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NYIFF announces opening, closing, and centerpiece films
09 March , 2011
MUMBAI:  The Indo-American Arts Council has announced the feature films that have been selected for the Opening Night, Centerpiece, and Closing Night spots for the New York Indian Film Festival( NYIFF) which runs from 4 May  to 8 May , in Manhattan. 

Opening the 11th annual edition of the IAAC's popular film festival will be the North American premiere of Disney's family comedy Do Dooni Chaar starring the Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. The Habib Faisal-directed film marks the Hollywood studio's first live-action production in India .The film is a comedy about the dreams and challenges of a middle-class family who take a chaotic journey to fulfill their dream, of owning a car, discovering the true meaning of family along the way. Special guests Kapoor, Singh, and Faisal will all be attending the red carpet premiere. 

"Do Dooni Chaar is a charming and sweet indie film that reflects the realities of a middle-class family in modern day Delhi," says NYIFF director Aseem Chhabra. "Written and directed by first time filmmaker Habib Faisal, the film is a perfect blend of authentic dialogues, characters and situations, with a touch of Bollywood charm.  It is a great example of India's new emerging cinema that has an indie soul, but working within the framework of Bollywood."

The Closing Night selection is Rituparno Ghosh’s Noukadubi, an adaptation of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s acclaimed novel, which stars sisters Riya and Raima Sen. Following the 8 May screening will be a special tribute to Tagore who was born 150 years ago on that day. Aparna Sen’s Iti Mrinalini will premiere as the Centerpiece selection. The Bengali film features Sen and her daughter, Konkona Sen Sharma, both playing the same title role at different ages. 

"NYIFF energizes New York City’s diversity by presenting amazing independent and diaspora films from the Indian subcontinent while keeping a close watch on Bollywood’s foray into alternate cinema," states Indo-American Arts Council executive director Aroon Shivdasani. "The three film highlights of our eleventh annual film festival represent a Hollywoodstudio’s Indian social cinema, independent cinema, as well as a tribute to Rabindranath Tagore." 

New York City's Paris Theatre will be the home to the red carpet Opening Night premiere of Do Dooni Chaar on Wednesday, 4 May, followed by a gala benefit dinner at the Jumeirah Essex House.  India's Ambassador to the United States H.E. Meera Shankar, will deliver the welcome address. The Centerpiece selection will screen at Tribeca Cinemas and will be followed by an afterparty at Tribeca Bar. The Closing Night of NYIFF and the Tagore tribute will take place at Asia Society on Sunday, 8May , along with the annual awards ceremony honoring the festival's winners. Directors Sen and Ghosh will be attending the festival as well.

Shivdasani adds "Major American studios partnering with India have flirted with NYIFF in the past – Fox Searchlight, Sony, Miramax, and now Disney’s contribution to our 2011 Opening Night – Do Dooni Chaar.  Clearly NYIFF is the best platform for these films to reach their ideal demographic market."

Tickets for the Opening Night of the New York Indian Film Festival go on sale 20 March while tickets for all other screenings and events will be available starting 10 April.

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