Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced their Celebration of India programme for the upcoming 9th Edition of DIFF as Indian communities around the world celebrate, Diwali, the Festival of Lights. The unique line-up showcases the wealth of talent Indian cinema has to offer and will bring fans close to some of the latest cutting-edge films with star casts, the country’s finest filmmakers and its emerging talent.
Nashen Moodley, DIFF’s Director of Asia Africa Programmes, said: “To commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema, we have selected a collection of unique films that reflect the richness, flavor and essence of Indian filmmaking. Over 1,000 films are made every year in India and the platter is huge and diverse which is a testament to the filmmaking excellence we see year after year.”
On the 150th birth anniversary of the celebrated cultural icon Rabindranath Tagore, poet and prominent contemporary Indian filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta pays homage to the great bard by making thirteen short films based on thirteen of his poems. Quartet 1 is a set of four of those thirteen films: The Flutist, The Pond, The Dark Maiden and The Station. Dasgupta chose to make films out of these Tagore poems not only because it was his collection of poems which brought Tagore the Nobel Prize, but also because the poems open up a limitless horizon of images that take the viewer along to a secret second world.
Indian films are ever prominent on the prestigious world film festival circuit and Hansal Mehta’s Shahid was showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival this year to much acclaim. The film is based on the true story of slain human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary commitment to justice. The award-winning film, described by filmmaker Mehta as “a small film with a big heart,” is a must-see for all audiences.
From actor-turned-director Joy Mathew comes Shutter, a Malayalam satire written and directed by Mathew in his directorial debut, which DIFF presents as a world premiere. The film, set and filmed in Kozhikode, revolves around three individuals, a wandering film director, an expatriate from the Gulf and a Kozhikodan auto driver. All three of them are worthy citizens but get embroiled in unforeseen circumstances.
Indian director, screenwriter and actor in Bengali cinema Kaushik Ganguly brings to DIFF yet another world premiere the unique Sound (Shobdo), based on the life of a foley artist in Tollywood whose life becomes inextricably intertwined with the sounds that he has to produce for a living.
The centenary of Indian cinema is celebrated throughout the festival with a strong overall presence of Indian features and documentaries. The line-up includes Ashim Ahluwalia’s Miss Lovely, Rajan Khosa’s Gattu, Sourav Sarangi’s Char…The No-Man’s Island, Anand Gandhi’s Ship Of Thesus and Nishtha Jain’s Gulabi Gang.
Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of DIFF concluded: “DIFF’s Celebration of India Cinema programme gives our audience an opportunity to see the current developments in Indian cinema and pay tribute to a cinema that’s 100 years old. This year the film industry lost one of the most incredible filmmakers of our time Mr. Yash Chopra. Over the past five decades he touched the hearts and minds of millions around the world through the wonderful stories he brought to the screen and his work will continue to inspire filmmakers for years to come. For his body of work we remain forever grateful.”