Celebrating Indian Film Festival of Houston
Event: Indian Film Festival of Houston Closing Night Gala
Venue: Intercontinental Hotel, Houston, Texas
Date: September 26, 2009
Report: Ruchi Mukherjee
Photography: Ajay Sarpeshkar
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Houston finally concluded a week long celebration of Indian cinema with a celebrity gala held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Houston,
Texas on September 26, 2009. After ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ made a mark at the Oscars, Houston based film maker Sutapa Gosh felt that the time was right to give Houstonians a taste of Indian cinema. The film festival kicked-off with a reception party at Hotel Sorella Citycenter and showcased a few selected Indian films at Studio Movie Grill from September 21-25, 2009.
The Indian Film Festival of Houston is a non-profit organization devoted to creating a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by show casing quality films. The First Annual Indian Film Festival of Houston brought the best films made in different regional languages. A feast including ten feature-length movies, short films and documentaries. Screenings included Smile Pinki, an award-winning documentary about an impoverished girl whose life is changed by free surgery, bengali film ‘Janala’, Deepti Naval’s ‘Do paise ki dhoop Chaar aane ki baarish’ and Student Academy Awards Winner ‘Kavi’ by Gregg Helvey.
The festival was enjoyed by an international audience that featured question and answer sessions with directors, cast and the audience.
Friday evening saw the biggest crowds as Deepti Naval, Manisha Koirala and others showed up at Studio Movie Grill. The week wrapped with a star studded red carpet high profile celebrity gala which had 400 plus in attendance. The main highlight of the evening were the fashion statements of the guests at the gala.
Dr. Carolyn Farb’s mauve attire ‘lehenga’ (an Indian outfit) was quite a show stopper. Joanne King Herring who as usual never failed to impress with her warm personality and exotic costume. Dressed in gold, Joanne not only turned many heads but honored the theme of the celebrity gala. However, the very beautiful bollywood actress Manisha Koirala who charmed the guests with her personality did little with her outfit and looks. “It seems like she just rolled out of bed” says an onlooker. Deepti did maintain her directorial personality with a classy Indian saree.
Others present at the gala were Pop singer and India’s best playback singer Sonu Nigam, and model/television actor Mohammed Iqbal Khan.
Proceeds from the festival and gala will benefit the Indian Film Festival of Houston and MediSend International, that supports under resourced hospitals in developing countries with a multi-dimentional approach to improving community health.