Mahindra backs IAAC Film Festival in NY


MUMBAI: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has associated with The Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival 2007 to be held from 7-11 November at venues across Manhattan, which will showcase South Asian features, documentaries and shorts.

Mahindra Group vice chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra said, “The Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival is yet another way of strengthening our commitment to nurture the arts. With emphasis on cinema of and by the South Asian Diaspora, this festival has carved out a unique niche for itself and we are proud to be at the forefront of this international initiative.”

It may be recalled that Mahindra & Mahindra is eyeing the media and entertainment space actively now. was the first to report that the company was planning to foray into the film production and distribution space. Their association with IAAC may well be seen as a stepping stone in that direction.

Filmmaker and member of IAAC’s Advisory Board Mira Nair, whose films The Namesake and Monsoon Wedding have premiered at the Film Festival said, “The Indo-American Arts Council has given us a home for our work, our stories and our voices. It is a place for us to fly into the world. And like I always believe, if we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.”

Fueled by independent artistic expression, the 50 films selected this year include stories that range from social issues to suspense dramas. This year’s festival kicks off with the red-carpet screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya, the first Indian co-production by Sony Pictures. Highlights include: Gandhi, My Father directed by Feroze Abbas Khan, Rituparno Ghosh’s The Last Lear and Dosar, and Pan Nalin’s Valley of Flowers.

For the 2007 MIAAC Film Festival, 50 films were selected including 12 world premieres, 11 US premieres and 15 New York premieres. The festival includes films from several countries including India, Kuwait, France, United Kingdom, USA and Canada.

Festival director Pooja Kohli Taneja informs, “We are struck by the sheer diversity of independent film in this year’s festival. The range of artistic expression this year – both directorial and in performances – gives a special quality to the films presented. The films truly uncover the aesthetic experimentation and complex storytelling that is at the heart of emerging independent filmmaking at the moment,” says

Other highlights include: the ‘AIDS JaaGo Project’ that presents four short dramatic films by Indian directors Mira Nair, Vishal Bhardwaj, Santosh Sivan and Farhan Akhtar that aim to dismantle myths and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS.

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