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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 1, 2003

(Mahwah) – With its coming of age in Hollywood, Indian cinema is coming to the attention of a new audience. The Bollywood/Hollywood Indian Film Festival at Ramapo College of New Jersey will include public appearances by prominent filmmakers and screenings of Ismail Merchant’s The Mystic Masseur, Tuesday, October 14 at 2 and 6 p.m.; Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood Hollywood on Wednesday, October 15 at 2 and 6 p.m.; and Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, Thursday, October 16 at 6 p.m.

Ismail Merchant will present The Mystic Masseur, Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will also be available to answer questions. Deepa Mehta’s daughter, Devyani Saltzman will introduce Bollywood Hollywood at both screenings on Wednesday; screenwriter Sabrina Dhawan will introduce Monsoon Wedding on Thursday. Dr. Radha Hedge, authority on Indian film and professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick will join the Ramapo community on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to open and contextualize the festival.

Ismail Merchant, director of the 2001Merchant Ivory production of The Mystic Masseur, is known for incorporating beauty and richness, attention to detail and profound understanding of the human condition” (Frank Vigorito), in movies such as Le Divorce, Howard’s End, Remains of the Day, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, A Room with a View and The Golden Bowl. Mystic Masseur, set in colonial Trinidad in the second half of the 19th century, depicts the emerging Indian culture. The New York Times‘ Stephen Holden considered the film, Rich and absorbing! Subtle, humorous, illuminating!”

Sabrina Dhawan and Mira Nair, talents behind Monsoon Wedding, interweave the ancient and the modern, the old fashioned and the irreverent, the innocent and the sexual in today’s globalized Delhi. Filmed on a 30-day schedule in September 2000 in New Dehli, India, Monsoon Wedding combines ancient tradition and dot.com modernity. Post production took place at Mirabai Films in New York. The film won a Golden Lion award in the 2001Venice International Film Festival best film category.

Deepa Mehta’s Bollywood Hollywood takes a much lighter approach than her Fire and 1947 Earth films. Set to be released in San Francisco and New York later this month and a winner of the 23rd Annual Genie Award for original screenplay, Bollywood Hollywood is a family drama/musical as well as a very intelligent spoof of Indian film culture. Mehta creates an amalgam of clichés pulled out of every nook and corner of Indian cinema,” says film reviewer, Vijay Ramanan. The narrative is primarily character driven as the plot is of secondary importance.

To add flavor to the festival, a tasting of a new line of ready-to-eat Indian food by Kitchens of India will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. The tasting is sponsored by King Maker Marketing, Inc.

Admission for Bollywood/Hollywood is free. The Sharp Theater is located at the Angelica and Berrie Center for the Performing and Visual Arts. For more information call (201) 684-7844. This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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