The Indian Film Festival (IIFLA) will take place April 6-10 and return to its home at ArcLight Hollywood. Over 30 filmmakers will travel to Los Angeles to present their films, interact with audiences and participate in industry meetings. The festival’s presenting sponsor is Zee Cinema.
IFFLA is widely recognized as the premiere showcase of groundbreaking Indian cinema globally. This year’s program features award-winning prestige titles from the festival circuit and more women filmmakers than ever before.
Opening the festival is the ensemble powerhouse “Angry Indian Goddesses,” directed by Pan Nalin. Anu Menon’s poignant “Waiting,” starring Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin, closes the festival on April 10.
Highlights include Hansal Mehta’s critically acclaimed and socially relevant “Aligarh,” Deepa Mehta’s gangster drama “Beeba Boys,” Sundance Film Festival’s sex comedy “Brahman Naman,” the world premiere of radical and hilarious “CRD” by Kranti Kanade; Rinku Kalsy’s documentary “For the Love of the Man,” on South Indian superstar Rajinikanth’s fans; Ruchika Oberoi’s genre-bending “Island City,” Neeraj Ghaywan’s directorial debut “Masaan,” which took home two awards at the 60th Cannes International Film Festival; Leena Yadav’s “Parched,” a story of four women in patriarchal culture; Prashant Nair’s Sundance winner “Umrika,” and “Visaraanai,” the Tamil gripping tale of the tentacles of systemic corruption in rural India.
North Korea’s nuclear advances and President Donald Trump’s bellicose response have prompted flashbacks
He wondered how much good ducking under a desk could do if a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city fell nearby
Then there were backyard bomb shelters, which briefly became the rage during the missile crisis of 1962
Los Angeles, USA, August 21, 2017:After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the era of nuclear bomb nightmares -of the atomic arms race, of backyard bomb shelters, of schoolchildren diving under desks to practice their survival skills in the event of an attack -seemed to finally, thankfully, fade into history. Until now.
For some baby boomers, North Korea’s nuclear advances and President Donald Trump’s bellicose response have prompted flashbacks to a time when they were young, and when they prayed each night that they might awaken the next morning. For their children, the North Korean crisis was a taste of what the Cold War was like.
“I’m not concerned to where I can’t sleep at night. But it certainly raises alarms for Guam or even Hawaii, where it might be a real threat,” said 24-year-old banker Christian Zwicky of San Bernardino, California.
People of his parents’ generation were taught to duck and cover when the bombs came.
“Maybe those types of drills should come back,” Zwicky said.
He isn’t old enough to remember the popular 1950s public service announcement in which a cartoon character named Bert the Turtle teaches kids how to dive under their desks for safety. But Zwicky did see it often enough in high school history classes that he can hum the catchy tune that plays at the beginning. That’s when Bert avoids disaster by ducking into his shell, then goes onto explain to schoolchildren what they should do.
“I do remember that,” says 65-year-old retiree Scott Paul of Los Angeles. “And also the drop drills that we had in elementary school, which was a pretty regular thing then.”
Even as a 10-year-old, Paul said, he wondered how much good ducking under a desk could do if a bomb powerful enough to destroy a city fell nearby. No good at all, his teacher acknowledged.
Then there were backyard bomb shelters, which briefly became the rage during the missile crisis of 1962 when it was learned the Soviets had slipped nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba and pointed them at the USA.
After a tense, two-week standoff between President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that some believe brought the world the closest, it’s ever come to nuclear war, the missiles were removed and the shelters faded from public interest.
Now they, too, seem to be having a revival.
“When Trump took office it doubled our sales, and then when he started making crazy statements we got a lot more orders,” says Walton McCarthy of Norad Shelter Systems LLC of Garland, Texas. “Between now and a year ago, we’ve quadrupled our sales.”
His competitor, California-based Atlas Survival Shelters, says it sold 30 shelters in three days last week. During its first year in business in 2011, it sold only 10.
Bill Miller, a 74-year-old retired film director living in Sherborn, Massachusetts, thinks these days are more nerve-wracking than the standoff in October 1962.
“I think it’s much, much crazier, scarier times,” he said. “I think the people who were in charge in the Kennedy administration had much more of a handle on it.”
