Jag Mundhra's drama Provoked starring Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson and Nandita Das will open the 5th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) on Apr 17.

The six-day festival will close on Apr 22 with Rajnesh Domalpalli's Vanaja, winner of the Best Debut Feature award at Berlin.

The festival will also honour the acclaimed actress, poet, painter and writer Deepti Naval.

Provoked stars Rai in the true story of a Punjabi woman who is sentenced to death and later pardoned by the English courts for murdering her abusive husband.

Vanaja stars newcomers Mamatha Bhukiya, Urmila Dammannagari, Ramachandriah Marikanti and explores the social divide through the story of a rural South Indian girl who dreams of becoming a classical dancer. Emerging Pictures will release the film in the US this summer.

'It is really exciting to celebrate our 5th anniversary with the LA Premieres of such important films like Provoked and Vanaja,' festival director Christina Marouda said.

'Last year we opened with Deepa Mehta's Water and we can truly say that Indian cinema is growing in popularity and is here to stay.' For more information on IFFLA visit the official website at www.indianfilmfestival.org.