Forget Bollywood. This year’s Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) is out to prove that there’s more to Indian films that it’s glitzy flag-bearing Hindi film industry in Mumbai.
In its ‘Celebration of India’ category this year, Diff will focus on films that will showcase the best of independent Indian cinema, organisers said.
Leading the pack is Monsoon Shootout by director Amit Kumar, fresh off its critical acclaim in Cannes. The cop thriller explores the impact of one man’s choice on the lives of others as Adi, a gun-toting, rookie cop goes out on his first assignment, a morality shedding journey. Set in rain-lashed Mumbai, the film features an ensemble cast including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Viray Varma, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Neeraj Kabi.
Kajarya, from filmmaker and writer Madhureeta Anand, is about the struggles women in India face today. Tackling the issues of female foeticide and infanticide in the country, the film is co-produced by critically-acclaimed Bengali director Q of the multi-award-winning Gandu fame.
Acclaimed filmmaker Suman Mukhopadhyay brings his adaptation of Tagore’s much-loved novel The Last Poem (Shesher Kobita) widely considered a landmark in Bengali literature. The story recounts the love story of Amit Ray, an Oxford-educated iconoclastic barrister, who falls in love with the strong-willed Labanya. Their romance builds up against the backdrop of the misty hills of Shillong through a series of dialogues and poems they write for each other.
The Voiding Soul (Swapaanam) is a Malayalam film directed by Shaji N. Karun which explores the budding romance between Unni and Nalini, whose love is ignited by their passion for the Chenda (a percussion instrument) and Mohiniattam (a classical dance form from Kerala), inspiring Unni to challenge traditional rules and explore forbidden territories. Their urge for creativity however is abruptly halted by Nalini’s forced marriage.
Diff runs from December 6 to 14 at the Madinat Jumeirah. For a full schedule and ticket information, go to diff.ae