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A stellar line-up at Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA 2016)

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Mumbai: An eclectic line up of 27 films (16 features and 11 shorts) is announced to be screened at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) held at ArcLight, Hollywood in Los Angeles. The festival is famous for showcasing groundbreaking Indian cinema in the global limelight.

This year will be IFFLA’s 14th edition slated to be held from 6 to 10 April 2016.

IFFLA is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture. It showcases and promotes films which pertain to the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

Filmmaker and four-time IFFLA alum Pan Nalin’s powerful Angry Indian Goddesses is set to be the show opener with Anu Menon’s poignant ‘Waiting’ closing IFFLA as a North American premiere on April 10.

‘Waiting’ stars Bollywood veteran actors Naseeruddin Shah and Kalki Koechlin.

Apart from that, three films- CRD by Kranti Kanade, Babu’s Dilemma by Collin D’Cunha, and Anurag Kashyap produced Mochi (The Cobbler) by Saqib Pandor will have their world premiere along with be two North American premieres, and ten US premieres.

The five-day festival will see prominent presence of female filmmakers which includes:  Deepa Mehta’s gangster drama Beeba Boys; Leena Yadav’s Parched, a piercing examination of India’s patriarchal culture through the stories of four women; Ruchika Oberoi’s genre-bending triptych, Island City; and Rinku Kalsy’s documentary For the Love of a Man, about the fierce devotion shared by South-Indian superstar Rajinikanth’s fans; and in the shorts program, Payal Sethi’s Leeches, Megha Ramaswamy’s Bunny, Pritha Chakraborthy’s Ashrut (Silent Voices) and Sonejuhi Sinha’sLove Comes Later, among other lineups.

Two bold statement films with LGBT titles- Hansal Mehta’s politically-charged Aligarh and the short Daaravtha (The Threshold) by Nishant Roy Bombarde will also be featured.

The ‘shorts program’ category includes an impressive directorial debut, Mochi (The Cobbler) by Saqib Pandor, premiering globally. Anuj Gulati’s The Manliest Man with its North American premiere is a bold tale revealing the vision of this emerging director.

Attendees to be present among celebrated filmmakers include Bhaskar Hazarika (Kothanodi), KrantiKanade (CRD), Hansal Mehta (Aligarh), Prashant Nair & Swati Shetty (Umrika), Pan Nalin(Angry Indian Goddesses),Ruchika Oberoi (Island City), Q (Brahman Naman) and Leena Yadav (Parched).

Christina Marouda, Founder of IFFLA said: “India’s independent filmmakers are taking bold risks, defying convention, and responding to injustice in each of these visionary films, and the results are breathtaking.”

The Director of Programming, Mike Dougherty, adds, “I’m extremely excited for our Los Angeles audience to experience these films, which have garnered raves from around the world, or are making their world premieres with us.”

The five-day festival is for premiering cutting-edge global Indian cinema along with bridging the gap between the two major powerhouses of entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. (Inputs from Agencies)

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India Set to Acquire First Dedicated LGBT Hiring Consultancy Firm

"We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBTI talent pool," Sinha said

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"We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBTI talent pool," Sinha said. Pixabay

Almost a year after the landmark Supreme Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality, India is set to get its first dedicated hiring consultancy firm for the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning) community.

At present, even after the change in law, members of India’s LGBTQ community lag behind their western counterparts in attaining equal pay, corporate representation and other benefits.

Accordingly, the Bengaluru-based Diversity & Inclusion firm — Pride Circle — plans to shatter some of these stereotypes via a dedicated wing which will look at the job consultancy market for the LGBTQ candidates.

“There is a lot of systemic bias and roadblock for LGBTI job seekers, these becomes even more challenging for visibly LGBT individuals,” Pride Circle’s Co-Founder Ramkrishna Sinha told IANS.

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“The companies which participated in the job fair were delighted by the candidates they met, five candidates already got confirmed job offers from the fair.” VOA

“Our goal is to work with companies to eliminate such conscious or unconscious biases in the recruitment process and also work with candidates to enable them for facing interviews. A lot of LGBT candidates face issues of self-esteem, due to the series of discrimination they have faced.”

Not just unemployment of LGBTQ candidates, even the lack of sensitisation and unfriendly policies towards businesses that cater to this internationally significant segment of consumers has led to an estimated loss of around $30 billion to India’s GDP as per a World Bank report.

The 2014 World Bank report — Economic Cost of Homophobia and the exclusion of LGBTQ people: A case of India — estimated the country to have lost 0.1-1.7 per cent of the GDP due to homophobia.

“Companies have been hesitant in engaging and at times are unaware of the method to that engagement. The siloes leads to stereotypes and misinformation on both ends, leading to a growing chasm, our aim to build platforms of engagement for the community and corporation to meet,” Sinha said.

“We are encouraging corporations to have avenues of dialogue, look at opportunities to engage besides a full time job, and these could be fellowship, internship, skill building programs etc.”

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Additionally, the firm aims to organise the job fair in 10 cities over the next 18-24 months. The firm is hopeful to place at least 1,000 LGBTQ candidates within a year. Pixabay

Globally, this segment known generically as — Pink Dollar Economy — has become a financially significant sub-section of the consumer market for various industries like travel, insurance and even white goods.

Recently, the firm organised India’s first LGBTQ job fair — RISE (Reimagining Inclusion for Social Equity) — in Bengaluru. Over 40 companies participated in the event including the likes of Uber and Intel.

ALSO READ: People Feel it’s Time for Gay Marriage to Be Made Legal in India

Besides, the job fair saw a participation of more than 300 LGBTQ candidates for various sectors in IT, banking and administration. “We have over 50 companies, who are very interested in hiring from the LGBT talent pool,” Sinha said.

“The companies which participated in the job fair were delighted by the candidates they met, five candidates already got confirmed job offers from the fair.” Additionally, the firm aims to organise the job fair in 10 cities over the next 18-24 months. The firm is hopeful to place at least 1,000 LGBTQ candidates within a year. (IANS)