From Shoebox to Lalanna's Song: Five Movies to Watch from IFFLA's 2022 lineup

The 2022 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will be held from April 28 to May 1. Founded in 2002, the festival will be able to stage new films that have made high premieres in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Mumbai – as well as new talents who may slip under the radar – like Rehana and Pedro. , Like Jaggy. This year, IFFLA returned to individual screenings and events with additional festival programming, including mentorship initiatives and live script readings.

Here is a list of must-see movies, curated from IFFLA’s catalog. Conversation around them, along with their craftsmanship – meditative, subversive, twisted, depressing and ingenious – expects a smooth landing on a streaming platform for all these titles soon.


A daughter of Faraz Ali’s first feature film Mampu (Amrita Bagchi) tries to reconcile with her crab father. Alive. At the same time, with sincere eyes for the song and sulfur of the birds, the changing city – when Allahabad becomes Prayag Raj, the logistic nightmare of the Great Aquarius – is portrayed with multiplex acquisitions and evolving tastes and icons. With a subtle hand the film raises its question – what is survival of the fittest? The film, which was screened at the Dharamsala International Film Festival and Geo Mami Film Festival this year, will be screened at the New York Indian Film Festival.

Once in Calcutta

Like the shoebox, this film is about the intimate explorations that take place against the great cultural transformation of a city – Kolkata. Once Upon a Time in Calcutta, which premiered at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, Ela (Sreelekha Mitra) follows in the footsteps of her child – with a bloodless personality. But this movie is not about grief like life beyond, because she’s navigating her relationship with her husband, a former flame, a sowing boss, and a stepfather. Theater with a revolving stage. Survival is at the heart of the city story of cruel passions with tender care. The cinematography is by Gokhan Thiriaki, a regular collaborator of Turkish writer Nouri Bilge Seylan.

Under water

Very rarely does a film show a confusing desire, and especially a strange desire – the initial shock, the instinct to retreat in opposition to the blind stimulus of hormones, self-preservation, and self-destruction. At the family’s beach get-together, teenage Sarang (Nishant Bhavsar) and senior Mihir (Shivraj Vaichal) are enthralled by the exciting disagreement and confusing drama of their first love. Ambika Pandit’s sharp direction, small gestures, as you try to trap your fingers with the person sitting next to you, or as you place a pillow between your legs for comfort, begin to guess the monumental proportions, pulsing the 16-minute film without words. .


Paka, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2021, begins with an epic epigraph, “inspired by the stories I heard from my grandmother.” Produced by Anurag Kashyap of Gangs of Wasipur fame, this film directorial debut by sound designer Nitin Lucas has been making headlines for generations. At its core is Johnny (Basil Paul), who stays away from this vengeful urge, and yet, in the course of the film, is driven by the emotional logic of vengeance. In the river that flows through Wayanad, all the bodies are collected in a thin mist like a blanket.

Lalana’s song

Director Megha Ramaswamy brings her interest in depicting deep and sad sunsets – both evident from the film Newborns – and her examination of the strangeness of existence – as evident from her film The Odyssey – to Lalanna’s song. This short film follows the living friendship between Miriam (Reema Kallingal) and Shobi (Parvathi Thiruvoth) – a Muslim and a Brahmin, as evidenced by the events that develop without immorality – and how their jokes survived their motherhood. But the wind of engagement, the ease of tearing, quickly shifts upwards, and the brush you can not see becomes a strange, amorphous, erotic, uncertain, and impressionistic stroke.

Prathyush Parasuraman is a reviewer and journalist who writes weekly newsletters on culture, literature and cinema on


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