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IFFLA introduces Spotlight on South Asia section at upcoming 20th edition

The section will open with Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s Bangladeshi psychological thriller film Rehana Maryam Noor.

Our Correspondent

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) 2022 has announced its line-up of films for the upcoming 20th edition, which will be held in person.

Showcasing a total of 26 films, which includes 10 features and 16 shorts, the festival will be held from 28 April to 1 May.

For the 20th edition, IFFLA has introduced a Spotlight on South Asia section, which will showcase some groundbreaking works emerging from the greater South Asia region and its diasporas.

The section will open with Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s psychological thriller Rehana (Rehana Maryam Noor) about a professor and single mother who puts her family and life on the line to bring justice to a male colleague accused of sexually assaulting a student. The film made history for being the first from Bangladesh to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.

The Spotlight on South Asia section includes the short film 1978 from Pakistan, directed by award-winning director Hamza Bangash; Salar Pashtoonyar’s 2021 Afghanistan/Canada co-production Bad Omen, which won the Student Academy Award; Sunil Pandey’s Rotterdam 2022 selection Baghthan from Nepal; Nuhash Humayun’s 2022 SXSW Midnight Shorts Grand Jury Prize-winner Moshari from Bangladesh; and Seemab Gul’s film Sandstorm from Pakistan, which was premiered at the 2021 Biennale’s Orizzonti.

Co-director of programming Ritesh Mehta said, “The last few years have seen a dynamite rise in South Asian voices getting global acclaim. This 20th year, we are beyond thrilled to have corralled some of these groundbreaking visions and, in turn, offer some inspiring discoveries back to the culture. Our work is a total privilege, and we can’t wait to screen it with our communities in LA and beyond.”

The festival will also stage a live script-reading with prominent local acting talent from the South Asian diaspora of the feature-length screenplay, Alim Uncle, by IFFLA alumnus Kahlil Maskati. Attached to direct the reading is IFFLA alumna Fawzia Mirza (The Queen Of My Dreams, 2013), and confirmed talent include Rizwan Manji and Kausar Mohammed.

As part of its new initiatives, IFFLA will also announce the details and plans for a new mentorship initiative and filmmaker lab during the festival.

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