Art for the soul

This weekend, connoisseurs of arts can enjoy a plethora of films, performances, workshops, photo exhibitions and have animated conversations with their favourite artistes as part of the India Foundation for the Arts’ (IFA) two-day festival at Prithvi Theatre.

The event, which started off on April 7 with Pune-based photographer Sandesh Bhandare’s documentation of Tamasha, the Maharashtrian folk theatre, will conclude today.

Viewers will get an opportunity to see how taxi drivers, cops and monks turn into actors, directors and cameramen in the local film industry of Ladakh in Delhi-based filmmakers Sahabani Hasanwala and Samreen Farooqui’s documentary, Out Of Thin Air.

Aspiring artistes will be able to see Imphal-based musician Mangansana Meitie develop a performance using Pena, a unique string instrument from Manipur.

And adventure lovers will get an adrenaline rush listening to tales of djinns and pirates narrated by Delhi-based performers Mahmood Farooqui and Danish Husain through Dastangoi (the art of story telling in Urdu from the 16th century).

The festival is a prelude to the Bengaluru-based IFA’s brand building exercise in Mumbai for the next one year. Set up 16 years ago, the foundation is an independently managed group comprising professionals from various fields of performing arts who have strived to offer grants to new artistes and give them a platform to showcase their works.

IFA decides to support projects after the concerned artistes share their ideas with them. After detailed discussions, a proposal is developed, following which the scouting for funds begins.

Anmol Vellani, executive director of IFA said, “Our basic criterion is to support work that can influence the arts in any way. We have spent Rs 18 crore in the last 16 years by seeking grants from national and international trusts and have supported research, documentation, workshops, community arts projects etc. In Mumbai alone, we have offered 40 grants.

So we thought of widening our base here. Within the next year, we want to bring to Mumbai some of the best works that we have supported in the recent past.”

Vellani also feels that this exercise will start off dialogues between artistes from Mumbai and those from different parts of the country and facilitate a healthy exchange of ideas. IFA has tied up with Prithvi Theatre, Project 88, Mohile Parikh Center and Art India for its Mumbai chapter. Vellani maintains that these collaborations will bolster the activities of all the bodies and support the arts.

At: Prithvi Theatre, April 8
Call: 26149546 

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