‘Dear Jassi,’ ‘Mrs’ to Bookend New York Indian Film Festival, Lineup Includes Mira Nair, Shabana Azmi Conversation

Tarsem Singh Dhandwar’s “Dear Jassi” and Arati Kadav’s “Mrs” will open and close this year’s New York Indian Film Festival.

Punjabi and English-language “Dear Jassi,” a tale of star-crossed lovers based on a true story, arrives in New York after a glittering festival run that began in 2023, at Toronto, where it won the Platform Prize. That was followed by outings in London, Goa, the Red Sea, Goteborg and Hong Kong festivals. The film is produced by powerhouse Indian studio T-Series alongside Wakaoo Films and Creative Strokes Group.

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Hindi-language “Mrs,” a portrait of domestic hell based on acclaimed 2021 Malayalam-language film “The Great Indian Kitchen,” previously played at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. It is produced by Jio Studios and Baweja Studios.

The centerpiece of the festival is an event celebrating 50 years of thespian Shabana Azmi’s career where a screening of Deepa Mehta’s “Fire” (1996), starring Azmi, will be followed by a conversation between the actor and filmmaker Mira Nair.

Program highlights of the narrative features selection include Prasanna Vithanage’s Busan winner “Paradise”; Jayant Digambar Somalkar’s Toronto-winning “Sthal”; Kanu Behl’s Cannes-debuting “Agra”; Jayant Rohatgi’s Tokyo and Palm Springs player “Sumo Didi”; Suman Ghosh’s Busan selected “The Scavenger of Dreams”; Srijit Mukherji’s biopic of auteur Mrinal Sen “Padatik”; Wendy Bednarz’s Cinequest winner “Yellow Bus”; and Pooja Kaul’s “The Umesh Chronicles,” headlined by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

The documentary strand includes revered filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s Toronto player “The World is Family”; Stephen Soucy’s Miami selected “Merchant Ivory”; Suman Ghosh’s Rotterdam player “Parama: A Journey With Aparna Sen”; Akshay Shah’s Mumbai debuting “Zende: The Supercop”; and Utpal Borpujari’s “The House of Baruas.”

The festival also boasts an extensive selection of shorts spread across four groupings. In all, there will be a total of 49 films, including narrative features, documentaries and shorts.

The New York Indian Film Festival runs May 31-June 2.

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