Six Indian films touring U.S.

The Indian film industry is famous throughout the world for its lavish musical spectacles and epic love stories, and the splendor and energy of the famous “Bollywood” style have inspired everything from movies like Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” to French fashion and American hip-hop. But with over 800 releases a year, choosing what to see can be overwhelming. Now Cinema India Showcase 2004 presents a six-film showcase featuring the best of Bollywood and beyond.

The first series of its kind, the showcase will travel to nine U.S. cities and play at 10 venues from April to August as part of a national tour. The program has been carefully curated from hundreds of mainstream Indian hits and top international film festivals to highlight both new trends and contemporary classics.

The featured films include blockbuster epic “The Braveheart Will Take The Bride,” a musical love story that’s still playing to packed houses in Bombay after eight years; “I Have Found It,” a Southern Indian adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” starring former Miss Universe Aishwarya Rai and set to music by superstar composer A.R. Rahman; “Anything Can Happen,” a time-splintered gangland fantasia featuring everything from Indian yuppies to lady mobsters to Sikh rappers; “Maqbool,” a moody retelling of Macbeth; “Bariwali” (The Lady Of The House), a moving arthouse drama starring veteran actress Kiron Kher; and “The Speaking Hand,” a documentary about a legendary tabla player.

The showcase will open Friday, April 16 at the Asia Society in New York City and then move to other venues including the American Museum of the Moving Image (Astoria, NYC); Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe, N.M.); Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio); High Museum of Art (Atlanta); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.); Facets Cinematheque (Chicago); International House (Philadelphia); Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (Lincoln, Neb.). All films have English subtitles.