New York: Feroz Abbas Khan`s ‘Dekh Tamasha Dekh’ will open the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) April 30, while debut director Nitin Kakkar`s ‘Filmistaan’ will be screened as the May 4 closing night film.
Both will premiere at the New York University`s celebrated Skirball Centre, organisers of the oldest, most prestigious Indian film festival in the US, now celebrating its 13th year, announced.
The full line-up of screenings, events, and venues will be announced soon.
Written by renowned Marathi playwright Shafaat Khan, ‘Dekh Tamasha Dekh’ is a social and political satire that cuts deep to the heart of many current issues, a true story based off true events.
Khan, whose debut film ‘Gandhi My Father’ received rave reviews and won several national and international awards, said: "IAAC has an imagination that has expanded to embrace and celebrate the artistic expression of the entire sub-continent."
"I was privileged to perform my play `Mahatma v/s Gandhi` as one of its earlier programmes. `Gandhi My Father` was part of the film festival in 2007," he said describing the opening night film at NYIFF 2013 as "a huge responsibility and honour".
For the closing night of NYIFF, Kakkar brings his cinematic work of art, "Filmistaan", exploring India-Pakistan relationships with subtle brilliance.
The protagonist, aspiring actor Sharib Hashmi, is assisting an American film crew shooting a documentary on the India-Pakistan border when one night he is kidnapped and held hostage in a small village in Pakistan.
When the terrorist group realises they have kidnapped an Indian and not an American, Hashmi is kept hostage until the mix-up is corrected, and he begins a burgeoning friendship with a young Pakistani.
"We are proud to be the among the first supporters of immensely talented directors like Feroz Abbas Khan and Nitin Kakkar," said Aseem Chhabra, festival director.
"It is in keeping with our mission to bring a diverse group of voices to the forefront. The themes of communal harmony and antagonism are shared in our opening and closing films and sheds light to important issues."
Both directors will be in attendance at the festival.