By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on August 26, 2015
The 20th Busan International Film Festival has just unveiled its full line-up. The festival opens on Oct 1. The event has always maintained its focus on enhancing upcoming talent by providing various markets and diverse funds during multiple stages of production like the Script Development Fund and Post-Production Fund.
This year's edition of the Busan International Film Festival holds special importance to India. It is only the second time in 20 years that an Indian film will open the festival. Sikhya Entertainment's Zubaan will be opening film at the festival this year. The last time an Indian film opened the festival in 2000, it was Buddhadeb Dasgupta's The Wrestlers. Check out the trailer of Zubaan below:
A total of seven films from Indian will be showcased in A Window on Asian Cinema section. The section showcases representative films by talented Asian filmmakers who carry eccentric style and viewpoints. Meghna Gulzar's Guilty (Talvar), is one among the selected films in this category. The movie starring Irrfan Khan, Neeraj Kabi and Konkona Sen Sharma has also been selected in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Hansal Mehta's Aligarh is based on the true story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras and the troubles that he faced because of his sexual-orientation. Manoj Bajpai and Rajkummar Rao play the lead roles in this film.
Kothanodi based on Assamese folk tales is directed by Bhaskar Hazarika. The movie raised funds through a crowdfunding campaign by Wishberry and was also selected for the The Asian Cinema Post-Production Fund (ACF). Adapted from Assamese tales, the film showcases four different shades of motherhood.
Orange Mittai directed by Biju Viswanath is about the life changing journey of an ambulance driver, a paramedic and a grumpy heart patient. The film stars Vijay Sethupathi who is known for his eccentric off-beat roles. The director Biju Viswanath has won multiple awards at several film festivals for his films Shadow Tree & A Voyage.
O Kadhal Kanmani is a romantic film that weaves its lyrical tale through the fabric of the city’s extreme contrasts. Directed by the legendary Mani Ratnam, the film is contemporary, vibrant and colorful. The music was composed by A. R. Rahman, the film was a big hit among audiences.
Masaan, Neeraj Ghaywan's debut film won two awards at Cannes this year, the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section and a 'Promising Future' prize (Prix de l'avenir) for debut films. The film starring Richa Chadda and Vicky Kaushal in the lead roles follows two seemingly separate story arcs that eventually converge in the holy city of Banaras.
Peace Haven, directed by Suman Ghosh is about three septuagenarian friends who embark on a journey to build their very own mortuary. The movie stars Arun Mukhopadhyay, Soumitra Chatterjee, Poran Bandopdhyay in the lead roles. Suman Ghosh is a National Award winning director whose film Footsteps starring Soumitra Chatterjee and Nandita Das won 2 National Awards in 2008. The director's other film Nobel Thief starring Indian megastar Mithun Chakraborty had its world premiere at the BIFF and was an official selection at the BFI, London Film festival.
This year's edition will also see Anurag Kashyap as a part of the jury in the 'New Currents' section. The section is known for laying emphasis on the first or second films of Asian directors. In 2002, Indian film Thiladaanam (The Rite... A Passion) directed by K.N.T. Sastry had won the New Currents Award.
The only Indian film that will be competing in the 'New Currents' section is Hari Viswanath's Radio Set. The film revolves around the dilemma an elderly man confronts where he has to choose between his loving family or the nostalgic notions his radio set conveys.
Drishyam Films maiden international film, the Turkish-Kurdish production Black Horse Memories, directed by Shahram Alidi will also premiere in this competitive section. A prominent figure of the Iranian New Wave, Shahram Alidi's film The Last Uncounted Village won several awards at multiple film festivals. Black Horse Memories set in Turkish Kurdistan, revolves around the last wish made by one of the Kurdish children.
Four films have been selected in the 'Wide Angle' section of the festival. The section is dedicated to showcasing outstanding documentaries, experimental films, animation and short films. Last year, the Wide Angle section saw In God's Land by Pankaj Rishi Kumar, The Artist by Siddartha Jatla, Arjun by Arnap Chaudhuri, Char... the No-Man's Island by Sourav Sarangi.
Jai Ho, a documentary by Umesh Aggarwal tracks the 20-year career of A.R. Rahman. The docu breaks down his style and explores the influences that have impacted one of the world’s greatest living musicians. The one hour film looks into the composer's life and music by covering anecdotes of people who have worked with the mastero.
Fireflies In The Abyss follows a 11-year old boy through his tumultuous journey, while revealing startling stories and lives under unusual - perhaps extraordinary - circumstances. The movie is directed by Chandrasekhar Reddy. The gritty documentary will be competing in the documentary segment of the 'Wide Angle' section.
Durga, a short film by Vivek Kajaria, revolves around a poor artist who paints eyes on idols of the Goddess Durga. This is Vivek's directorial debut after producing movies like Fandry and Siddhant.
Nagesh Kukunoor's Dhanak (Rainbow) will be showcased in the 'Cinekids' section of Wide Angle. The film revolves around two siblings who wander across Rajasthan to fulfill a vow. The film was honoured at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival with The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the best feature-length film.
The 'Open Cinema' section offers an outdoor-seating in the autumn night atmosphere during the festival. Many artistic and popular films from around the world are premiered in this section of the festival. Kabir Khan's Bajrangi Bhaijaan and S. S. Rajamouli's Baahubali: The Beginning will be showcased in this section.
'Asian Cinema 100' is a pioneering section that displays works of certain notable directors. It conveys the history and aesthetics of Asian films along with discovering hidden masterpieces and talented directors in Asian film history. Satyajit Ray's Aparajito is one of the films that will be showcased along with Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and many others.
The magnum-opus event will be held from 1st October till the 10th of October and will host a total of 16 Indian films. Acche din for Indian cinema we say. :-)