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Another accolade for <i>Water</i>

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    Monday, March 20, 2006

    New Delhi(UNI): After winning accolades at several international film festivals, Deepa Mehta's 'Water' will be the opening film at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles beginning from April 19. A Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to sitar maestro and renowned composer Ravi Shankar by the IFFLA along with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on April 19. The third film in Deepa Mehta's ''trilogy of the elements'', after 'Earth', starring Rahul Khanna, Nandita Das and Aamir Khan, and 'Fire', starring Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi, 'Water' will premiere at the festival, scheduled to run till April 23 at ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood.

    Starring Bollywood actor Seema Biswas (of "Bandit Queen" fame); Lisa Ray (of "Bollywood/Hollywood" fame) and current Bollywood teenage heartthrob John Abraham, 'Water' depicts the plight of widows in the 1930s' India, wherein they were often condemned to live in "widow houses" following the death of their husbands. John Abraham plays an idealistic young man who falls in love with a widow played by Lisa Ray. The film also stars newcomer Sarala as a widow who dares to stand up for herself. Present at the screening of the film at IFFLA will be the producer Deepa Mehta and its female lead Lisa Ray who will take part in a question and answer session with the audience following the screening.

    'Water' has been written by Deepa Mehta and produced by David Hamilton who is also the film's executive producer along with Mark Burton, Ajay Virmani and Doug Mankoff. The screening of the film at IFFLA is the latest in the list of international accolades garnered by it. The film won the Best Film award in at the Bangkok International Film Festival last month. It has also proved a smash hit in Canada, having opened five film festivals and grossed almost two million dollars at the Canadian box office since November.

    Also on April 19, during the Gala Reception, the IFFLA and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will jointly present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pt Ravi Shankar. In addition, acclaimed artists Paul Livingstone and Pedro Eustache of the Arohi Ensemble and Barry Phillips will perform one of Pt Ravi Shankar's ragas in tribute to their former teacher.

    Besides being an internally recognised Sitar Maestro, Pt Ravi Shankar has over the years established himself as a prolific music composer. Pt Ravi Shankar, who earned international recognition when he received nominations for a Grammy and an Academy Award for Sir Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi" has composed music for over 26 Indian feature films, including Satyajit Ray's "Apu Trilogy". He has won nine Filmfare Awards ("Anari," "Mera Naam Joker") and three Grammy Awards for "West Meets East" in 1967; "Concert for Bangladesh" (1972 Album of the Year); "Full Circle-Carnegie Hall 2000" (2001 Best World Music Album). The late George Harrison who collaborated with Shankar, referred to him as the Godfather of World Music

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