Karavan Kollective Party at Cain, NYC

To say that I am an Indian cinema aficionada would be an understatement. While I typically shy away from — and vehemently discourage people from using, in my case — the word “Indophile”, I do fit the dictionary description to a T: “A person with more than a passing interest in all things Indian”. The problem I have with the term Indophile is that it personally feels too much like an exclusion. I would have to add Moroccophile, Italophile — wait, if you are Italian is that still the correct word?! — Jamaicaphile and Flamencophile… Well, you get the point, the list goes on and on. And on! 

But as far as my love of Indian cinema goes, there is one organization responsible for spreading the word across the oceans and to the four corners of the earth and that is FilmKaravan, based right here in NYC. Founded by two well-respected film industry professionals — and fantastic women! — Pooja Kohli and Payal Sethi, FilmKaravan is at the epicenter of the movement to bring the best of independent films made by South Asian filmmakers to the rest of world. The ladies have a huge fan in me and I seem to be in very good company… (see photos!)

For their first year anniversary party, they chose Cain, in hip Chelsea, as the venue to host a bash which was a perfect blend of interesting talk, wonderful meetings, great discoveries and professional achievements. Yes, because during this lively and lovely party, the powerful duo behind FilmKaravan launched the Karavan Kollective, a program to distribute South Asian independent cinema online, through various venues and portals, such as partners to the venture Netflix, AVS and Amazon.

The Karavan Kollective will allow for easy viewing of films like “Bong Connection”, “Via Darjeeling” and the Mira Nair produced “Aids Jaago” quartet of shorts. For those of us who have been desperately seeking a copy of these films to see, the initiative comes as a godsend. For Indian cinema and South Asian filmmakers, this is the beginning of all good things to come. You know I will continue to point this out in my writing until I can no longer type the words, the world is now beginning to look to the East for their entertainment. And it was all started by two little words: Jai Ho!

For a fantastic video of the evening, check out the masterful editing technique of Raju Sethi at Asian Variety Show, with some thoughtful comments by the likes of Abhay Deol, Dev Benegal — Deol stars in Dev Benegal’s upcoming and highly anticipated “Road, Movie” – and Mira Nair. Oh, and even a snippet of my broken-record prediction, shot by a masterful cameraman! The video should be up by the end of the week, if you still cannot access it through FB. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a fun shot. I wonder if I got the joke, eventually… Oh, and don’t forget to go to the FilmKaravan site and sign up to receive their fantastic monthly newsletter!

Photos courtesy of FilmKaravan

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