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Khaas Baat Front Page Article about Deepti Naval at IIFF Tampa

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.

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“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

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 or register at

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 and at several Indian stores in Tampa.

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