New York:The Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (IACC) Film Festival wrapped up its 2007 Festival earlier this week in New York, concluding the five exciting days of screenings and events.

Film maker Mira Nair with Anand Mahindra

IACC was set up with the view of promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of Indian artists in the performing, literary, visual, and folk arts realm. They aim to provide a basket of services to artists and art organizations in North America as also facilitating artists from India to exhibit, perform and produce their work here.

Celebrities who walked the red carpet included Mira Nair, Abhay Deol, Konkana Sen Sharma, Salman Rushdie, Madhur Jaffrey, Milind Soman, Pan Nalin, Mylene Jampanoi, Shashi Tharoor, Shonali Bose and Buddhadeb Das Gupta.

This year the Festival attracted over 8,000 people that included film-lovers, critics and industry professionals. 50 films that were screened spotlighted established and emerging South Asian independent filmmakers.

Key Highlights

*Festival kicked off on 7November with a screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’, the first Indian co-production by Sony Pictures followed by a grand party at Madame Tussauds.

*50 films were screened with 12 world premieres, 11 US premieres and 15 New York premieres.

*The Festival included films from India, Kuwait, France, United Kingdom, USA and Canada.

*A key initiative of this year’s festival was Script Link, a two-day programme designed to foster relationships between film industry executives and 14 writers of South Asian descent. It provided selected writers an opportunity to interact with potential investors, development executives, producers and agents such as Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia Pictures and GreenStreet Films in over 200 meetings.


* Chandrika Tandon Best Film Award for Manorama Six Feet Under directed by Navdeep Singh. Cash award of $10,000 presented by Salman Rushdie.

*Indira Mahindra Best Director Award: Rituparno Ghosh for Dosar. Cash award of $10,000 presented by Anand Mahindra, vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Mira Nair.

*Nationwide Actor Award won by Danny Denzongpa for Frozen. Cash award of $10,000 presented by Ambassador Vijay Nambiar and Tariq Khan, vice president for Market Development and Diversity Nationwide Financial Network.

*Dina Kothari Best Actress Award won by Konkana Sen Sharma for Dosar. Cash award of $10,000 presented by Madhur Jaffrey.

*Analog Digital Inc. Best Documentary Award won by India Untouched directed by Stalin K. In-kind award worth $2,500 presented by Consul General Neelam Deo.

*Metropolis Film Lab Best Short Award won by Shanu Taxi directed by Vasant Nath. In-kind award worth $2,500 presented by Shashi Tharoor.

*Verizon People’s Choice Award was presented to Love Story by Amit Gupta

* Best Film Jury was given to Frozen directed by Shivajee Chandrabhushan and was presented by Anuradha Mahindra.