Warner Bros. Discovery joins as a major sponsor, with additional support from SAGindie, Disney, Joy of Sharing, and Tarsadia Foundation

Moira Shourie, Executive Director of Zócalo Public Square, to deliver keynote address

Industry Day to conclude with the LA Special Screening of award-winning director Lucy Walker’s
new Netflix Documentary
Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa


Los Angeles, CA (June 6, 2024) – The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announced today its inaugural annual IFFLA Industry Day lineup and partners. This full day of curated events will take place during the festival on Friday, June 28, 2024, from 10:00 am – 11:30 pm at the Landmark Theatres Sunset, 8000 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Industry Day Passes are now available at

The IFFLA Industry Day is a first-of-its-kind forum designed to bring together revered and aspiring filmmakers from South Asia and its diasporas with experts and decision-makers from companies such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Sundance Institute, Roadside Attractions, Film Independent, Macro, The Salon, ColorCreative, CAPE, and more. Given the recent successes of South Asian filmmakers at the Oscars® and Cannes Film Festival, this highly curated program is both timely and relevant.

The lineup at the IFFLA Industry Day includes a pitch competition with a $10,000 award, panels, roundtable discussions, and a keynote address by Moira Shourie, Executive Director of Zócalo Public Square. The day will conclude with a special screening of Lucy Walker’s latest film, Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa, before its release on Netflix, with Walker and film participants Lhakpa Sherpa and Sunny Dijmarescu in attendance.

Since its inception 22 years ago, IFFLA has become a critical hub for the South Asian film community in the heart of the entertainment industry, fostering connections between filmmakers and decision-makers in Hollywood. IFFLA Industry Day expands the festival’s mission of discovering the best South Asian talent, bringing them to Hollywood, and providing meaningful opportunities for them to interact with the titans of the industry. Pathbreaking filmmakers such as Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur, Sacred Games), and Richie Mehta (Delhi Crime, Poacher) found representation in the U.S. through IFFLA’s signature One-on-One program.

“We are thrilled to launch the inaugural edition of our Industry Day,” said Christina Marouda, Executive Director of IFFLA. “This will not only be a first for IFFLA as an organization but for the entire film community. We are excited to create a platform for established executives from the industry and South Asian filmmakers to come together to exchange inspiring stories and ideas, gain mentorship and build collaborations here in Los Angeles, the nation’s film and television industry hub.”

India Center Foundation, which recently merged with IFFLA, provided crucial funding in launching IFFLA Industry Day. Warner Bros. Discovery has joined as a major sponsor and will host key events at the forum. Additional sponsors include SAGindie, Disney, Joy of Sharing, and Tarsadia Foundation.

The pinnacle event of IFFLA Industry Day is Launch Pad: A Pitch Competition, where pre-selected projects in development will be presented by their creative teams to a diverse panel of executives and a live audience. Invited projects will receive immediate feedback from the panelists who, upon completion of the event, will award one of the projects a $10,000 development grant presented by Joy of Sharing and Tarsadia Foundation.

“The Launchpad: Pitch Competition attracted over 200 South Asian writers from all corners of the US. We were overwhelmed by the quality of the applications”, said Noopur Sinha, Festival Producer. “There is clearly an incredibly talented South Asian artistic community eager to bring new narratives to the screen. We are thrilled to give a platform and facilitate meaningful industry connections to these exciting voices and their projects in Los Angeles.”

Panel themes include South Asian Success Stories and the current state of the industry, as well as a special discussion about real-world journeys of trailblazing South Asian writers, directors, producers and actors who have navigated the highs and lows of the entertainment industry, hosted by Warner Bros. Discovery.

IFFLA Industry Day will conclude with a special screening of Lucy Walker’s new Netflix Documentary Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa. In this film, the Emmy®-winning and two-time Oscar®-nominated director focuses her nuanced lens on Lhakpa Sherpa – the trailblazing first Nepali woman to completely summit and descend Mount Everest. Lucy Walker, Lhakpa Sherpa, and Sunny Dijmarescu will be in attendance for a fascinating post-screening discussion.

