By Aditya Savnal. Posted on June 29, 2015
It is a good time to be an Indie filmmaker in India. Or at least it seems like it. Filmmakers like Chaitanya Tamhane, Amit Masurkar and Neeraj Ghaywan, who have made some of the most talked about Indie films of recent times, will agree.
Till a few years back, there was a notion that indie films, especially the festival winners are too artsy to be accepted by the ticket paying audiences. While that mindset hasn't entirely changed yet, with the release of films like Court, Labour Of Love, Sulemani Keeda and now Killa & Masaan, there seems to be an evolution for sure. Audiences, distributors and exhibitors are slowly, but surely warming up to independent cinema.
However, there are still some films that are lying in the cans and awaiting a theatrical release, despite winning national awards and/or acclaim at international festivals. Here’s a list of 7 such films that we would love to see in theaters sometime soon.
Directed by Amit Kumar, Monsoon Shootout is a story of a cop forced to make a difficult decision on his very first assignment.
The film which stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Neeraj Kabi and Tanishtha Chatterjee was screened at festivals like the Chicago International Film Festival & Sydney Film Festival in 2013. It also was an official Cannes selection. Yet, despite the accolades and the involvement of top names like Guneet Monga & Anurag Kashyap, the film is still awaiting a theatrical release.
The film narrates the tale of three unrelated individuals whose lives gradually intersect: Mac (Siddharth Menon), a streetwise orphan who also deals in drugs; Bilkis (Kriti Malhotra), a young former chemistry teacher afflicted with cancer and a cop, Ranjit,(Gulshan Devaiah). Peddlers was nominated for Golden Camera and Critics Grand Week in Cannes 2012. The film was later picked up by Eros International for a theatrical release.
However that's where the trail ends. While its lead actors, Nimrat Kaur and Gulshan Devaiah have come into their own with films like The Lunchbox and Hunterr, this film is still awaiting a release.
Mumbai Cha Raja is the story of Rahul and Arbaz, two adolescents from the slums of Mumbai, who engage in many mischievous pranks in an attempt to escape the harsh realities of their lives.
The film directed by Manjeet Singh was screened at multiple festivals internationally, including at the Toronto International Film Festival and at Palm Springs. It also won a Special Jury Award at the Mumbai International Film Festival in 2012.
However film buffs in India haven't yet had the chance to watch it, as the film hasn't yet found takers for its theatrical release.
Director Bauddhayan Mukherji’s Teenkahon (Three Obsessions) narrates three love stories set in different eras over the last hundred years in Bengal. The film which stars Dhritimaan Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta & Ashish Vidyarthi, was an official selection at Mumbai Film Festival and IFFI 2014.
The film has won awards and acclaim at various international festivals including the Seattle South Asian Film Festival and the Bridge Film Festival. There is no word yet on the theatrical release.
The film tells the story of Gulzar, a boatman, and his friend Afzal, whose plans of escaping the turbulent life of Kashmir is thwarted by a curfew.
The film directed by Musa Syeed had won the Audience award at Mumbai International film Festival in 2012, besides winning awards at Sundance and Dubai International Film Festival. Perhaps, the subject of Kashmir has made distributors wary and prevented it's theatrical release till date.
Charu (Geetanjali Thapa) stays in a rented apartment with her friends in Mumbai. One day an unnamed labourer, who is painting her house, becomes unconscious and dies. The film is about Charu's search for the deceased man’s identity.
Directed by Kamal K.M, the film was screened at Busan, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai International Film Festival in 2012. The film had also won the NETPAC award in the same year at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK). A year later the film was screened at Rotterdam and Los Angeles film festival. Yet the film, which has been produced by cinematographer Rajeev Ravi and co-produced by sound designer Resul Pookutty, hasn't seen the light of the day.
Directed by Bhaurao Karhade, the Marathi movie Khwada (Obstacle) tells the story of a group of shepherds, living in a remote village in Maharashtra, who are forced to relocate when the forest department acquires their lands.
Khwada won 2 national awards including a special jury award for Karhade. Yet surprisingly, the film is awaiting a theatrical release. At a time when Marathi films like Fandry, Shala and Killa are wowing audiences and critics alike, this comes as a strange surprise.
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