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Bold, stunning and eloquent, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ sets the tone for IFFLA 2016




The ‘Kali Pose’ , Diya TV’s Kari Lane poses with the ‘Goddesses’ from ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’


LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles kicked off the fest with a bold and beautifully shot film, by IFFLA alum and award-winning director Pan Nalin, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’. Before the screening the Hollywood Arclight seemed to get an injection of Bollywood. Filmmakers walked down the red carpet, showcasing the best of Indian and contemporary fashion, abuzz with talk of the theme that has emerged at IFFLA this year, ‘Female Focussed Films’.

Nalin’s opening night creation is a largely improvised film with women who act as real people rather than characters. The film starts off with a group of women descending upon Goa to gather at the request of their friend ‘Frieda‘. All of the women are college friends with the exception of Frieda’s ex-boss and her housekeeper. It turns out Frieda has a secret; she is getting married. However, there is some mystery around whom her betrothed is. There is dancing, talking, teasing, confrontations and bonding. The characters swear, smoke, talk about sex and just be real women, revealing the most natural yet subdued parts of an Indian woman’s mind, that are either relegated to character roles or just simply not portrayed in mainstream cinema.

The film is set in Goa and the cinematography is just right, as if it were a canvas for film, drawing attention to the story and the message. The seven women are in a house together being and doing what girlfriends do. The friendship and the chemistry between the characters is certainly relatable for many women. The tight shots on faces, details, reactions, expose the raw emotions the characters feel drawing you in as if you are with them. The seven women and their personal stories come together effortlessly through less dialogue and more emotion, a sense of being understood for who they are, who and what they want to be, and not being defined by the cultural constructs of what the society or the State wants them to be. They question these norms, these standards and laws and the story picks up steam as one of the characters ‘Frieda‘ finally reveals to her friends who she is getting married to.

Just when you start to laugh and be silly and enjoy the escape to Goa, Nalin confronts you with a bold truth, one that is feared, yet unexpected. What’s even more unexpected is the ending, it leaves you hopeful, yet glaringly aware of the brutal reality that must be confronted.

The Indian Film Festival has started off with a big and bold film and is expected to keep the trend going with a strong repertoire of films this year with female filmmakers and films that address issues women face not just in India but around the world.

One such film is Parched, a film about female subjugation in rural India, the thriving misogyny & the stark contrast in gender inequality.

The festival is being held all week long at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood and will host the Closing Night Red Carpet before the showing of ‘Waiting‘, starring Naseeruddin Shah & Kalki Koechlin, directed by Anu Menon.


Arts & Culture

Donald Trump takes subtle jab at FCC Chairman Ajit Pai during Diwali ceremony



WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took time to appreciate and honor fellow South Asian members in his administration during a Diwali celebration, but he did also manage to throw a jab at Ajit Pai.

Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, was criticized by Trump earlier this year during the Sinclair-Tribune merger which halted the conservative local news giants.

The decision made by Pai, a conservative, infuriated Trump:

Fast forward to the Diwali celebration at the White House, the president managed to bring it up again. After raving about how “grateful” he was to have numerous Americans of Indian and Southeast Asian heritage in critical roles and who’ve done an “incredible job,” the remark was unfitting.

After singling out Pai, he reflected on some of that “incredible” and said the following:

“”I just didn’t like one decision he made, but that’s alright,” he joked, then he subtracted some of that “alright,” adding: “not even a little bit, but he’s independent.”

Pai, who is of Indian American descent, was designated by Trump in January 2017 — becoming the first Indian American to hold the office.

The Harvard and Chicago Law School graduate previously served as commissioner of the FCC after being appointed by former president Barack Obama.

Though Trump didn’t elaborate much after pointing him out, it has been noted that Pai carries a heavy load in how media is presented.

Pai’s decision to reverse Sinclair’s merger was based on his stance of the people’s interest and keeping media diverse throughout the country.

Along with first amendment best practices, Pai is focusing on issues relating to broadband, public safety and fiscal responsibility.