Passes to experience IFFLA Industry Day are now available. The general public can purchase the Industry All-Access Pass ($180) for admission to all festival screenings, galas, and industry day programming. For those only interested in Industry Day programming, the Industry Day Pass 
($40) provides access to the keynote address and two panels, the pitch competition and evening reception, as well as the Friday, June 28th screenings of Shorts Program 1 and Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa.

For more information and to secure a pass, please visit


With a remarkable career spanning over three decades, Moira Shourie brings her unique insights and wealth of experience to inspire and enrich the understanding of the dynamic world of filmmaking. She is the executive director of Zócalo Public Square, a California-based unit of ASU Media Enterprise that aims to connect people and ideas by examining essential questions in an accessible and broad-minded spirit through public events and published opinion pieces. Shourie’s career in media began as part of the startup team that launched Outlook, now one of India’s most widely read news magazines. She went on to be the first music programmer of MTV India.

$10,000 Development Grant
Five selected finalists will have the chance to pitch their idea for a feature film or episodic series to a panel of distinguished, industry-expert judges in front of a live audience. The pitches will receive immediate feedback from the judge’s panel, not only giving valuable advice to the contestants but also providing an educational experience to the gathered audience as to what goes into crafting an effective pitch. The pitch competition winner of the $10,000 development grant will be announced at the closing reception of IFFLA Industry Day hosted by Warner Bros. Discovery.

The jury for the Pitch Competition includes:

  • Mohammed Ali – Lit Manager, Authentic Talent and Literary Management
  • Talha Asad – VP, Drama Programming, HBO
  • Najeeb Khuda – Producer, Literary Manager, Co-Founder, Endless Media
  • Smriti Mundhra – DGA-winning, Emmy®-nominated, and Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker ( Louis Superman, Indian Matchmaking)


  1. Qasim Anwar, Tanmay Chowdhary (Imaginary Homelands)
  2. Sachin Dharwadke (The Whisper)
  3. Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda and Dini Parayitam, (Mouna Tharangam, A Silent Wave)
  4. Shuchi Dwivedi (Friends and Fascism)
  5. Sejal Pachisia (Empathico) 


An enlightening discussion with a panel of trailblazing South Asian creatives who have beaten the odds and gotten their stories told in this ever-changing climate. Attendees will gain valuable insights into questions such as how to get your story noticed in a competitive space, how their work fits into that bigger picture, what the paths to success are available in an extremely competitive business, and how to remain true to your voice throughout the process.

Moderator: Priya Giri Desai, Producer, Prism Entertainment


  • Mridu Chandra, Producer (Becoming Cousteau, Cured)
  • Kilian Kerwin, Executive, Jaya Entertainment (Delhi Crime, Crazy Rich Asians)
  • Sanjay Patel, Animator (Ghee Happy, The Incredibles)
  • Madhuri Shekhar, Playwright/Screenwriter (Evil Boy, Nice Indian Boy)
  • Tarsem Singh, Director (Dear Jassi, The Cell, Immortals)

Hosted by Warner Bros. Discovery
Dive into the real-world journeys of trailblazing South Asian writers, directors, producers and actors who have navigated the highs and lows of the entertainment industry. This panel offers pragmatic insights on forging an enduring creative career, from getting noticed to adapting to shifts, while staying authentic to your vision. An unmissable masterclass for emerging and accomplished talents alike.

Moderator: Senain Kheshgi, Senior Programmer, Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles

  • Nik Dodani, Actor (Atypical, Murphy Brown), Co-Founder, The Salon
  • Geeta Malik, Writer and Director (India Sweets and Spices)
  • Guneet Monga, Producer (The Elephant Whisperers, Kill)

At the Industry Roundtables, executives and representatives from top entertainment companies will meet with festival filmmakers and the five finalists of the pitch competition to talk about their companies, how they might intersect with South Asian artists, what they are looking for, and how they see the industry shifting. Industry participants include Netflix, Macro, M88, Roadside Attractions, Sundance Institute, CAPE, ColorCreative, Film Independent, Salon and Warner Bros. Discovery. This event is open to the IFFLA 2024 filmmakers and Pitch Competition finalists and will be followed by a lunch hosted by Disney.

For more information and to secure a pass, please visit


Kimberly Gutierrez

MPRM Communications
Los Angeles, USA

Abhishek Rana
Mumbai, India