Indian Film Festival of Houston Celebrates 16 Years

Written by: Ellen Israel Goldberg

The 16th Indian Film Festival of Houston outdid itself this year. Each of the films was unique, intelligent, and thought-provoking. Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Executive Director, along with programmers who previewed each motion picture, selected the very best.

The documentary Parama: A Journey with Aparna Sen, about the beloved actress, filmmaker, and political activist, directed by Suman Ghosh, was shown on Friday, February 23rd. Also screened were the short film Ghost Walk, a humorous case of mistaken identity, and a feature It’s Time to Go, inspired by a true story of an elderly couple who want life to have a happy ending — one of their choosing. Both films were directed by Ananth Mahadevan. While Suman Ghosh was in the theater to do a Q&A for his film, Mahadevan appeared on the large screen via Zoom. The audience was very engaged and asked relevant questions that provoked interesting answers.

The films screened on Saturday, February 24th, were the documentary Colours of Life directed by Praveen Morchhale; the short, Naam, directed by Sooraj Gunjal, about a single mother who changed her identity to get a job so she can provide for her son; and the feature film Kabuliwala, directed by Suman Ghosh based on the short story by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Although the tale has been made into other films, this one left women and men in tears. Gunjal and Ghosh were eloquent in answering the questions proposed by the movie goers.

Honorable Indian Consul General D.C. Manjunath addressed the audience, giving kudos to Sutapa Ghosh and IFFH board members. He was followed by Houston Councilwoman Carolyn Evans-Shabazz who greeted the group and presented a Proclamation from Mayor John Whitmire announcing Indian Film Festival of Houston Day.

The Best Short was awarded to Naam, the Best Documentary was awarded to Parama: A Journey with Aparna Sen, Best Feature film was awarded to Kabuliwala and a Special Recognition Award was given to It’s Time To Go.

The venue was beautifully decorated by Décor One for the event where attendees enjoyed Indian food provided by Verandah’s Taste of India while enjoying melodies of Moodafaruka, Music Beyond Borders. We are grateful to our partner Asia Society Texas Center and all our board members, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and audience members.

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