Hop aboard the movie express

The 11th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) will feature 80 contemporary films from more than 50 countries, retrospective segments on Indian actor Smita Patil, Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni and French director Claude Chabrol. Thirteen films, including six from Hungary and seven from South Korea, will be part of the Country Focus segment.

Raja Harishchandra will be screened at the event

Festival director Jabbar Patel says, “This year, we received a record 35 entries in the Marathi film competition section. It was a difficult task to choose only seven from them. It is overwhelming to see such participation this year. In the past, we used to receive only about 15 to 17 films for this segment.”

He added that they expect to showcase digital movies from next year. The festival will be inaugurated at 4.30 pm on January 10 at City Pride, Kothrud. Seven Marathi films will be shown for the state government’s Sant Tukaram trophy, while 13 films will compete in the World Cinema category.

Marathi film Kaksparsh will be showcased

The Marathi films competing for the Sant Tukaram trophy include, Tukaram, Pune 52, What’s your religion?: Tujhya Dharma Koncha, Samhita, Anumati, Balak Palak and Kaksparsha. The festival’s competition section offers prizes worth lakhs of rupees for the first three films.

It will also include a segment for film students to showcase their talent. The students’ film competition, an integral part of PIFF, will comprise 23 films made by students from various countries. Winners will be announced during the closing ceremony on January 17.

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

Apart from the regular sections such as Global Cinema, Marathi films, Indian and Regional cinema, PIFF will also feature films that mark 100 years of Indian movies, such as Raja Harishchandra, Kalia Mardan and Pather Panchali among others.

Several short films by students will also be screened. Says actor Mohan Agashe “Through short films and the internet, the medium has become democratised. That is why this year we are featuring several short films,”  he said.

 Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma

PIFF recognises contributions to music with the Sachin Dev Burman International Award for creative music and sound, which will be awarded this year to two Padma Vibhushan recipients, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shiv Kumar Sharma.

Registrations for the event have already begun but delegates can still register online or at counters at  E-Square, PVR Cinemas and Marathon Bhavan. Samar Nakhate, one of the organising team members, said it is a difficult task to choose the movies for the competition and there are certain restrictions, such as the movie needs to be 35 mm, have sub titles, and so on.

From January 10 to 17 At City Pride Kothrud, City Pride Abhiruchi, City Pride R-Deccan, City Pride Satara Road, National Film Archive of India, E- Square, PVR Cinemas.  

A still from the film The Color Wheel to be screened at PIFF

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