Nathan Guerrero, a 22-year-old political science major from Fullerton, California, agrees, saying he learned in history class that the “shining example” of a way to resolve such a conflict was how Kennedy’s brother and attorney general, Robert Kennedy, brokered the tense negotiations.
“But knowing the way the current administration has sort of been carrying itself, it doesn’t look like they are keen to solving things diplomatically,” he said.
“As a young person, honestly, it’s pretty unsettling,” he continued.
Had he given any thought to building backyard bomb shelters?
“I’d be lying if I said such crazy things haven’t crossed my mind,” he said, laughing nervously. “But in reality, it doesn’t strike me as I’d be ready to go shopping for bunkers yet.” Instead, he studies for law school and tries “not to think too much about it.”
Other Americans are more sanguine about the possibility of nuclear war. Rob Stapleton has lived in Anchorage, Alaska, since 1975, and he is aware that Alaska has been considered a possible target because it is within reach of North Korean missiles.
“There’s been some discussion about it around the beer barrel and I’m sure the United States is taking it seriously, but we’re not too concerned around here,” he said.
Alaska is so vast and spread out, said Stapleton, that he and his friends can’t imagine why North Korea would waste its time attacking The Last Frontier. “I mean sure you’d be making a statement, but you’d not really be doing any damage,” he said. (VOA)
The city of Los Angeles hosted this year’s World Police Games
The West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced that a police constable from the state had won gold medal in long jump category
The constable named Sushen Roy was congratulated by the CM in a Facebook post
Kolkata, August 11, 2017: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that Bengal police constable Sushen Ray has won the gold medal in long jump in the World Police Games in Los Angeles.
“I am very proud to share with all of you that one of the members of Bengal Police, Constable Sushen Ray has got Gold Medal in World Police Games in Los Angeles, the US in the long jump,” she said on Facebook.
This is a great achievement for Bengal and also Indian police. My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to him,” she added. (IANS)
Los Angeles city officials approved community gardens on public parkways, the narrow strips of land between the street and sidewalk two years ago
From figs and Swiss chard to edible nasturtiums, a range of fruits and vegetables that are rare in the inner city are grown
Los Angeles is now dotted with dozens of gardens and small strips of vegetation outside the homes of residents
Los Angeles, June 24, 2017:Ron Finley has been called a “guerrilla gardener” and the “gangsta gardener”, an edgier description of a man who once defied local authorities to bring nature to the inner city.
Finley’s efforts to plant edible gardens on public property have earned him court citations, but they also brought a victory two years ago when Los Angeles city officials approved community gardens on public parkways, the narrow strips of land between the street and sidewalk.
Many mornings, Finley can be seen tending the dense vegetation in the sliver of a garden outside his house.
“This is a food forest,” he said, pointing to lemon trees, sunflower plants and tomato vines. “There’s fruit trees, there’s also weeds that are edible in here. And I want to educate people to the fact that there’s food all around you.”
From figs and Swiss chard to edible nasturtiums, Finley grows fruits and vegetables that are rare in the inner city, where he says residents have better access to fast food and liquor stores than to healthful produce.
He spends much of his time doing public speaking and urging people to start community gardens. But many in Los Angeles were already on board with the concept before he became involved.
A few miles from Finley’s garden in South Los Angeles, Tamiko Nakamoto walks through plots of edible plants tended by 22 gardeners.
This community garden is not far from the epicenter of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and Nakamoto said the community activist who set it up shortly afterward wanted “a place of peace and an oasis in this city that’s surrounded by turmoil.”
There are “collard greens, sugar cane, bananas, tomato trees (vines), cabbage,” said one gardener, a towering immigrant from the Virgin Islands who uses his Rastafarian name, Makado. He is here most days weeding and watering.
Los Angeles is now dotted with dozens of gardens and small strips of vegetation outside the homes of residents.
Others are being planted. Los Angeles officials are in the process of approving tax breaks for owners of vacant lots if the land is used for community gardens. The City Council gave preliminary approval to the measure this month.
“I want them to do more,” Finley said of city officials. “I want them to advocate for this. I want them to put bulletin boards up. I want them to have workshops showing people how to do this.”
Slowly, patches of greenery and color are appearing amid the concrete, and Finley said these gardens make residents feel “healthy all over, not just your body, your mind-set, everything because looking at this, smelling this affects every sense in your body.”
Just as importantly, he said, these gardens are putting fresh fruits and vegetables on the tables of local families. (VOA)