Deepa Mehta's 1930s Varanasi-set social drama Water will open the fourth annual Indian FilmFestival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) on Apr 19.

The festival's executive director Christina Marouda also announcedthat the award-winning sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar will receive theLifetime Achievement Award.

"We are truly delighted to be hosting the Los Angelespremiere of this powerful film," Marouda said of Water, which received its world premiere atToronto last autumn.

"Our intention is to highlight the best of Indian cinema and Water exemplifies just that. We are ecstaticabout working with a major studio like Fox Searchlight, which clearly shows thegrowth of Indian cinema in North America."

Searchlight will release the picture in North America on Apr 28.The festival runs until Apr 23 at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood.

Shankar wasco-nominated for the best original score Oscar in 1983 for Gandhi, and has composed more than 25 featurescores.