The Indian film festival of Los Angeles, turns twenty years, showcasing some of the best films from India and bringing Indian culture and traditions closer to the world cinema.
Christina Marouda, an MBA student from Cal State Long Beach, was an admirer of Indian cinema and was watching the growth of Indian cinema in Greece, especially films of Satyajit Ray and actress Nargis. While studying at UCLA, she saw little to no representation of Indian films from the subcontinent and the diaspora. She started watching more Indian movies and in 2003 she launched the festival officially at the Arclight Cinemas.
The establishment of IFFLA’s program has been a huge success. The fantastic works from talented Indian filmmakers, in terms of subject matter and cinematic style, have maintained their steadfast focus as a prime venue in the US. Mumbai’s veteran film festival curator, Uma DaCunha to its current co-ordinator Ritesh Mehta’s advice to the IFFLA, has solidified the reputation of the event over the last twenty years.
IFFLA has also established some path-breaking initiatives like the Filmmaker-Industry One-on-One program, Rhythm village, the Industry Leadership Awards, Masterclass workshop, etc. The films shown at the festival over years were rare and not accessible easily, because of the limited resources of the Indian film industry and its budget, the producers were not able to showcase their creative work to the world. Through the effort and coordination of Ritesh Mehta, co-director of programming, Thouly Dosios both made the impossible possible.