Nayyar will sit down to discuss his career path, and offer advice to the next generation of artists

The festival will host world premiere screening of Tamil thriller MERCURY, featuring South Indian superstar Prabhu Deva

IFFLA announces jurors including Reza Aslan, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Aneesh Chaganty

Los Angeles, March 27, 2018: The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) has announced two exciting additional programs and has revealed the distinguished members of its features and shorts juries for the 16th annual festival, which takes place April 11 – 15 at the Regal L.A. LIVE: A Barco Innovation Center cinemas in downtown Los Angeles.

The Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar will sit down for a moderated discussion about his career beginnings, his path to stardom on U.S. television’s highest rated comedy, and to advise the next generation of artists on how to gain a foothold in a competitive industry.

Best known for his role as Rajesh Koothrappali on The Big Bang Theory, Nayyar’s career has spanned television, features and the stage. He’s performed voice work in the DreamWorks animated feature TROLLS, and Fox’s ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT, as well as the Nickelodeon series Sanjay and Craig. His television credits also include a recurring role on TBS’ Sullivan & Sons, and a 2015 stint as guest host on CBS’The Late Late Show. In 2015, he made his off-Broadway and London West End debut starring alongside Jesse Eisenberg in The Spoils, and he produced the documentary feature BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES, which won an IFFLA Grand Jury Prize in 2013.

The master class is presented with support from the India Center Foundation and will take place on Thursday, April 12 at 9:00pm.

IFFLA has also added to its 2018 lineup the world premiere of rising star director Karthik Subbaraj’s new feature MERCURY. The film, an inventive thriller performed entirely in sign language, features South Indian superstar Prabhu Deva. The story focuses on five young friends – all deaf due to the effects of a local industrial accident – who come together for their high school reunion. But, a moment of mischief and misfortune during the after-party puts them on a one way road to hell. MERCURY will screen on Thursday, April 12 at 9:15pm with director Karthik Subbaraj in attendance.

An impressive panel of jurors will preside over IFFLA’s features and shorts competitions.

The features jury includes: director Haifaa Al-Mansour, whose multiple award-winning debut feature WADJDA was the first film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia; film critic Carlos Aguilar, whose work appears in Indiewire, MovieMaker Magazine, Filmmaker Magazine, Variety Latino and Remezcla; and actress Sujata Day, known for her starring role on Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, and her recurring role as Sarah on HBO’s Insecure.

The shorts jury will include:

Internationally renowned religious scholar and writer Reza Aslan, whose books include the #1 New York Times best-seller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, and who has served as producer on HBO’sThe Leftovers, ABC’s Of Kings and Prophets, and hosted CNN’s original series Believer; director Aneesh Chaganty, whose debut feature SEARCHING was acquired by Sony Pictures for worldwide release in 2018 after its world premiere in Sundance, where it was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film prize and the NEXT Audience Award; andGuinevere Turner, screenwriter of AMERICAN PSYCHO, THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE, and Mary Harron’s forthcoming CHARLIE SAYS. Turner also wrote, produced and starred in the 1994 landmark queer film GO FISH.

IFFLA previously announced its full lineup which includes opening night gala film IN THE SHADOWS, with Bollywood star Manoj Bajpayee in attendance, closing night gala and international festival favorite VILLAGE ROCKSTARS, directed by Rima Das, Hansal Mehta’s OMERTA with Mehta in person, Naseeruddin Shah-starrer THE HUNGRY, and a memorial tribute screening of the late icon Sridevi’s 1989 hit CHANDNI.

Tickets and Passes 
Tickets and Passes are now on sale.
Tickets to regular screenings, Master Class, Sridevi Tribute: $15
Gala screenings only: $25
Gala screenings and receptions: $75
Fest Pass: $100
All-Access Pass: $225

For more information please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@iffla).


Now in its 16th year, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora.

The five-day festival is the premiere platform for the latest in cutting-edge global Indian cinema and bridges the gap between the two largest entertainment industries in the world – Hollywood and India. The festival will showcase more than 25 films from the Indian filmmaking community across the globe, host the highly anticipated Opening and Closing red carpet Galas, and the Closing Awards ceremony.


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