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‘Visaaranai’ & ‘Parched’ winners at the 14th Annual Indian Film Festival

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IFFLA 2016

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — The 14th annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles went off without a hitch, and the week-long affair concluded with Visaaranaidirected by Vetri Maran, taking home the grand jury prize for best feature, while the cast of Parched, featuring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte were honored with the best actress awards.

Parched was also honored with the festival’s audience choice award, and special jury mentions were made to Masaan and AligarhActor Sanjay Mishra took home the award for best actor for his work in Masaan. 

Festivities were kicked off with a bold and eloquent film by festival alum Pan Nalin. Angry Indian Goddessesa story about seven women, their mindset against the backdrop of current India, starts a much needed dialogue about the extent of freedom women can enjoy in the South Asian nation.

The goddesses graced the red carpet in style, showcasing fashion from New Delhi, Mumbai and Los Angeles to talk about their film. Taking a pulse from India’s social, political framework, the festival showcased a collection of very strong films, with a diversity of topics from adoption, grief to LGTBQ struggles told by a deep bench of skilled story tellers.

In total, the festival showcased nearly 30 films, including features, documentaries and shorts.

Interviews for #WaitingTheFilm #iffla2016 @rimple_harpreet_narula

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The closing night film featured the North American premiere of Anu Menon’s ‘Waiting‘, starring Naseeruddin Shah & Kalki Koechlin. A story about grief and tragedy, expertly told within the generational gap between the two.

Kari Lane, Deepti Dawar & David Barclay made contributions to this article.

Arts

FBI: Amity CEO Ridhima Singh, others accused of major healthcare fraud

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Amity

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The FBI says, CEO Ridhima Singh of Amity Home Health Care is among the 28 people, that include doctors and nurses, accused in the scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home health care provider, Amity Home Health Care, with involvement in a kickback scheme that led to $115 million in tainted claims. The complaint said medical professionals received $8 million worth of bribes disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, reimbursements, entertainment or gifts, in what the Department of Justice said was simply “a cash for patients scheme.”

The man accused of stabbing and killing 62 year old Parmjit Singh in Tracy made his first court appearance. 21 year old Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy pleaded not guilty of homicide during his arraignment. Police are still investigating the motive behind the crime.

And Priyanka Chopra & her husband Nick Jonas were named by People Magazine as their pick for ‘Best Dressed of the Year.’

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Arts & Culture

Tracy Sikh community mourns killing of 64 year old Parmjit Singh

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Tracy Sikh Community mourns killing of 64 year old Parmjit Singh

TRACY, Calif. (Diya TV) — The Sikh community in Tracy, California is mourning the loss of 64-year-old Parmjit Singh, who was on his routine walk through a park when he was stabbed and left for dead. The FBI is investigating, but so far there is no concrete suspect information, just a person of interest. It has not been determined either whether Singh’s death will be classified as a hate crime.

The mayor of Manhattan, Kansas, Usha Reddi announced she is running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 as a Democrat. There is no incumbent challenger for Reddi, but no Democrat has won a Senate seat in Kansas since 1932.

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and professor Jhumpa Lahiri is taking the helm as director of Princeton University’s Program in Creative Writing.

And actor Kumail Nanjiani announced he is joining the cast of the Marvel Studios’ “The Eternals.” Featuring a diverse cast, Nanjiani tweeted “I’m gonna be a super hero in a purple costume!!!!”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Culture

Imran Khan pens Op-ed in New York Times about Kashmir

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Imran Khan Kashmir

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote an editorial for the New York Times to argue his case against India’s recent move to change their constitution to oversee Jammu & Kashmir more closely. The opinion piece is part of Khan’s strategy to internationalize the dispute. So far, the Trump administration is staying out of the matter.

But a few more Democrats in Congress took to Twitter to express their alarm over Kashmir, California Congressman Ted Lieu, Michigan Congressman Andy Levin and Virginia Congressman Don Beyer. Beyer is concerned over the “ongoing communications blackout.” Lieu called for “de-escalation.” And Levin, who spent a year in India while in college, said “the India of Narendra Modi is not the India I fell in love with.”

Meanwhile, some Kashmiris are claiming the Indian army is electrocuting them & beating them with cables and sticks. But the allegations have not been verified and the Indian army called them “baseless and unsubstantiated.”

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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