|Last weekend I attended the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles. Accompanied by our star endorser, Ravi, we made friends and rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in Bollywood. Bollywood is like Hollywood except that, as I understand it, it includes the music industry as well as the film industry.
Ravi was the perfect companion as his Indian heritage served us well to get in the door with some very important Bollywood players. His great uncle Jawaharlal Nehru (his grandmother's brother) was the first prime minister of India. Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi was also prime minister (Ravi’s father's 1st cousin) and her son Rajiv Gandhi (Ravi’s 2nd cousin) was the next prime minister.
We first met Ravi when we were approached by his manager concerning his interest in Voyage-Air Guitar. Ravi is a founding member of the Flying Musician’s Association and is an endorser for all things Aviation. They call him the RAviator, which suits him well.
So, as we filed into the theatre for the first panel discussion, Ravi was busy shaking hands and introducing us to people. Gulshan Grover ended up sitting next to me and if I’m not mistaken, was flirting with me! Although, perhaps he flirts with everyone since he’s a movie star. Gulshan Grover has more fans in India than we have people living in the United States, if you can imagine that!
The second panel discussion was Indian Film makers talking about what goes into making a low budget film. These film makers have won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and one of them won Best of Show in the Indian Film Festival. His name is Vikramaditya Motwane. Try to say that three times fast! As we got to know him through out the festival, he became Vikram to us. An amazing and humble guy, his film called “UDAAN” deservedly won Best in Show at the closing gala Sunday night. This movie is a must see! It’s available on net flicks and I encourage you all to see it.
The weekend culminated with a walk down the red carpet, interviews with the filmmakers and stars and a screening of the Disney movie “Zokkomon”. Awards were handed out and speeches ensued. The Gala after the screening was held at a club around the corner from the theatre. Tables with Indian Food and treats were scattered through out the club and the disco floor was in full motion as we left.
Jeff Cohen, Virginia, Gulshan and Ravi on Red Carpet
Actor Anupam Kher with Ravi
Virginia and Gulshan Grover
Gulshan Grover on the Red Carpet
Indian Film Fest Red Carpet
Virginia and Vikram in front of the UDAAN poster