Just because it’s Indian doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s Bollywood.
Now, that’s not saying Bollywood won’t be represented at the Baton Rouge Bengali Association’s Nite of Indian Cinema. In fact, it will be the grand finale.
“Yes, we’ll have Bollywood with singing for no reason and dancing for no reason and all its grandeur,” says Tapan Sarkar, association president. “This will be the first Indian film festival for Baton Rouge.”
The Baton Rouge Bengali Association was formed in 2002. It is a nonprofit cultural organization and represents the regional Bengali and Indian communities.
The organization is hosting this film festival with the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and the Manship Theatre.
“This will be a night of film, Indian food, Indian classical music and dance,” Sarkar says. “And we’ll be showing different kinds of Indian films.”
There are four categories of Indian films.
“There are Indian films in original languages, contemporary films, and films made by Indians who are abroad,” Sarkar says.
“We’ll be showing a film made by students at the film institute in India,” Sarkar says. “And in between, we’ll show very classic advertisement films from India to tell about our culture and differences.”
The festival will begin with musicians performing classical Indian music in the Manship Theatre lobby before the first film opens. Indian food will be available, and the traditional lighting of the lamp will signal the festival’s beginning.
“There is also the tradition of blowing on a shell,” Sarkar says. “The shell will be blown three times to open the event.”
Then come the movies.
The 2012 Vicky Donor will be the first feature, telling the story of a man who becomes an infertility clinic’s biggest donor.
Next is intermission, followed by the screening of Shabdo, where a man named Tarak creates ancient sounds for films. But problems arise as he gradually becomes trapped in his own world of sound. This film won the 60th National Award for the best feature film in Bengali.
This film also will be followed by an intermission, this one filled with Indian snacks and music. Then come two student-produced short films from the Satyajt Roy Film Institute in Kolkata, India.
Another intermission will lead to the Bollywood finale of the 2005 Bunty and Babli, described as “Bollywood adventure, crime, romance, comedy with song and dance.”
Ticket packages range from $10 to $30.
“Vicky Donor has a controversial subject, but it is a comedy, and this is family entertainment,” Sarker said. “This is going to be a night of Indian film, food, music and dancing.”
Because there’s more to Indian cinema than Bollywood.
But a festival of Indian films wouldn’t be complete without it.