The Kennedy Center Presents

Film Series

 Featuring

Devi, directed by Satyajit Ray
Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), directed by Kiran Rao

Fire
, directed by Deepa Mehta
Four Women, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Mandi, directed by Shyam Benegal
Mirch Masala, directed by Ketan Mehta 

And Film Discussions
Portrayal of Indian Women in Film
with
Nandita Das, Shabana Azmi, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ketan Mehta & Dilip Basu Bollywood and Beyond with Nandita Das

 March 15-20, 2011 in the Terrace Theater and Terrace Gallery 

 (WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The Kennedy Center presents the maximum INDIA Film Series March 15-20, 2011 in the Terrace Theater and Terrace Gallery. The event is part of the three-week long festival, maximum INDIA, and will feature six film screenings and two film discussions. 

An unprecedented line-up of Indian cinematic luminaries will introduce and discuss their films. From legendary actress and humanitarian Shabana Azmi to the bold and often controversial Nandita Das as well as renowned directors, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Kiran Rao, and Ketan Mehta, some of the most exciting artists in India will be in attendance.

The maximum INDIA Film Series provides a glimpse into cinema of one of the largest, most diverse film industries in the world. The films selected for the series are an eclectic collection of movies and documentaries that highlight major landmarks in Indian filmmaking over the last 50 years, with a special focus on films that feature women.  These films have been made by some of the most outstanding directors in the industry and the roles portrayed by actresses of remarkable range, beauty, and accomplishment. Many of them will introduce their films and engage in discussions with the audience and among themselves, focusing on the presence of women in Indian films.  

All foreign-language films will be presented with English surtitles.

 FILMS

 All film screenings are $12 and will be screened in the Terrace Theater. 

 Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) (2010)

Written and Directed by Kiran Rao
Featuring Aamir Khan, Munna Prateik, Shai Monica Dogra, and Yasmin Kriti Malhotra
March 19, 2011 at 8pm in Terrace Theater, $12
With introduction and post-screening Q&A with Parvez Sharma

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is the story of four people from very different backgrounds, whose worlds intersect and leave them forever altered. Fragments of their experience – seen through a naïve video diary, black and white photographic images and painting – form a portrait of Mumbai and its people.

In a career spanning 20 years, Aamir Khan has performed in over 40 films.  As one of the biggest stars of Indian cinema, his films include Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, 3 Idiots (the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema), Lagaan (2001 Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film), and Dhobi Ghat. Khan’s directorial debut, Like Stars on Earth (2007) was India’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2008 Academy Awards®. In 2002 he was awarded the Padma Shree by the President of India, and in 2010 the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards.

Kiran Rao has worked as an Assistant Director on films such as the Academy Award® nominated Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding, winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion. She served as associate producer on Taare Zameen Par, India’s official entry to the Academy Awards®, and the immensely popular Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.  Rao went on to produce Peepli Live, the first Indian film to be selected in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2010. 

Parvez Sharma is a New York based writer and filmmaker. His first feature, which he directed and produced, was A Jihad for Love. He has been featured on Fox, BBC, CNN, MSNBC and much media around the world. His book My Jihad (working title) comes out in 2012. He is a prominent speaker on Muslim issues and has conducted more than 200 live events around the world including many on U.S. campuses which include Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Northwestern, Yale, Harvard, NYU, Columbia and Chicago University. He is also the winner of the prestigious GLAAD media award .

Four Women (2007)

Directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Written by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Featuring Padmapriya, Geethu Mohandas, Manju Pillai, and Nandita Das
March 16, 2011 at 7:30pm in Terrace Theater, $12
With an introduction and post-screening Q&A with director/writer Adoor Gopalakrishnan and actress Nandita Das

Four Women is a searing and thought-provoking drama revolving around four elemental female characters in the south Indian state of Kerala: The Prostitute, The Virgin, The Housewife, and The Spinster. In each tale, the women must submit to a role society decides for them, and each role offers a paradox of freedom and bondage in equal measure. There will be an introduction and post-screening Q&A with director and screenwriter Adoor Gopalakrishnan and actress Nandita Das. In Malayalam with English subtitles.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a National Award-winning Indian film director, script writer, and producer. He had a major role in revolutionizing Malayalam cinema. His first film Swayamvaram (1972) pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala.  He has won 15 National Film Awards, 17 Kerala State Film Awards, several International Film Awards, and, in 2004, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest cinema award of India.

Nandita Das has acted in over 30 feature films, in ten different languages, never shying away from controversy. She was a member of the jury at Cannes in 2005 and made her directorial debut in 2008 with Firaaq – released to overwhelming public response and critical acclaim, winning nine international awards. 

Mandi (1983)

Directed by Shyam Benegal
Written by Ghulam Abbas and Shyam Benegal
Featuring Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, and Smita Patil
March 17, 2011 at 7:30pm in Terrace Theater, $12
With an introduction and post-screening Q&A with actress Shabana Azmi

Mandi is a satirical comedy about politics and prostitution.  Based on a classic Urdu short story, Aanandi, by the Pakistani writer Ghulam Abbas, the film tells the story of a brothel situated in the heart of a city, on a piece of prime location coveted by politicians. The film will be screened in Hindi with English subtitles. 

Shabana Azmi is one of the leading lights of Indian cinema. In a career spanning nearly four decades she has won over thirty major awards and worked with virtually all of India’s most important directors. She is also a fierce advocate of women’s and minority rights off-screen.

