Tabu-starring spy thriller, “Khufiya” has been set as the opening title of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (Oct. 11-15). A Netflix-backed production, the IFFLA presentation will represent the film’s theatrical world premiere.
The festival will wrap with the North American premiere of dramedy “All India Rank,” by Varun Grover. The film had its premiere at the Rotterdam festival in January.
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Between the two, the festival will play four additional narrative features, two documentary features and 16 shorts, hailing from 13 countries.
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, “Khufiya” is based on the novel “Escape to Nowhere,” written by a former chief of counter espionage, Amar Bhushan and sees top actor Tabu (recent titles “Drishyam 2,” “Andhadhun”) as an operative on a mission that requires her to juggle roles as a spy and a lover. It also stars Ali Fazal (“Mirzapur,” “Victoria & Abdul”), Wamiqa Gabbi (“Jubilee,” “Eclipse”) and Azmeri Haque Badhon (“Rehana”).
Bhardwaj, known best for his smart adaptations of Shakespeare’s works (“Maqbool” “Omkara” and “Haider”) and latterly his Agatha Christie retread, in “Charlie Chopra,” will give a masterclass on his filmmaking journey and multi-faceted creative process across screenwriting, directing and music.
The festival’s other feature selections include: the world premiere of Atul Sabharwal’s “Berlin,” Dominic Sangma’s Garo-language film supernatural tale “Rapture,” the Malayalam film “Aattam” (aka “The Play”) by Anand Ekarshi, and “Joram,” by Devashish Makhija.
“The Play” is a scathing chamber drama starring Vinay Forrt, about the havoc that ensues amidst a twelve-man theater troupe when their sole female member is groped by one of her colleagues.
“Joram,” which stars Manoj Bajpayee and Tannishtha Chatterjee, is an adventure thriller where a young couple flee their tribal battleground for a peaceful life in Mumbai, only to be followed by a ruthless shadow from their past who sends them clinging for dear life.
IFFLA’s U.S. premieres of two documentary features are: “The World is Family,” by legendary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, that pays tribute to his parents whose lives were closely linked with India’s independence movement; and “The Golden Thread,” by Nishtha Jain, a lyrical homage to one of the last remaining jute mills in West Bengal.
“We are thrilled to enter IFFLA’s third decade offering a unique and much needed platform for emerging South Asian storytellers, and bringing a highly curated program to Los Angeles audiences,” said IFFLA executive director Christina Marouda. “Los Angeles has become home to countless artists with roots across South Asia and its diasporas. IFFLA has long been a vital touchstone for filmmakers due to both the platform it provides for their work to be seen in the heart of the American film industry as well as the support and networking it has offered the directors, actors, and other film artists.”
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