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Going beyond boundaries

Four film festivals in the country are bringing together an assortment of movies that reflect local flavours from around the world

If you are a film buff, get ready to become a vagabond over the next two months.


Genelia D'Souza in Urumi which will be screened at IFFI

In an attempt to bring together some of the best works of cinema from across the globe, the country will witness four different film festivals, each with something different to offer.

International Film Festival of India (IFFI):Panaji, Goa, Nov 23-Dec 3
IFFI, which steps into its 42nd year is officially India's oldest film festival. Despite garnering flak for its choice of content and administration over the years, it still remains one of the most attended film events in the country. Says festival director Shankar Mohan, "The theme of the festival is Vasudeva Kumtumbakam that depicts our efforts to bring together films and filmmakers from across the world to celebrate cinema."

Highlights:
While we saw Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit at the inaugural ceremony on Wednesday, Hollywood superstar Michelle Yeoh will be present at the closing ceremony with her film The Lady. The film, which is an epic retelling of the life of the Burmese leader and activist Aung San Suu Kyi will wrap up the festival.


Michelle Yeoh

Film Bazaar: An entity that runs parallel to IFFI, Film Bazaar is now being deemed as one of the best platforms for offbeat cinema. The National Films Development Corporation (NFDC) that spearheads Film Bazaar will not just unveil 23 new Indian projects, (like Dibakar Banerjee's The Boy and the Bandit and Ketan Mehta's Noor � the Princess Spy), but also carry forward the basic objective of promoting Indian films in the global markets.   

Our pick:
Polisse (France), A separation (Iran), The Kid with a Bike (Belgium).

International Film Festival of Kerala ((IFFK): Trivandrum, Dec 9-16

Over the past 16 years, IFFK focuses on cinema emerging from Asia, Africa and Latin America. "

Highlights: One of the most interesting offerings at IFFK is a package of films from Philippines that talks about the underbelly of the society there. Informs festival director Bina Paul Venugopal, "There are a lot of changes happening within cinema in Philippines and many of these films are made on shoestring budgets."


A still from Bal

Retrospective: The festival that has been curated to promote independent films also pays tribute to acclaimed Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mamb �ty. Says Bina, "Mambety's brother Wasis Diop (a popular musician) would be coming down to represent his cinema. He was a crazy, indigenous filmmaker whose films had a very rebellious quality to them."

Our pick: Bal (Turkey), Traffic (India), Aadukalam (India).

Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES): Bengaluru, Dec 15-22
After a year's break, the fourth Begaluru film festival is all set to resume this year. When the Karnataka government pulled out support from the festival last year, few thought it could revive itself.

Says festival co-ordinator Anand Varadaraj, "Last year because of the floods in Karnataka we could not manage to gather funds, as the government had to pool in money to help the victims. Now we are back and hopefully will receive good response."

Highlights: Apart from a section devoted to political cinema , the festival has put together retrospectives of six different filmmakers. These include the works of directors like Michael Cacoyannis and Theodoros Angelopoulos from Greece, Dariush Mehrjui from Iran.

Our pick: When We Leave (Germany), Beyond (Sweden), Ogul-The Son (Turkey).

Heading west
The Jaipur International Film Festival is scheduled between January 27 and 31. Jaya Bachchan will inaugurate the festival. It pays homage to filmmaker Mani Kaul who passed away early this year.

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