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DEEPTI NAVAL TO ATTEND OPENING OF India International Film Festival Tampa FEB. 17-19

Actor-filmmaker Deepti Naval will be among the celebrity guests at the opening night of the third annual India International Film Festival Tampa Friday, Feb. 17.

“It is an honor to welcome Naval to IIFF Tampa because she encompasses our vision and goal of continually providing the highest quality of Indian inspired films to the Bay area,” said IIFF spokesperson Francis Vayalumkal. Naval’s directorial debut, “Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish,” starring Manisha Koirala – which received rave reviews during its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, will be a centerpiece feature and screened on Saturday, Feb. 18.

A still from Deepti Naval’s “Do Paise Ki Dhoop,
Chaar Aane Ki Baarish.”

A still from Deepti Naval’s “Do Paise Ki Dhoop,
Chaar Aane Ki Baarish.”









The festival, organized by the INDO-US Chamber of Commerce, will include full-length independent films, regional films, documentaries and short films. Other events will showcase cultural entertainment, interactive discussions with filmmakers, and moderated panel discussions.

In its third year, 130 films were submitted to the festival and only less than 30 will be selected for screening at the festival. “Since last year, IIFF has become a place for the world premiere for several films and the number will increase this year,” said Vayalumkal. “This provides a unique opportunity for attendees to watch great independent films and interact with filmmakers.”
IIFF Tampa goes beyond Bollywood, to showcase independent films and documentaries that would otherwise go unrecognized. Featured films cover a wide range of intriguing topics, including romance, the Occupy Wall street movement, arranged marriages, homosexuality, music, spirituality, family relationships and the influence of social media on today's society.    

A diverse selection of languages will be featured, including Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu and Urdu. “This year, we are proud to include ‘Aadukalam’ (Arena), a Tamil feature film that won six national awards in India with its filmmakers expected in attendance,” said Vayalumkal. Other films include “Adwait Sangeet,” a documentary on renowned vocalists Padma Bhushan Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Mishra of the Banaras 'gharana' and is an insightful look into one of the leading classical music traditions of India and tries to give a strong social message on Indian cultural tradition, family values and its continuing relevance. The film “Patang” (The Kite), a poetic journey to the old city of Ahmedabad, eaves together the stories of sic people transformed by the energy of India’s largest kite festival. A full list of films and schedule is available at www.IIFFTampa.com

IIFF Tampa also will host its first film school this year. “So far, we are the only Indian Film Festival in the country to do so, thanks to some of the best and brightest local scriptwriters, directors, cinematographers and film experts, who have made this opportunity possible,” said Vayalumkal. The boot camp-style film school will take place on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 for $179.99. For more information, e-mail Darshna Patel at [email protected] or register at www.IIFFTampa.com

Individual movie tickets are $10; the festival pass, which includes entry into every film screening, and all events of the festival (excluding Saturday night party), is $75; a one-day pass that allows admission into all films and on-site events for Saturday or Sunday is $25; a two-day pass is $40; and if you wanted to attend just the opening night, the cost is $50, which includes dinner and cocktails.

Film passes are available at www.IIFFTampa.com and at several Indian stores in Tampa.

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Photo credit: SUPhotography © Sana Ullah

Let the mayhem begin as in the fifth annual Miami Mayhem, an intercollegiate garba/raas competition showcasing eight raas teams from across the nation battle for more than $3,000 in cash.

On March 3, the University of Miami Indian Students Association will host the event, which also offers an opportunity for teams to compete for a national championship title. Additionally, there will be exhibition performances, including Hurricane SwaggeRaas, Hurricane Bhangra and UMiami Tufaan Acapella group!

Photo credit:
SUPhotography © Sana Ullah

All proceeds benefit Sunil’s Home Charity, an organization that addresses the increasing needs of orphans in India. The staff and volunteers of Sunil’s Home commit their time, talent and resources to help orphans transform their lives and the lives of future generations.

Miami Mayhem will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Julius Littman Performing Arts Theater, 17011 N.E. 19th Ave., North Miami Beach. Tickets are priced from $15 and can be purchased at www.desiclub.com starting in mid-February. For details, call (954) 937-5582 or (409) 223-9111, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.miami-mayhem.com






Samir Date and Dipalee Somaiya will perform
at Ekal concerts this month in Florida.

Jacksonville, Orlando, Ocala and Tampa will hold their Ekal Vidyalaya musical concert fundraisers in February. Other Florida cities to hold the fundraisers are to be determined. Presenting film songs, ghazals and bhajans at the concerts will be playback singers Samir Date and Dipalee Somaiya.

A charitable trust, Ekal Vidyalaya (www.ekal.org) initiates, supports and runs non-formal one-teacher schools in India. The movement strives to create a network of non-formal schools and health education that will educate and empower children in tribal India.

JACKSONVILLE: For information on the Feb. 11 show to be held from 5 p.m. at Bolles Middle School (Bartram Campus), 2264 Bartram Road, Jacksonville, call Dilip Kothekar at (904) 737-1269 or email [email protected]

ORLANDO: For details on the Feb. 12 fundraiser, which will be held at 5 p.m. at Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall, call Suresh Gupta at (407) 619-1500 or e-mail [email protected]

OCALA: For information on the Feb. 17 show, call Nand Kishore Karve at (352) 362-4027 or e-mail [email protected]

TAMPA: For details on the Feb. 18 concert from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road (tickets are $25, VIP is $100), call Jawahar Tauk at (727) 480-3829 or e-mail [email protected]

Also, visit www.ekal.org/floridaregion for further information.



About 150 to 200 people are expected to attend “Raga Unveiled,” a film that brings the artistry and origins of India’s raga music alive. It will be screened at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Hollywood. At the end of the two-hour documentary on Indian classical music in English, its maker Mukesh Desai will meet and greet the audience and answer questions.

According to the documentary’s Web site, “For the first time on film, eloquent commentaries by musicians, Vedic scholars, and musicologists join hands with spectacular cinematography, intoxicating spectrums of sound, and rare archival footage resulting in a grand synthesis to honor this music in its entirety.”

The film is being presented by the Association of Performing Arts of India at Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, 1770 Monroe St., Hollywood (U.S. 1 and Monroe Street); Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For more information, call (954) 885-1466, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.apaiart.com


The ninth annual IndiaFEST put together by Palm Beach India Association will be on Saturday, Feb. 18, in downtown West Palm Beach.

According to organizers, IndiaFEST is a way to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of India with the South Florida community. Over the past years, IndiaFEST has become one of the premier events to occur in South Florida, with more than 15,000 people in attendance.

The outdoor event from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., which is free and open to the public, will feature musical, dance and cultural performances; food, clothing, and craft vendors; and art exhibits.
Meyer Amphitheater is at 105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach. For details, visit www.sfindiafest.com or e-mail [email protected]

CALL 813-758-1786.
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