Devi (1960)

Written and directed by Satyajit Ray
Featuring Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil
March 19, 2011 at 11am in Terrace Theater, $12
With an introduction and post-screening Q&A with actress Sharmila Tagore and scholar Dilip Basu

In Devi, a young woman is deemed a goddess when her father-in-law, a rich feudal landlord, envisions her as the Goddess Kali. The woman herself starts believing that she is an Avatar, and that belief soon turns to tragedy.  One of Satyajit Ray’s classics, the film is an interesting take on how women were simultaneously oppressed and deified by society.  The film will be screened in Bengali with English subtitles.

Sharmila Tagore is an award winning actress who began her career in the 1959 Satyajit Ray film Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), as the ill-fated bride of the title character. She went on to perform in a series of Bengali and Hindi films, and was one of the hottest sex symbols of her time.

Fire (1996)

Written and directed by Deepa Mehta
Featuring Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das
March 20, 2011 at 1:30pm in Terrace Theater, $12
With an introduction and post-screening Q&A with Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das  

The first Indian film to explicitly portray homosexual relations. Set in the joint household of a contemporary Delhi family, two daughters-in-law trapped in unhappy marriages turn to each other for solace and eventually love.  In English with an introduction and post-screening Q&A with award-winning actress,

Shabana Azmi is one of the leading lights of Indian cinema. In a career spanning nearly four decades she has won over thirty major awards and worked with virtually all of India’s most important directors. She is also a fierce advocate of women’s and minority rights off-screen.

Nandita Das has acted in over 30 feature films, in ten different languages, never shying away from controversy. She was a member of the jury at Cannes in 2005 and made her directorial debut in 2008 with Firaaq – released to overwhelming public response and critical acclaim, winning nine international awards. 

Mirch Masala (1985)

Directed by Ketan Mehta
Written by Chunilal Madia, Ketan Mehta, Shafi Hakim
Featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Smita Patil, Om Puri, Suresh Oberoi, Deepti Naval, and Mohan Gokhale
March 20, 2011 at 5pm in Terrace Theater, $12
With an introduction and post-screening Q&A with director Ketan Mehta

Mirch Masala deals with the controversy surrounding a village-approved rape in colonial India, where subedars (tax collectors) went from village to village, with soldiers, often demanding more than taxes.  Director Ketan Mehta will be available for a public discussion before and after the film, which will be screened in Hindi with English subtitles.

Ketan Mehta is an Indian film director whose movies have been selected for various international film festivals and have won numerous awards over the years. Mirch Masala won him the Best Film Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival. His other films include the biopic Sardar, about the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Discussions 

Bollywood and Beyond with Nandita Das
March 14, 2011 at 7:30pm
Tickets $10, Terrace Gallery

Nandita Das, an award-winning actress and director known for her critically acclaimed performances in films such as Fire and Earth, and many others, leads a discussion of the Indian film industry. Bollywood, the Hindi-language films churned out by big-banner studios in Bombay, seems to have become synonymous with Indian cinema yet some of India’s most outstanding directors—Satyajit Ray, Aravindan, Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji Karun, Girish Kasaravalli, and others—have made compelling films in their native languages outside the system.  These “regional” films have featured significantly in the international arena and have much to share with the world that is beyond Bollywood.

Portrayal of Indian Women in Film
Panel: Shabana Azmi, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Ketan Mehta, and Dilip Basu
Moderator: Nandita Das
March 15, 2011 at 7:30pm
Tickets $10, Terrace Theater

Some of the biggest names in Indian cinema discuss the portrayal of Indian women in film through the lens of the screenings chosen for maximum INDIA. Shabana Azmi has starred in some of the greatest Indian films such as Ankur, Mandi, and Tehzeeb.  Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of India’s most acclaimed contemporary film-makers whose award-winning films include Kodiyettam, Ascent and Kathapurushan, and Man of the Story.  Ketan Mehta is a film director and part of the international film circuit, whose films include Bhavni Bhavai and Mangal Pandey: The Rising. Dilip Basu is Founding Director of the Satyajit Ray Film and Study Center and helped create the South Asia Studies Center at UC Santa Cruz.

About the Festival
India is home to a million art forms, both traditional and modern. March 1-20, 2011, maximum India brings many wonderful and unusual aspects of the country’s diverse arts and culture, from folkloric to classical and contemporary. It will host nearly 100 performances of dance, music, and theater performed by India’s most acclaimed artists as well as film selections from the world’s most robust movie industry; prize-winning authors will read, debate, and converse, sharing their insights; exhibitions will astonish and confront; incredible and unimaginable crafts from exquisite collections will astound viewers; jewels will dazzle from the princely era of the Mughals and Maharajas; and feasts of Indian food will be prepared by 12 world-class, award-winning Indian chefs, representing all regions of the country. India’s brilliance is that it is a country of extremes—intellect, innovation, survival, and experimentation. This Kennedy Center festival truly is maximum India 

Ticket Information|
The maximum INDIA Film Series will take place March 15-20, 2011 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater and Terrace Gallery.  Film screenings are $12 and film discussions are $10.  Tickets may be purchased at the Kennedy Center Box Office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600.  Those patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan calling area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit our website at www.kennedy-center.org

Presented in cooperation with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi and

Embassy of India, Washington, D.C.

Co-Chairs
Indra K. Nooyi
David M. Rubenstein
Stephen A. Schwarzman
Dr. Romesh and Kathleen Wadhwani

Presenting Underwriter
The HRH Foundation

Executive Council
PepsiCo
Tata group
Tata Consultancy Services

Major support is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein.

Additional support is provided by the Trehan Foundation, Dr. Romesh and Kathleen Wadhwani, Amway Corporation, AT&T, and the State Plaza Hotel.

International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the
Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

For more information about the Kennedy Center please visit kennedy-center.org.

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