Fests to the left of me, fests to the right of me. Tribeca started last night in the Big Apple and the San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off tonight; meanwhile, three other fests have been stimulating film-goers on two different continents.

I attended the first Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles several years ago, and even in its inaugural edition it was well-run, smartly programmed, and widely supported. The sixth edition started Tuesday night with the local premiere of Amal, described by the fest as a "charming fable [that] examines the true nature of happiness in a society obsessed with speed, technology and monetary wealth." Last night's highlights included Before the Rains, a "colonial noir" set in South India in 1937.

Romantic comedy Kissing Cousins unreels tonight, as does American Movie director Chris Smith's latest, The Pool, while gangster thrills take center stage on Friday evening with Johnny Gaddar. The program is packed over the weekend, with Liz Mermin's excellent doc Shot in Bombay (which I saw at SXSW) screening on Saturday, and the world premiere of Mumbai Cutting ... A City Unfolds, featuring the the work of ten top Indian directors, closing the fest on Sunday night.

The 38th annual USA Film Festival should be better known than it is, simply because of its longetivity, but the festival's organizers appear content to stage the carefully-curated event in Dallas, Texas with a minimum of fanfare.
categories Movies, Cinematical