave us insight about the 100 year-old tradition.  This was another well appreciated and liked documentary of the night. After this Producer Viveck Vaswani and director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan took the center stage to introduce their thought-provoking film “Rough Book” about the educational system in contemporary India.

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Consul General Mr. P. Harish with Roopa Barua (Director)

This was not it for the event as there were many more to come. Other films presented at the event were “Jai Ho” a documentary about one of the greatest musicians of the world, A.R.Rahman. “Dum Dum Deega Deega” happened to be one of the most impressive short films that were presented at the event and got great response from the audiences. It is truly an inspiring story about a beggar child with big dreams. This was followed by “Cloth Paper Dreams” another short film about the people who come to Kumbh Mela every twelve years at the confluence of the three holiest rivers. The showdown of films and movies was concluded by another well made short film “Int. Cafe Night” a short about two couples—one old and one young.

After all the films were presented it was time for the most awaited moment of the night the Awards Ceremony. Awards were presented after the Closing Night film. “Cloth Paper Dreams” was shortlisted as the Best Short Film of the night and the Best Documentary went to “Riders of the Mist.” Award for the Best Feature Film was grabbed by Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s “Rough Book.” Several winners at the event previously have gone on to win Oscars, National Awards and critical acclaims at various International Film Festivals.

The Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH) Inc. Is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to education in the fields of film and television and in creating greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing quality films that honor entertainment industry performers and filmmakers while promoting diverse perspectives of the Indian Diaspora through an annual event. The event truly happened to be a big success and a great appreciation night for quality Filmmaking.

For further information, visit http://iffhinc.org

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