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Six Pune films reach African shores

Six Marathi films made by Pune-based filmmakers will be screened at the first edition of the Indian International Film Festival of South Africa

Marathi cinema is making a name for itself not only within India, but also internationally. And Pune-based filmmakers are not far behind when it comes to popularising the regional cinema. The Indian International Film Festival of South Africa (IIFFSA) 2014 has selected six films made by Pune-based filmmakers, to be part of the festival starting on January 17.


A still from Astu

Formerly known as Utkarsh Marathi Film Festival of South Africa, the IIFFSA will showcase the latest and critically acclaimed works across African, Hindi and other Indian regional cinema to the African community as well as Indian citizens presently in South Africa.

The list includes three feature films -- Astu, Maunraag and Swapna -- and three animation films -- Clouds, Yatra and Masque. Sharing his enthusiasm over the selection of the short animation film, Masque, director Shashank Dhongde says, “It is really nice to see that the Marathi animation film industry is growing.


A still from Maunraag

People here are very creative and put lots of effort to make a movie.” Dhongde shares that making Masque was a very difficult task as there are no dialogues in the film, but there is a need for more hard work to take Marathi animation industry at par with international standards. “Documentaries and short films, are being made in the country since long time, and hence are popular, but the animation industry is still growing and needs more hard work. We have to participate more in different film festivals to get more recognition internationally,” he adds.

The festival starts on January 17 and will go on till January 23 screening films at six different locations across South Africa. This is the fest’s first outing as an international event. Apart from film screenings, IIFFSA will also have acting and direction master classes, discussions and question and answer sessions with the participating directors.

Director Sunil Sukthankar, whose film Astu is one of the three feature films being showcased at the festival, says that he is excited to show his film to lovers of Indian cinema in South Africa. “It is a good thing that our film is getting an international screening. It’s an emotional film on how you look after your parents; the father has lost his memory and the drama that follows,” he adds. The festival will also showcase various Bollywood feature films, short films, documentaries, and regional feature films as well as works of the Indian diaspora and films and documentaries from South Africa.

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