THE 2023 INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES (IFFLA) ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS
Aattam (The Play) And Men In Blue Take Home The Grand Jury Prizes
Audience Awards Went To The Golden Thread And Tall Dark And Handsome
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 16, 2023) – The 21st Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) today announced the winners of their annual jury and audience awards for 2023. All winners were announced during the in-person awards ceremony on October 15, 2023, in Los Angeles, CA.
“We are so proud of our Jury and Audience winners and all of the filmmakers who were part of our 21st edition of IFFLA. We end the festival feeling immense gratitude and satisfaction for bringing the community together and expanding our IFFLA family. The thoughtful conversations among the filmmakers and audiences over the past five days were incredibly invigorating,” said IFFLA Executive Director Christina Marouda.
Esteemed auteurs and industry professionals voted to determine the IFFLA Jury Awards which are given to films and filmmakers in feature and short categories.
The Feature Grand Jury prize was awarded to Aattam (The Play) directed by Anand Ekarshi, with an Honorable Mention given to Rapture directed by Dominic Sangma. The jury stated: “Aattam, a stunningly written and acted ensemble film set amid a Kerala theater troupe… that manages to provoke, question and interrogate the politics of gender as an utter revelation.” and “Rapture deserves this win for its evoking cinematography, stellar ensemble cast and for the genius touch of the director leading us gently into the darkness that descends on this simple Meghalayan village. It is storytelling at its purest, local and yet thematically universal.”
The Jury Members for the Feature Film Competition were:
- Karan Soni (Actor, Deadpool, Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, Miracle Workers)
- Bilal Qureshi (Journalist and Film Critic, NPR and Washington Post)
- Utkarshini Vashishtha (Screenwriter, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Sarbjt; Associate Director, India’s Got Talent)
The Shorts Grand Jury Prize was given to Men In Blue directed by Sachin Dheeraj, about which the jury stated, “We were incredibly impressed by its boldness of vision, assured directing, and emotional performances. That this film was based on true events leaves an even more stark impact on the audience. We’re excited to see what Sachin does in the future.” Honorable Mentions were given to Places I’ve Called My Own by Sushma Khadepaun and Anu by Pulkit Arora.
The Jury members for the Best Short Film Competition are:
- Priya Arora (Journalist, The New York Times, HuffPost; Podcaster, Queering Desi)
- Geeta Malik (Writer and Director, India Sweets and Spices, Abbott Elementary)
- Katie Walsh (Film Critic, Los Angeles Times)
The 2023 Audience Awards, voted on by IFFLA attendees, went to feature title The Golden Thread by Nishtha Jain and short film Tall Dark And Handsome by Sam Baron.
The 2023 edition of the internationally acclaimed festival featured 24 films (6 narrative features, 2 documentary features, 16 shorts) from 13 countries and in 14 languages, including the world theatrical premiere of Vishal Bhardwaj’s Khufiya, the world premiere of Atul Sabharwal’s Berlin, and the North American premieres of Varun Grover’s dramedy All India Rank, Dominic Sangma’s Garo language film Rapture, and the Malayalam film Aattam (The Play) by Anand Ekarshi. Plus, the LA premiere of Joram by Devashish Makhija. IFFLA, which now provides year-round programming, aims to bring innovative independent films from South Asia and its diasporas to Los Angeles audiences, including features, shorts, narrative, documentary, and animated works.
Opening and Closing Night Galas took place at the Harmony Gold Theater (7655 Sunset Blvd.) in Hollywood while all other screenings, masterclasses, and panels were held at the downtown Regal LA Live (1000 W. Olympic Blvd.).
IFFLA is supported by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery LA, an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan. The festival is also funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.
For more information, please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org or follow us on Facebook (/indianfilmfestival), Instagram (@indianfilmfestival) and X (formerly Twitter) (@iffla).
For press images, click HERE.
A full list of winners is below:
THE GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FEATURE FILM AWARD
- AATTAM (THE PLAY) by Anand Ekarshi
FEATURE JURY HONORABLE MENTION
- RAPTURE by Dominic Sangma
THE GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST SHORT FILM AWARD
- MEN IN BLUE by Sachin Dheeraj
SHORT FILM JURY HONORABLE MENTION
- PLACES I’VE CALLED MY OWN by Sushma Khadepaun
- ANU by Pulkit Arora
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE FILM
- THE GOLDEN THREAD by Nishtha Jain
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM
- TALL DARK AND HANDSOME by Sam Baron
For winner images, click HERE.
ABOUT INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF LOS ANGELES (IFFLA)
The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) brings to Los Angeles audiences the most innovative independent films coming out of South Asian and its diasporas, in a vibrant program comprising features and shorts, including narrative, documentary, and animated works.
In addition to film screenings, the festival offers stimulating discussions between filmmakers and audiences, as well as panel conversations and industry sessions. IFFLA also hosts original special programs, such as retrospectives, spotlights, and masterclasses, along with lively networking and social events, all aimed at fostering a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian and larger South Asian diaspora.
IFFLA was founded in 2002 as a non-profit organization with the aim to offer the Los Angeles community a unique opportunity to learn about India’s multifaceted culture and long history of filmmaking. Since then, IFFLA has grown into the premiere U.S. venue for discovering the best of Indian cinema, as well as a vital hub that fosters an important dialogue among the most original independent storytellers from India and its diaspora, the greater South Asian diasporic community and the international film industry at large.
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