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Tabu-starrer ‘Andhadhun’ to open the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

by Mignonne D’souza


This April, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA), in its 17th edition,  will honour the prolific actress, amid a diverse lineup of films in mainstream and regional Indian languages.

A four-day showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema, IFFLA is widely recognised for bridging the gap between the cinema from Hollywood and India. Notably, this year's IFFLA roster includes female and first-time filmmakers, as well as festival alumni returning with their latest projects.

Sriram Raghavan’s box office hit ‘Andhadhun’ will kick off the festival on April 11. At the festival’s Opening Gala, the screening will be preceded by a moderated conversation with national-award winning actress Tabu, who stars in the film alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte. Post-screening, Raghavan and Tabu will engage in a Q&A on 'Andhadhun', which sees Tabu taking on the comedic villainess role of Simi, a desperate actress caught disposing of her husband’s body in front of a presumably blind pianist, Akash, played by Khurrana.

Tabu is known for her strong individuality and unwillingness to compromise, setting the characters she portrays, and herself, a class apart in the Indian film industry. With a slate of Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali films under her belt, Tabu is a recipient of two national awards, six Filmfare awards and a Padma Shri (India's 4th-highest civilian honour). Apart from performances in critically acclaimed titles like 'Maachis',  'Virasat', 'Kandukondain Kandukondain', 'Astitva', 'Chandni Bar', 'Meenaxi', 'Haider' and 'Maqbool', Tabu’s box office successes in 'Border', 'Golmaal Again', 'Vijaypath', 'Ninne Pelladatha', 'Hum Saath Saath Hain', and 'Saajan Chale Sasural' garnered her mass appeal. Internationally, she has garnered laurels for her leading role in Mira Nair's 'The Namesake', as well as for her supporting role in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning 'Life of Pi'.

Tabu’s next release 'De De Pyaar De', where she will be reunited with Ajay Devgan, is directed by Akiv Ali. She will also be seen in Ali Abbas Zafar’s 'Bharat'.

According to IFFLA’s Executive Director, Christina Marouda, the tribute to Tabu couldn’t take shape at a better time. “We have discussed honouring Tabu for a long time. Her work and personality embody everything that IFFLA is about — being fearless, versatile, independent in spirit, unwilling to compromise, brilliant in the range of her performances, and simply beautiful. With half of the festival’s 2019 line-up directed by female filmmakers, this couldn’t be a stronger celebration of women in Indian cinema.”

The festival highlights include Sundance and Slamdance favourites in Ritesh Batra’s Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Sanya Malhotra-starrer ‘Photograph’, Ronny Sen’s unforgettable feature debut ‘Cat Sticks’, and the exhilarating ‘Taking The Horse To Eat Jalebis’ from theatre director Anamika Haksar. Other prominent titles in the narrative features program are Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s abstract sophomore feature ‘Jonaki’, Dar Gai’s widely-travelled ‘Namdev Bhau In Search Of Silence’, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s Tibetan feature ‘The Sweet Requiem’, UCLA alum Ronak Shah’s family drama ‘Love Goes Through Your Mind’, Safdar Rahman’s heartwarming ‘Chippa’ starring Sunny Pawar of the ‘Lion’ fame and Praveen Morchhale’s ‘Widow Of Silence’ which screened at Rotterdam 2019.

IFFLA’s short film program includes Ashish Pandey’s ‘Nooreh’ (Busan), Jayisha Patel’s ‘Circle’ (Berlin, Toronto, BFI London), Sandhya Suri’s ‘The Field’ (Sundance, Toronto), Rishi Chandna’s ‘Tungrus’ (IDFA), Shazia Iqbal’s ‘Bebaak’ (MAMI) and Vikas Chandra’s ‘Maya’ (Echo BRICS, Moscow). Aside from these travelled and lauded titles are three world premieres — Varun Chounal’s ‘Youthful’, Neha RT’s ‘The Shaila(S)’ and Sakshi Gulati’s ‘Neon’. 

“We’re incredibly proud of the intelligent, crowd-pleasing and adventurous films in this year’s lineup. Two of the themes that really stand out amongst all those that we’re seeing this year are intergenerational stories and stories that dive into political conflict,” said Mike Dougherty, IFFLA’s Programming Director. “With both, there's an interesting conversation to be had on how filmmakers are examining the changing world, and how that world is moving towards a bold new future. I’m excited to explore these themes further with our filmmakers and audience members.”

While IFFLA will continue its tradition of showcasing the best in Indian and South Asian cinema, changing distribution models have led to a variety of new and exciting content premiering on television and digital spaces. With that in mind, IFFLA will feature the TV-centric panel discussion “Breaking In Brown: Making It To Series In TV’s Golden Age” highlighting the work of South Asian actors, directors, writers and producers working in the television space. The panel is presented with support from the India Center Foundation.


For the detailed programme, click here