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Indian Film Festival of Houston Collaborates for a Memorable Evening

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From Left: Atul Badwal (IFFH Board Member), Amey Prakash (President of IFFH), Anupam Ray, (Honorable Consul General of India, Houston), Sutapa Ghosh (Founder & Festival Director, IFFH) , Nat Krishnamurty, Jose Grinan (IFFH Board Member).
Photos: Krishna Giri

HOUSTON: The Asia Society Texas Center was the venue for The Indian Film Festival of Houston’s special screening of “Waiting,” writer/director Anu Menon’s second feature film. IFFH, as the cultural organization is called, began in 2009 and was voted the Best Film Festival in Houston-2014 by readers of The Houston Press.

This year, IFFH and the Asia Society TC  began a collaboration that will be mutually beneficial.  Guests attending a cocktail reception with Indian hors d’oeuvres at the iconic building designed by Yoshio Tanaguchi were treated to the sounds of Moodafaruka’s multicultural music before going into the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater.

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From Left: Stephanie Todd Wong (Director of Arts & Culture), Atul Badwal (IFFH Board Member), Gianander Dua (Guest from India), Sutapa Ghosh (Founder & Festival Director, IFFH).

One of the goals of IFFH is to bring quality films with universal themes promoting the Indian perspective to diverse audiences.  “Waiting” certainly reached that goal.  Attending the screening not previously shown elsewhere were dignitaries including consuls general, city officials, and cinemaphiles from many ethnic communites.

The film is about two strangers from different generations who meet in a hospital while their spouses are in a coma.  It reveals how each deals with grief while helping the other person get through the trauma.  Although some of the scenes are emotional, bring tears to those in the audience, Menon balances the story with unexpected flashes of humor.  The writing, acting, and score are outstanding and are worthy of awards for which they will no doubt be nominated.

This is the first time that IFFH has had a “mid-year” screening.  The full festival will be held October 28 and 29 at the Asia Society Texas Center, so mark your calendars for a unique experience.

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