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Film Baazar announces its 10 recommended films for IFFI

By 16.11.2023         Mail Now Send Mail   Post Comments
The long-awaited Film Baazar recommended films for the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) list has been released.

According to a press release from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, this year's selection includes fiction, docu-shorts, documentaries, a horror film, and even an animated feature that deals with diaspora issues in India and abroad, patriarchy, urban anxiety, severe poverty, climate concerns, nationalism, and sports/fitness. The films are in English, Hindi, Bengali, Marwari, Kannada, and Maori (New Zealand language) and cover a wide range of topics.

The list includes the following films:

Fiction Shorts:
Anu (14 minutes), directed by Pulkit Arora (English/Hindi/Maori)

It is a story of a widow, who relocates from New Zealand to India. She clings to the relics of her late partner. However, a distant crisis pushes her to confront her loss through an everyday routine in an exceptional setting: quarantine.

Roti Koon Banasi or Who Will Bake The Bread (25 minutes) directed by Chandan Singh Shekhawat (Marwari)

Set in a rural household of Rajasthan. 'Who will bake the bread?' is a film about Santosh. A husband to Roopa and an elder son to Ranjeet, Santosh is a character trapped in the conventional ideas of patriarchy and masculinity. He's constantly reminded of his failures and unworthiness by his father. Contrary to his father's belief system of keeping the women housebound, he wants to support his wife Roopa to go for her last chance at a government job exam. The film explores the ideas of hundreds of years of patriarchy and how it propagates from one generation to another through father/son relationships. The film is a forthright blatant of the everyday struggles of women in Rajasthan as well as the whole of society raising the concerns of inequality, wrongful ideas of manhood and the various sections where men and women both are oppressed due to patriarchal practices.

Tuesday's Women (29 minutes), directed by Imaad Shah (English)

It is an adaptation of three short stories by Haruki Murakami, woven together to form a day in the life of our protagonist. He has lost his job and is in a pensive mood. Our efforts to play with language and music are an attempt to find a cinematic depiction of the pace, tone, and storytelling style of this beloved Japanese author. The film of course does hope to stand alone, as a take on the subject material, while constantly being irreverent and setting it in the Indian context.

Giddh (25 minutes), directed by Manish Saini (Hindi)

An elderly man is struggling to make ends meet. He fails to save his dying friend, and with only a few rupees in his wallet, he can only get medicine or food, never both. Work is scarce, and the elderly famished man does not appear to be a capable labourer. Things look bleak until he discovers an improbable way of survival, but this comes at a cost. He must put his conscience on the line for a few crumbs. A disaster occurs, and the elderly guy can benefit from it. Helplessness and desperation don't know right from wrong, but neither do right and wrong. An internal struggle ensues, and hunger soon collides with guilt.

Gopi (14 minutes), directed by Nishanth Gurumurthy (Kannada)

Gopi Siddi is a middle-aged storyteller who identifies with the Siddi community (South Indian African Diaspora). Gopi is inspired by oral storytelling and wishes to self-publish her stories; but, she must first face her battles with isolation, social standing, and environmental catastrophe.

Iron Women of Manipur (26 minutes), directed by Haoban Paban Kumar (Manipuri/English)

This film is an homage to the sports figures in this country who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women in sports. Kunjarani Devi (Padmashri Awardee, 2011), Anita Chanu (Dhyanchand Awardee), and Mirabai Chanu (Padmashri Awardee, 2018, and Silver Medalist at Tokyo Olympics 2020) have inspired a whole generation of Indian athletes and the country as a whole.

Docu Mid-Length: Where My Grandmother Lives (51 minutes) directed by Tasmiah Afrin Mou (Bengali)

Filmmaker Mou goes to her beloved Nanu's house to film her. In her 100-year-old home, Nanu lives alone since her husband's death 27 years ago. For Mou, Nanu's place means a peaceful village memory full of marshes and greens and the majestic family pond. In that pond, for generations, neighborhood children grew up learning to swim. Rawnak, Nanu's another maternal grandson, lives with his family next to her house. In Rawnak's house, there is a small pond still surviving, but many of the heirs from Rawnak's father's side want to sell this pond too. Rawnak doesn't want to sell their own family pond containing his father's memory. Ironically, his own business is to buy marshes or ponds, "develop" them as residential plots by filling them with sand and sell them. The "development" is going on all over the country, destroying the waterbodies and obliterating all the creatures living in them.

Ladakh 470 (38 minutes), directed by Shivam Singh Rajput (Hindi/English)

Sufiya Runner from Ajmer, Rajasthan, an ultrarunner with five Guinness world running records is gearing up for her most ambitious endeavor - a marathon no one has ever undertaken. She plans to run 470 kilometers at 11,000 ft plus altitude from Siachen base camp to Kargil war memorial in 7 days to honor all Indian army battle heroes of the Kargil war. Asshe runs through terrain up to 17980 feet, Sufiya's coach, her partner and the Indian army are all working hard to help her achieve her goal. She and her Sufi mindset make this run one meditative experience for herself and she crosses the finish line.

The Exile (Horror) (82 minutes), directed by Samman Roy (Bengali)

The film portrays the narrative of Gouranga, a young guy from a Bengali village who had lost his wife. This loss is not only weighing heavily on the family, which has suffered a string of catastrophes over the years, but also on Gouranga's mind, who is unable to come to terms with his wife's death. Eventually, Gouranga embarks on a trip to confront not just his own demons, but also myths centred in these rural locations that border on the otherworldly. The film is set in the late 1960s and deals with topics such as loss, superstitions, sexual deviance, the supernatural, and the position of the female in a society that at the time was patriarchal.

Return Of The Jungle (Animation) (105 minutes), directed by Vaibhav Kumaresh (Hindi)
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Mihir, 9, and his buddies face the enormous job of outwitting Rahul Malhotra, the school's largest and meanest bully. They have the coolest grandpa in town to help them ride through this impossible quest - Thatha and his wonderful tales of inspiration from India's old jungles! They must work together to create a vicious Dinosaur, compete in a tense game of cricket, and travel all the way to Rajasthan to rediscover the power of friendship, compassion, and dedication. 'Return of the Jungle' is a modern Indian animation like you've never seen before! An uplifting family entertainer that is nostalgic, relatable, and local.

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