Deepa Mehta's Heaven On Earth will open the eighth Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival in New York on November 5 while Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire is the centerpiece screening and Sooni Taraporevala's Little Zizou will close the event on November 9.

Heaven On Earth references Indian mythology and magical realism to examine the inner world of an Indian immigrant to Canada. Little Zizou is the feature directorial debut of Taraporevala, a regular screenwriter for Mira Nair, and explores the tensions between the orthodox and reformed Parsis. Slumdog Millionaire was the toast of the Telluride and Toronto film festivals recently and recounts the story of a poor Indian boy who enters the Hindi version of Who Wants To be A Millionaire'

The five-day festival will also screen, among others, Adoor Gopalakrishnan's interlinked stories in Four Women, Ketan Mehta's biopic Rang Rasiya about the 19th century Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma, Richie Mehta's feature directorial debut Amal and Manu Rewal's dark comedy Love Bribes Etc. Highlights are expected to include an emphasis on Bollywood films and a panel discussion on shooting in India.

'The juxtapositional uptown-downtown presentation of the festival is reflected in the programming by our new festival Director L Somi Roy,' Indo-American Arts Council executive director Aroon Shivdasani said.

'From classic films to emerging forms to global cinema by film-makers of Indian origin in the UK, US and Canada and regional Indian cinema in Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi and Bengali, the eighth MIAAC Film Festival offers a wide range of films from established and emerging film-makers.'

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