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LA Indian Film Festival salute to legend Anil Kapoor

The 7th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) announces its salute to SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE star and Bollywood legend Anil Kapoor. IFFLA also announces YES MADAM, SIR will highlight the Closing Night Gala with Dr. Kiran Bedi, Indias first and highest ranking woman officer of the Indian Police Service, attending as a special Guest of Honor on Sunday, April 26. The film festival will be held April 21-26, 2009, at ArcLight Hollywood.

The salute to Kapoor will include screenings of his classic films LAMHE (1991) and VIRASAT (1997) as well as the world premiere of the English language version of GANDHI, MY FATHER (2007). Kapoor produced the film, which explores the cost Mahatma Gandhis own family bore due to his efforts to free the nation of India.

Kapoor first appeared on the big screen in HAMHARE TUMHARE in 1979. His first lead role followed four years later in the film WHO 7 DIN (1983). Kapoor has appeared in over 100 movies including LAMHE and VIRASAT, prior to his signature turn as the dynamic game show host, Prem Kumar in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Other notable titles include CHAMELI KI SHAADI (1986), MR. INDIA (1987), RAM LAKHAN (1989), EESHWAR (1989), TAAL (1999) and PUKAR (2000). Upcoming films include the action thriller RACE 2.

Kapoor said, "I am thrilled to be a part of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and honored that they have chosen to include my work as an actor and producer. With the incredible success of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, the timing could not be better. I feel as though I have come full circle. In November, I attended the AFI FEST premiere of Slumdog Millionaire at the ArcLight Theatre. Now, some five months later, I am humbled and honored that my work as an actor and filmmaker has been chosen to receive such a fantastic tribute at the same venue."

Directed by Megan Doneman, YES MADAM, SIR profiles Dr. Kiran Bedi, the first woman to join the Indian Police Service and a controversial and inspiring figure in India. A former professional athlete with interests in social issues, Dr. Bedis career has been marked by moments of physical courage, institutional innovation, and patriarchal prejudices. From fighting back Sikh extremists, modernizing the notorious Tihar Jail, and reforming the corrupt Police Training Academy, Dr. Bedis work has been celebrated around the world and vilified by those threatened by a womans success in a male dominated field. She has worked with the United Nations as the Police Advisor to the Secretary General, in the Department of Peace Keeping Operations. In addition, Dr. Bedi has represented India at international forums on crime prevention, drug abuse, police and prison reforms and womens issues.

Doneman lived with Dr. Bedi on and off for six years, gaining unparalleled access to her subject. Narrated by Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, Donemans film recently won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Adelaide International Film Festival as well as Best Documentary and the Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. It will be the first documentary to receive Gala presentation at IFFLA - introduces audiences to Dr. Bedis extraordinary, path-breaking life and work.

Dr. Kiran Bedi will attend the film festival as IFFLAs Guest of Honor and join Donerman for a Q&A after the gala screening.

Donerman said, "After filming India's modern-day Gandhi and national heroine, Kiran Bedi's life story for six years, I am truly honored to be invited to close the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles with the finished film, YES MADAM, SIR. Both Kiran Bedi and I are excited to attend the red carpet Gala event".

IFFLA Festival Director Christina Marouda said, We couldnt be more proud and excited to shine the spotlight on such striking and dynamic figures as Anil Kapoor and Dr. Kiran Bedi. Kapoor is an accomplished artist and ambassador for the Indian filmmaking community and Dr. Bedi is an absolute inspiration for women around the world. We are honored to place them both front and center at IFFLA this year.

Hosted by Malibu Family Wines with Chakra Cuisine providing its celebrated authentic dishes reinventing classic Indian cuisine for the most sophisticated palate, the Closing Night Gala will feature a performance by Project Pulse, a Bay Area based performing arts company known for creating expressive sequences fusing Bollywood, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, and Contemporary dance into their performances.

For further information on the Festival, please visit www.indianfilmfestival.org.

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Chatelin Bruno
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