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Anu Rangachar Appointed Artistic Director as IFFLA and India Center Foundation Merge – Global Bulletin

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FESTIVAL MERGER

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and The India Center Foundation, two non-profit organizations working with South Asian film in the U.S., have agreed to merge. Already long-time collaborators, IFFLA and ICF will, among other things, work closely to incubate and launch an industry development program to showcase the next generation of South Asian talent to studios, funders and media executives.

“We saw an opportunity to scale our work nationally as one of the leading supporters of emerging creative talent in the diaspora. By joining forces with IFFLA we can bring much needed resources to support the stories that need to be told in the media. Our stories,” said Priya Giri Desai, a co-founder of ICF.

“[ICF] have been a financial and creative partner to IFFLA over numerous festivals already, which makes this a natural fit. I have no doubt that we can bring even greater impact together.” said Christina Marouda, IFFLA Board Chair.

Along with the merger announcement, the organizations revealed that the next edition of IFFLA will run June 27-30 with Anu Rangachar as its artistic director.

Rangachar currently heads the international program at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, is involved in coproduction of arthouse Indian independent films and is a distributor of arthouse world cinema titles in the U.S.

FESTIVAL HEAD

The Melbourne International Film Festival has appointed Damien Hodgkinson to the newly created role of CEO. He takes up the position from March. For the past 11 years Hodgkinson has headed the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as its executive director. Before that, he was CEO of Melbourne Fringe Festival.

He will be expected to help shape the future of the festival, discovering and showcasing exceptional film talent and delivering compelling festival experiences for audiences. “Under his leadership, and with the excellent team that is already in place, the festival’s resilience will be fortified and MIFF’s cultural influence will be augmented and amplified,” said Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, chair of MIFF’s board of directors.

HONG KONG AWARDS

“Mad Fate,” the crime thriller by Soi Cheang which debuted in Berlin last year, was this week named the best Hong Kong film of 2023 by the territory’s Film Critics’ Society. Cheang previously won the award for his 2021 effort “Limbo.”

The best director prize was awarded Jonathan Li Tsz-chun for “Dust to Dust,” which was partly produced in mainland China and depicts an armed robbery.

The best actor prize went to Taiwan’s Wu Kan-ren for his role in “Fly Me to the Moon,” which also earned Sasha Chuk Tsz-yin the best new director award.

In its usual fashion, the HKFCS also named a list of recommended recent Hong Kong films. They included: “Mad Fate,” “Dust to Dust,” “Time Still Turns the Pages,” “To Be Continued,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “In Broad Daylight,” “Elegies,” “The Goldfinger” and “The Lyricist Wannabe.”

HACKED OFF

Film exhibitor, Event Cinemas is among a number of Australian companies to have been targeted in a cyber-attack this week. Local media report that the attack used the method of credential stuffing, which involves the attempted re-use of passwords stolen in previous raids on other businesses. Hackers were able to access online accounts and make purchases.

Binge, the streaming service operated by Foxtel, was also reported to be among the latest hacking targets, but it denied that this was the case and issued a statement saying that no credit card details had been compromised.

DISTRIBUTION

Contemporary Indian romance “Do Aur Do Pyaar,” starring Vidya Balan, Pratik Gandhi, Illeana D’Cruz and Sendhil Ramamurthy, has set a March 29 worldwide theatrical release. The film is directed by advertising filmmaker Shirsha Guha Thakurta making her feature debut. The film is an Applause Entertainment presentation and an Ellipsis Entertainment production.