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    From India to NYC
    ST-4While the International Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles called curtains for another year earlier this week, the 14th New York Indian Film Festival, to take place from May 5-10, revealed its selection. Among the 23 features are Geetu Mohandas’ Liar’s Dice, Nagraj Manjule’s Fandry, Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi and Amit Masurkar’s Sulemani Keeda. Anurag Kashyap’s Ugly is the opening film, while Aparna Sen’s Goynar Baksho will be the closing event. Documentaries on show include Karan Bali’s An American in Madras, Gulabi Gang by Nishtha Jain and Sumanta Ghosal’s The Unseen Sequence.

    Meet the parents
    Author Chetan Bhagat’s novel, Two States of My Marriage, which borrows heavily from his own love story (Bhagat fell in love with his
    Tamilian wife, Anusha, during their days at IIM), sees its film adaptation releasing today. The film, 2 States, is a comic look at the cultural conundrums that surround an inter-caste marriage and sees Arjun Kapoor (Krish Malhotra) and Alia Bhatt (Ananya Swaminathan) playing the Punjabi and Tamilian respectively. In order to bring in some authenticity, the makers managed to get permission to shoot at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)—in some measure, thanks to the institution’s famous alumnus, Bhagat. “It was nice to be able to portray college life in the very campus where Krish and Ananya actually meet in the book. And yes, this is the first time they have let anyone shoot on their campus,” said director Abhishek Varman. Amrita Singh and Ronit Roy star as the Malhotras and Revathy and Shiv Subramaniam as the Swaminathans.

    Politically speaking
    Feroz Abbas Khan’s debut feature film, Gandhi, My Father, released in 2007. Seven years later, the playwright-director is back with his second film. A political satire, Dekh Tamasha Dekh is based on true events that spotlight the absurdity of the Indian system and caste politics. The film stars a mix of Marathi stage and film actors, and Hindi films talent like Satish Kaushik and Tanvi Azmi. Says Khan, “The film tells you about the intolerant society that we are. It’s a microcosm of this country in one story. You can enter this film from whichever position you choose. The important question is: is identity more important than humanity?” Known for his long-running
    stage show, Tumhari Amrita, which has halted after the untimely passing of actor Farooque Shaikh last year, Khan says he currently has no plans to revive the production. He is also busy directing episodes of an ongoing soap on Doordarshan, titled Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon, which explores issues of sex selection, child marriage, etc.

    Be a sport
    As if the involvement of film stars in the IPL was not enough—with Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta owningST-2cricket teams—it was then the turn of the Hockey League, which saw John Abraham lending might and muscle. Last week, Abhishek Bachchan announced that he had thrown his hat into the kabbadi ring by buying the Jaipur franchise in the Pro Kabaddi League. But now the next big sporting spectacle that has Bollywood in a tizzy is the Indian Super League, the football league slated for September-November this year. As if their calendars were not crowded enough with film shoots, promotions, endorsements and personal commitments, actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Salman Khan and Abraham have partnered to buy teams in Mumbai, Pune and Guwahati respectively. There is no doubt that the possibility of seeing your favourite film star while cheering your sporting team is a huge bonus, and glamour is a critical quotient of these tournaments. Let’s hope they also encourage the youth to get out and play some games.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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