16th Indian Film Festival of Houston: Unique, World Class Cinema

WHO :  16th Indian Film Festival of Houston

WHAT : Film Screenings, Live Q&A with filmmakers,
Entertainment – Moodafaruka, Music without Borders
Reception and Food – Verandah, A Taste of India

WHEN:  Friday, February 23, 2024: 4 – 9:30 pm, and,

Saturday, February 24, 2024: 4 – 9:30 pm

WHERE:  Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004

The Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH) has become a staple of the Houston arts scene.  Now in its 16th year, those who have attended its past events are looking forward to seeing unique world-class shorts, documentaries, and features.  Those who are coming for the first time are in for a treat.

The Founder and Executive Director Sutapa Ghosh, an award-winning filmmaker, established the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to education in film and television that honors entertainment industry performers and film makers.  At the same time, it promotes diverse perspectives of the Indian Diaspora through an annual event. It has been voted the “Best Film Festival of Houston by the Houston Press,” and celebrated by the Houston Chronicle. Several winning productions that were shown here at the elegant Asia Society Texas Center have gone on to win prestigious awards at the Oscars and festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, and Busan.

In addition to the screenings with live Q & A by filmmakers, there will be entertainment by Moodafaruka—Music Without Boarders, and receptions with food by Verandah—A Taste of India.

The festival begins on Friday, February 23, 2024 at 4:15 pm, with the documentary film Parama: A Journey with Aparna Sen, directed by Suman Ghosh.  Called “India’s “Renaissance Woman,” Aparna is the embodiment of a person who has influenced generations through her work as a director, screenwriter, and actress of international renown. Equally important is her role of propagating the condition of Indian women through her feminism.

Ghost Walk, the short film by director Ananth Mahadevan, begins at 6:00 pm.  Filmed in York, Scotland, it is a humorous look at mistaken identities with a twist.  It portrays the rare and special relationship between two individuals in a beautiful way.

After the reception, the feature film Berlin, directed Atul Sabharwal will be shown at 7:00 pm.  During the winter of 1993 in New Delhi, a young deaf-mute man is arrested by the “Bureau” and accused of being a spy.  A sign language expert is brought in to act as an interpreter.  Unravelling of the mystery is a journey that sucks the sign language expert into the dark vortex of rivalry between intelligence agencies, deceit, and corruption where the horizon line between innocence and guilt gets hazy.

Another exciting lineup is planned for Saturday, February 24 at 4:00 pm.  The documentary Colours of Life, directed by Praveen Morchhale who also stars in the film, is about the award-winning film director who revisits the Himalayan Mountain villages 5 years after shooting a national award-winning film in which local villagers appeared.

Naam, a short film directed by Sooraj Gunjal, is the story of a single parent who changes her identity to get a job as house help in order to survive.  The ladies forged a deep connection, often sharing their personal pregnancy experiences.  Their bond is tested due to a significant understanding.

Following a reception, the final film, a feature again by director Suman Ghosh, Kabuliwala, the timeless tale written by Rabindranath Tagore, is about a middle-aged Afghan man, Rahmat, whose heart overflows with fatherly love for a little girl. Set in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) during 1965, it captures a time in which warm relationships knew no boundaries—transcending borders, religions, and cultures.

The highlight of every Indian Film Festival of Houston is the presentation of awards for the best short, documentary, and feature.  This year will be no exception.

We invite you to see more information and to purchase tickets at IFFH (iffhinc.org). Join us at this exciting two-day event.