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Arts & Culture

Bollywood sweethearts Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Italy



Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Konkani' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:
Bollywood superstars Deepika Padukone & Ranveer Singh tie the knot in Lake Como, Italy

LAKE CUOMO, Italy — Bollywood sweetheart couple, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have officially tied the knot at a private villa against the scenic Lake Como backdrop, in Italy. The two-day ceremony included a ‘Konkani‘ style ceremony as well as ‘Sindhi‘ ceremony to bring these two Bollywood stars into matrimony.

The couple released two pictures on twitter, with a simple heart emoji

The newlyweds began their love story on screen, sharing intimate moments in films like ‘Ramleela’,’Bajirao Mastani‘ and Padmavat.

According to the Huffington Post, film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali said ‘cut’ during their kiss toward the end, but they continued their sizzling moment as over 50 crew members mesmerizingly watched. It was the start of a blossoming relationship, forging together a Bollywood power couple with chemistry on and off set.

The much awaited wedding ceremony left no stone unturned to celebrate this star couple in grand style with an intensely private and synchronized affair set against at Italy’s scenic Lake Como backdrop, at Villa del Balbianello.

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there 'Sindhi' Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh getting married by Lake Cuomo in Italy. Seen here in there ‘Sindhi’ Wedding Ceremony. Photo:

An Indian Bollywood wedding without a celeb designer? I think not. The duo opted to go with veteran designer Sabyasachi Mukherji. ‘Sabya‘ as fans often call him, drew inspiration from the wedding ceremony theme and designed decadent outfits in shades of red, pink and all things ‘shaadi‘ for both the ‘Konkani‘ & ‘Sindhi‘ ceremonies. Deepika wore a veil with the words,”Sada Saubhyagyavati Bhava” embroidered along the hem draped over her head. This mantra translates to “be forever fortunate” is often a blessing given to newly weds, wishing them a ‘happily ever after’ life ahead.

Ofcourse no Bollywood wedding is complete without all the ‘Badhaai‘ or well wishes from fellow co-stars, most of who took to twitter to shower the newly minted couple.

A Bollywood wedding, without some ‘filmy’ elements is nearly impossible. According to Filmfare, Singh made his grand entry on Govinda’s hit song ‘Meri Pant Bhi Sexy’, continuing with ‘Chunari Chunari’ and ‘One Two Ka Four‘ as he reached the wedding venue with his family and relatives.

With heavy security for this intensely private ceremony, the couple remained sensitive to the plight of hundreds of fans & paparazzi gathered to capture a glimpse of their special event. They sent gift packs of sweets to the media, thanking them for their wishes.

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Arts & Culture

Trump celebrates Diwali with diya lighting ceremony in the White House



White House Diwali Diya Lighting ceremony.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump took part in a Diwali celebration Tuesday at the White House where he held a ceremonial lighting of the ‘diya‘. The diya lighting ceremony, Trump used the time to discuss the ties between the U.S. and India which he stated were perhaps closer than ever before. He began by saying how thrilled and special it was to be part of the celebration. Shortly after, Trump gave high praise for the contributions Indian Americans have displayed in the country and in his administration. He began the ceremony by first addressing the victims of fires in California.

He continued to introduce several Indian Americans members of his team and then welcomed Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Navtej Sarna.

With an attendee list of roughly 20 notable Indian Americans within his administration, Trump added onto the growing number during the event as he nominated Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit.

“We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said, ‘Here we are Neomi — we’re never gonna do better than this’ — I thought it was an appropriate place.”

Rao, born to Indian parents, is a graduate of Yale and University of Chicago Law School. She recently spent time as an associate law professor at George Mason and an administrator in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. She responded by saying: “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for the confidence you’ve shown in me. I greatly appreciate it.”

“Our nation is blessed to be home to millions of hardworking citizens of Indian and southeast Asian heritage, who enrich our country in countless ways. Together we are one proud American family. I’m grateful to have numerous Americans of Indian and southeast Asian heritage who fulfill critical roles across my administration, and they’ve done an incredible job.”

However, President Trump failed to mention the largest group of Indian Americans, the ‘Hindus’, which the twitter sphere was quick to point out.

This is the second year in a row President Trump has hosted a Diwali Celebration in the Oval Office. Here’s Diya TV’s coverage from the year before.

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