2018 New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) Highlights

The 2018 edition of the country’s largest and longest-running diaspora festival, NYIFF, will pay tribute to two of Indian film industry’s icons who passed away in the last few months: Hollywood/Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor and India’s first female superstar Sridevi. Kapoor’s tribute will comprise of two masterpieces from this year’s Academy Award Winner James Ivory’s wheelhouse: SHAKESPEARE WALLAH and HEAT AND DUST.

Shakespeare Walla

The festival will also screen AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A PRINCESS, starring New York author and chef Madhur Jaffrey, as part of its Merchant-Ivory Retrospective. To honor Sridevi’s memory, NYIFF will showcase the actress’ 2012 return to Bollywood in ENGLISH VINGLISH, shot primarily in New York City. Additionally, the festival, running from May 7th to 12th at the Village East Cinemas in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, will open with the U.S. premiere of Ravi Jadhav’s Marathi language film NUDE (with English subtitles) and close with the New York premiere of veteran NYIFF director Hansal Mehta’s biopic on Islamic fundamentalist Omar Saeed Sheikh, OMERTA. This year’s centerpiece slot will be occupied by Miransha Naik’s Konkoni language film JUZE (with English subtitles), making its North American premiere at NYIFF. The festival’s complete lineup will be revealed soon!

NUDE New York Indian Film Festival

After her husband abandons her and her 12-year-old son for another woman, Yamuna is left with no choice but to move to Mumbai for survival. The job she finds is to be a nude model at an art school. She will do everything to fulfill her dream to help her son lead a successful life in the future. But fearing society, she keeps her profession a secret. Watch NUDE trailer HERE.


Omertà is a mind-numbing and cerebral take on this complex paradox of Omar Saeed Sheikh, played by Rajkumar Rao. Omertà is the code of silence, punishable by death if violated. The secrets of the real Omar will go with him to his grave; this Omertà is a look at trying to understand the mind of a man who is out of touch with the world. A man who lives two lives, a man who has a wife and child, but no friends except those who further his needs.

The films posit the question of what it means to be a fundamentalist, why does someone pick up a gun with the intent of killing in return for an afterlife in Paradise. Unapologetic in its approach, it lays down the bare facts and the facts alone and leaves the viewer with a sense of awe, disgust, hate, surprise and lets them examine the ramifications of these events in their lives today.

Boribmol, a village in Goa with a large immigrant population, is ruled by an abusive, thuggish bully, Juze, known as the ‘Slum Landlord.’ His appetite for violent intimidation keeps his immigrant workforce submissive, even when his roving eye extends to their women. Santosh, a 16-year-old boy, is not intimidated.  His determination to continue with his classes remains constant, in spite of regular beatings from Juze.  As events build to a breaking point, Santosh’s passive resistance evolves into determination to confront Juze and finally achieve freedom from fear. Watch JUZE trailer HERE.

ENGLISH VINGLISH, a 2012 film written and directed by Gauri Shinde, will pay homage to Sridevi’s vibrant career on the silver screen. The film swept all the Best Debut Director awards of 2012 for Shinde. It was shortlisted as India’s official entry for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. The film earned global acclaim at several international festivals, and Sridevi was hailed as the “Meryl Streep of India.”

“NYIFF is known around the world for its top-notch, out-of-the-box programming, and this year is no different,” said founder Aroon Shivdasani. “The New York audience is sophisticated, well-traveled, educated and discerning; as such, our content reflects what we think will resonate with the cinephiles of this cosmopolitan city and will keep them coming back for more.”



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