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Amrit Pritam launches international indie film festival in Chicago

The premier edition of the Chicago International Indie Film Festival has been declared open. It runs from Nov 26 to Dec 03, 2021, and would be a non-ticketed hybrid festival open to all. The opening and closing days would be at a film theatre in Chicago. The festival theme, inspired by Abraham Lincoln, is ‘Heritage, Liberty, and Equality’.

The spotlight would be on the heritage of Indigenous peoples as well as on swing jazz whose birthplace is Chicago. In accordance with the former, film submissions open on Oct 11, on the occasion of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and the inaugural screening date has been set as Nov 26, being one of the important dates that honours native American heritage.

Amrit Pritam, the festival director, who is presently in his home country, lit the sacred lamp, and stated, Hollywood and India have two of the biggest film industries in the world. But outside as well as alongside mainstream cinema, it is great to see a lot of young new voices emerging. This festival is especially for them: independent filmmakers who have important stories to tell.”

Pritam has 4 Golden Reel nominations from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA. Awards, one National Film Award of India & three Indian State Film Awards, two Producers Guild of India Awards, & one Golden Reel Award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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Triple National Film Award winning film lyricist-producer, Amit Khanna, is the chief of the advisory board. Monita Borgohain, the festival director the Guwahati International Film Festival, and Dyanesh Moghe, EC member of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) and the Goa chapter of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR, Govt. of India), are the other two members on the board.

The preview committee comprise Rajesh Shah and Shalini Shah, festival director and artistic director, respectively, of the Kautik International Film Festival, and Somnath Mondal, Audio Visual Officer at the Information Education Communication Division of the Government of West Bengal.

The festival website was launched earlier this month, on Oct 2, by Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam. A variety of music and film personalities from around the world from music folks Charlotte Summers (Spain) and Tim Bragg (France), and actors Peter Handley (UK) and Simone Mariani (Italy), to festival directors Ratee Apana (USA) and Simon Foster (Australia) have sent congratulatory messages.

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