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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 & Culture

Indian CEO’s meet with President Trump in London

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Indian CEOs and Trump

LONDON (Diya TV) — A number of prominent Indian CEOs from the US and the UK met with President Trump during a breakfast roundtable on his visit to London. Members of the American cabinet were also in attendance, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, as well as the president’s daughter, Ivanka.

The Punjab government announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery school to the PhD level. They also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 schools and all 48 government colleges.

Rayna Gokli McIntyre will be a new District Court Judge in Colorado, becoming the second South Asian member to the bench in that state.

In New Jersey, Zahid Quraishi was named a U.S. Magistrate Judge, becoming the first Asian American federal judge in that state.

And Karamjit and Karawjit Singh took danger to new heights with this coconut and melon smashing display on America’s Got Talent, all while wearing a blindfold.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump ends $5.6B GSP trade preference for India

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Trump is ending $5.6 billion worth of trade concessions for India under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences program effective this week, saying India failed to assure the U.S. that it would provide ‘equitable and reasonable access to the markets of India.

Bay Area Congressmembers Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo reintroduced a bill to save work authorization visas for H-4 holders whose spouses are on track to get a green card. Many of those eligible are Indian American women.

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education released new social studies standards, which for the first time include Sikhism. Nearly 700,000 students in Oklahoma public schools will now learn more about the Sikh community, in this effort spearheaded by the Sikh Coalition.

The Golden State Warriors played through two more injuries to rotation players to beat the Raptors in Toronto 109-104 to even the NBA Finals at a game a piece.

Diya TV’s Ravi Kapur and Jonathan Choe are on-site and will have more courtside.

And we talk to the stars of Netflix’s newest romantic comedy ‘Always Be My Maybe,’ a feature that offers a story & characters Asian Americans will find relatable from some of the most talented names in Hollywood.

Ravi Kapur & Alejandro Quintana contributed to this report.

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Arts & Culture

Campaigning stopped in West Bengal due to violence

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West Bengal violence

KOLKATA, India (Diya TV) — For the first time in India’s electoral history, the Election Commission ordered campaigning to stop a day early in West Bengal because of violence between political factions in Kolkata.

SAALT released an overview of the growth in the South Asian demographic around America and it shows the community is increasing exponentially.

SAALT says the South Asian population in the U.S. grew a stunning 40% in seven years, from 3.5 million in 2010 to 5.4 million in 2017.

The first ever Sikh American mayor of a large city, Ravi Bhalla, was portrayed by a New Jersey-based website in a photoshopped image as an Arab dictator. Supporters of Bhalla, who is the mayor of Hoboken, are denouncing the image as racist and want the “Hudson Mile Square View” to take it down.

And the Indian government held an event at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the world’s largest film industry.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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