The party room at Royal Oaks Country Club was filled with women in glittering saris and men in handsome Nehru jackets for the second annual Indian Film Festival of Houston awards evening, a dazzling conclusion to the four-day festival that featured screenings of feature films, documentaries and shorts by Indian producers.
Loads of awards were handed out including Best Feature Film to Udaan, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane; Best Documentary to Woman Rebel, directed by Kiran Deol; and Best Short Film to You Can't Curry Love, directed by Reid Waterer. Special recognition was given to Dilip Mehta for Cooking with Stella.
Amit Khanna, chairman of Bollywood's Reliance Big Entertainment which just received 17 awards at India's 57th National Awards program in Mumbai, was named recipient of the first annual Leadership Award. Accepting on his behalf was Sumit Chadha of RBE's New York office. Carolyn Farb was honored with the festival's Philanthropy Award.
Indian Film Festival of Houston founder Sutapa Ghosh, a Houston-based filmmaker, reported that film festival attendance had grown significantly over the first year and therefore plans were already underway for the third annual festival.
In the mix were Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Roseann Rogers, Grace and Jim Herd, Janet and Charlie Giesen, Atul Badwal, Ellen and Howard Goldberg and Rick Ferguson, executive director of the Houston Film Commission.