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Film Festival draws huge crowds in Ybor

Opening Night Photobooth

Tampa, FL - The 4th Annual India International Film Festival Tampa Bay celebrated tremendous success during its first year in historic Ybor City.  One of the greatest accomplishments of this year's three-day event was the high caliber of films shown during our festival.  The line-up of more than twenty films included 14 world premieres and films in half a dozen different languages.  The opening night film "Listen Amaya" was so well received, we added a third showing by audience request.  We pride ourselves on the enthusiasm this creates for filmmakers, such as has "Listen Amaya" Director Avinash Singh.

He posted this message to our Facebook page following the festival, "Meant to come on here earlier and thank a lot of people at the India International Film Festival - Tampa Bay (IIFF) for the absolutely wonderful time that was shown to both Geeta & me. What was even more touching was the way Listen Amaya was received by Tampa Bay... and Florida at large! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to... a whole host of other people who worked silently and behind the scenes to make us feel really special... We remain indebted for all the goodness shown to us and nothing seemed to be too much effort for any of you. If you're ever in our neck of the woods, please remember that you have friends. And for that, we also promise to be back. :)"

The festival attracts industry professionals from around the world.   Many filmmakers from previous years returned to Tampa for this year's films - a true testament to our festival's longevity and the growing feeling of community among independent filmmakers.  In addition, the IIFF team was happy to help the filmmakers scout locations right here in the Bay area for future films.  We were proud to host filmmaker Suzanne Bryant, who traveled from California to show her film "Yoga Is".  Suzanne expressed her delight when she spoke to a packed room of enthusiastic yoga lovers who came out to see the film on Saturday.  Furthermore, the frigid temperatures on Sunday morning didn't keep them away from her free yoga outdoor class, which added yet another cultural dimension to the live performances that brought Ybor to life during this year's festival. One of our goals as a festival is to share India's culture, ideas and issues with both the Indian and non-Indian community.  The attendance by an estimated 800 people at this year's event demonstrated our success in accomplishing that mission.  We were also proud to extend our reach on social media by doubling our "Likes" to 1,400 in just two weeks!

Hoi Kun Lo, who attended opening night, wrote on our Facebook page, "Hello to folks I met last night... But cannot recall names. It was nice to meet Hemant (looked you up!) - of last year's The Coffee and now I know within some other networking circles. Hello to the uncle with the red shirt back from a Singapore trip who I chatted with in the bar line... You made me realize not only how small Tampa can be, but the world. And when I say "small", I really mean 'connected' Appreciate what Dr. Patel remarked about the second generation Asians in the US. It goes along with what I told a U of Arizona Communications graduate/broadcaster- many films I like connect me to my culture and others. Diversity, and moreover inclusion, makes us strong."

Our proud sponsors, Dr. Kiran and Pallavi Patel attended opening night.  This event would not have been possible without their commitment to our cause and the dedicated team of organizers and volunteers that help make IIFF Tampa a success.  We are looking forward to our 5th annual festival and we thank the community for your continued support and enthusiasm.  See you next year!!!

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