Bollywood in Hollywood – to celebrate Indian independence

By Arun Kumar, IANS

Washington : The 60th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence kicks off in the US Friday with a six-day India Splendour festival in Los Angeles opening with the screening of Shah Rukh Khan starrer “Chak De India”.

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Culminating with a live performance finale Aug 15, the festival will showcase the finest in contemporary Indian cinema, arts, fashion, dance, music and spirituality, according to its organisers MGlobal Trust.

“Our vision has been to bring all the facets of Indian culture, including our booming film industry, to the US in jointly celebrating this momentous mark in history,” said Bhupendra Kumar Modi, chairman of Indian conglomerate MCorp Global.

“Indian cinema is an important force, and we are pleased to help lead an exchange of ideas and artistic expression between filmmakers from Mumbai to Los Angeles,” added Jeffrey Berg, chairman-CEO of co-sponsor International Creative Management.

India-born tennis star and veteran Hollywood film producer Ashok Amritraj is the cultural ambassador for India Splendour organised in association with University of California School of Theatre, Film and Television, and ArtWallah.

“India Splendour will bring out the understanding of a vibrant new India. It will be the first in a series of collaborative endeavours between global creative communities and the beginning of a dynamic Indo-US relationship at the holistic level,” says ‘Doctor M’, Chairman, MGlobal Trust.

India Splendour will be the first consequential effort of its kind, undertaken by two foremost Indian and American institutions working in partnership to bring together film industry leaders and key decision-makers from Mumbai and Los Angeles.

“Our objective is to catalyse longer-term creative and business connections between these two international capitals of cinema that together produce more popular entertainment than the rest of the world combined,” he said.

The festival will feature Indian filmmakers presenting the latest Indian films. There will be a special tribute to film legend Raj Kapoor. Other highlights include a spiritual discourse by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living. There will also be a fashion show extravaganza by noted Indian designer Suneet Verma.

On Aug 15, at the gala celebration of India¹s 60th anniversary of independence, prominent Indians who have carved a name for themselves in their respective fields will receive the India Splendour Awards in the midst of a high voltage art, dance, music and performance extravaganza being produced by WizCraft.

India Splendour will have a special invitee guest list of the Hollywood community, including celebrities, top studio executives, talent agency heads, exhibitors, distributors, film financiers and die-hard movie buffs for whom the art and cinema of the Indian subcontinent has long exuded a particular emotion.