Features & Opinion

India at 64th Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 3-13)

By Nandita Dutta • Published on August 2, 2011
India at 64th Locarno International Film Festival (Aug 3-13)

A still from Aag

[I]ndia has much to look forward to, at the 64th edition of the Locarno International Film Festival that begins on Wednesday, July 3, 2011. The festival has lined up quite an eclectic and exciting mix of Indian films; from the masters Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak to the contemporary Umesh Kulkarni and Vikramaditya Motwane.

Locarno Open Doors, an initiative that focuses on a region where independent cinema is in developmental stage every year has its eyes set firmly on India in the 2012 edition.

A still from Udaan

Open Doors screening will present thirteen “Indian classics” which include Raj Kapoor’s Aag, Jahnu Barua’s Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai (The Yellow Birds), Girish Kasaravalli’s Kanasembo Kudureyaneri (Riding the Stallion of a Dream), Shyam Benegal’s Manthan, Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Tara, Aparna Sen’s Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Nizalkkuthu (Shadow Kill), Franz Osten’s Prapancha Pash, Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan, Umesh Kulkarni’s Valu and Rajnesh Domalpalli’s Vanaja.

Acclaimed filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan will attend the festival and present his film.

The Open Doors will also present a Retrospective of Satyajit Ray by screening the restored copies of his works which include Charulata (The Lonely Wife), Joy Baba Felunath (The Elephant God), Kapurush (The Coward), Mahanagar (The Big City) and Nayak (The Hero).

Open Doors organizes a co-production lab every year for which twelve projects have been selected from India. The selected projects are: Aharbal Falls by Ajay Raina, Ajeeb Aashiq / Strange Love by Natasha Mendonca, Arunoday / Sunrise by Partho Sen-Gupta, Burqa Boxers by Alka Raghuram, Char, The Island Within by Sourav Sarangi, Jat Panchayat / The Judgement by Satish Manwar, Lasya / The Gentle Dance by Anup Singh, Samaadhi / The Penance by Sidharth Srinivasan, Sebastian Wants to Remember by Vasant Nath, The Trapper’s Snare by Shanker Raman, Thread / Le Fil by Lilium Leonard and Vidhvastha / Devastated by Ashish Avikunthak.

DearCinema will bring you more details on these projects in a series starting tomorrow.

These selected filmmakers will attend a three-day workshop, at the end of which a prize of approx. 39,000 euros will be given to a project by Open Doors. A second prize of 7,000 euros, financed by the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) and the International Relations ARTE Prize of 6,000 euros will be given to two other projects.

On August 6, 2011, in Spazio Cinema Forum—Open Doors, there will be a panel discussion titled: Lessons from Bollywood. This discussion will be hosted by Patrick Frater and the panel will comprise Indian actor Kabir Bedi, director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, producer Bhuvan Lall, Indian festival-programmer Anu Rangachar, documentary filmmaker Gargi Sen, and film critic Indu Shrikent.

There is Indian presence in the festival Jury as well. The jury of the short film festival at Locarno will be presided by Indian film critic and director of the Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival– Indu Shrikent.

The competition section of Locarno will present 20 titles, out of which 14 are World Premieres. Some of the names to watch out for, according to the international press are American director Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet, Romanian director Adrian Sitaru’s Best Intentions and Palestinian director Tawfik Abu Wael’s Last Days in Jerusalem; apart from the Hollywood blockbuster Cowboys and Aliens that will be screened at the open air venue –Piazza Grande,

A still from Cowboys and Aliens

which can accommodate up to 8000 people.

The Mirror, the winner of Locarno’s Golden leopard prize in 1997 will be presented in a tribute to Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who is facing a 20-year ban on filmmaking by the Iranian government.

The festival will also present a retrospective of American director Vincente Minnelli.

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