MIAAC, the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council, New York City’s Indian film festival wrapped up five days of screenings and events on Sunday night, November 15th at the Walter Reade Theatre with the US premiere of Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s The Endless Wait (Antaheen). Stars Rahul Bose and Kalyan Roy attended the premiere along with actors and filmmakers including Shabana Azmi, Sarita Choudhury, Shyam Benegal, Javed Ahktar, Mira Nair, Rahul Bose, Manisha Koirala, Rajit Kapur, and Aasif Mandvi. The MIAAC Film Festival which ran from Nov 11-15 screened 47 films which spotlighted the established and emerging Indian independent filmmakers.
Overall, this year’s festival premiered 44 Indian and Diaspora films and held special events, with a sidebar on Kashmir in Film, and discussion panels presented with the NYU Department of Cinema Studies at the NYUTischSchool of the Arts focusing on themes like Queer Bollywood and the changing landscape of Indian film business.
The 2009 MIAAC Award Winners are:
Best Short Film Award: Good Night directed by Geetika Narang. Award presented by Manisha Koirala and Rajit Kapur. The other two nominees were Medicine Man directed by Himkar Tak and It Rises from the East directed by Sudeep Kanwal.
Best Documentary Film Award: The Salt Stories directed by Lalit Vachani. Award presented by Madhur Jaffrey and Sanjay Suri. The other two nominees were Air India by Sturla Gunnarsson and Lucky Ducks by Tracey Jackson.
Best Actor Award: Aasif Mandvi for Today’s Special. Award presented by Sarita Choudhury and Shyam Benegal. The other two nominees were Naseeruddin Shah (Shortchanged) and Rahul Bose (Endless Wait).
Best Actress Award: Tannishtha Chatterjee for Bombay Summer. Award presented by Shabana Azmi and Rahul Bose. The other two nominees were Sarita Choudhury (For Real) and Manisha Koirala (Two Paise for Sunshine).
Best Screenplay Award: Two Paise for Sunshine, Four Annas for Rain by Deepti Naval. Award presented by Javed Ahktar and Amitav Kaul. The other two nominees were Endless Wait by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Shortchanged by Raja Menon.
Best Director Award: Joseph Mathew-Varghese for Bombay Summer. Award presented by Mira Nair and Anurag Kashyap. The other two nominees were Raja Menon (Shortchanged) and Deepti Naval (Two Paise).
Best Film Award: Bombay Summer directed by Joseph Mathew-Varghese. Award presented by Tracey Jackson and Aasif Mandvi. The other two nominees were Shortchanged and Two Paise.
Photo credit: Michael Toolan