Three major international festivals have South Asian content and South Asian stories…
‘Polite Society’ – Zany British comedy action film stars Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya
THERE IS much anticipation for Nida Manzoor’s debut feature film, ‘Polite Society’ – which will have its world premiere at the festival on Saturday (January 21) in Park City, Utah.
The British creator of the award-winning Channel 4 comedy drama series, ‘We are Lady Parts’ first feature film looks like a riotous send up of yes, ‘polite society’ as Ria Khan, played by Priya Kansara, does everything in her earthly – and other worldly (?) – powers to stop her art student sister Lena (Ritu Arya) from marrying the wealthy but really rather conservative Salim. Schoolgirl Ria, a martial arts student, is also an aspiring film stuntwoman.
Sundance describes it as lively comedy mash-up of genres – action comedy, heist (there’s a kidnap), martial arts, Bollywood and social horror. Well-known Pakistani actor Nimra Bucha is the Shah matriarch at the heart of the drama, which also has tones of what a rebel punk Jane Austen might be like in 21st Britain. You have been warned.
Also making its world premiere at the festival is ‘Poacher’, a new episodic series by International Emmy Award-winning British based Canadian director Richie Mehta.
The showrunner, behind the hugely successful and original ‘Delhi Crime’ series which www.asianculturevulture.com saw at its world premiere at Sundance in 2019, before it was even sold to Netflix, returns with a thriller looking at elephant poachers in the dense forests in the southern state of Kerala, India. Here, a nexus of organised crime, corruption, weak institutions and greed line up against embattled NGOs, committed volunteers and locals caught in the crossfire. Sundance says: “Mehta deftly showcases the complexities of the human role in the animal kingdom.”
Three episodes of ‘Poacher’ will screen from Saturday (in nearby Salt Lake City).
Among the other British films screening at the festival are ‘Rye Lane’ – a black romcom set around Peckham, South East London, directed by Raine Allen-Miller. There is also ‘Drift’ with Cythia Erivo, a refugee drama set on a Greek island; Chiwetel Ejifor is in ‘The Pod Generation’ alongside ‘Game of Thrones’ star, Emilia Clarke. There are 12 British features and co-productions at the festival. There are also a couple of Iranian American features debuting at Sundance.
The Sundance Film Festival starts tomorrow (Thursday, January 19) and runs until January 29.
More here https://festival.sundance.org/
Previously – ACV covered the festival in person in 2019
Nobel Laureate and International Booker winner author Geetanjali Shree and translator Daisy Rockwell and British Bernardine Evaristo and Amish head for Pink City…
REFERRED to by its admirers as the world’s greatest literary show on earth, the Jaipur Literature Festival will enjoy a grand opening tomorrow (January 19), organisers have indicated.
The 16th edition of the festival takes place at the Hotel Clarks Amer in the tourist magnet city, known as the Pink City (because of the Pink Palace there).
Among those participating are Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah, Booker Prize winner, Bernardine Evaristo, and International Booker 2022 winner Geetanjali Shree for ‘Tomb of Sand’ (in Hindi) and translator Daisy Rockwell; and among those names known to British readers participating are Kishwar Desai, Meena Kandasamy, Mukulika Banerjea, Shrabani Basu, Navtej Sarna, Pavan K Varma and head of the Nehru Centre in London, and leading author Amish Tripathi.
The fest also has a line-up of evening concerts and always starts with music in the morning, before any sessions get under way.
Carnatic vocalist Sushma Soma will help to inaugurate the festival and the morning will see addresses from founders and co-festival directors William Dalrymple and Namkita Gokhale. Festival producer Sanjoy K Roy will also make an address and Abdulrazak Gurnah will make the keynote author address.
Acv covered the Jaipur Literature Festival between 2014-18 and was a community partner to the UK edition which is hosted at the British Library in 2019. Stories and video. (Youtube)
More here: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/
Bollywood in Berlin: Farhan Akhtar and Zoya set for world premiere of ‘Dahaad’
ANOTHER episodic series made in India is to have its world premiere at another high profile global film festival.
‘Dahaad’ is a slow-burn crime eight-part crime thriller which will screen at the Berlin Film Festival, the Berlinale from February 16-26.
Set in Rajasthan, it focuses on a possible serial killer of women at large. Initially a spate of women deaths look like suicide but then investigations lead them to another theory altogether.
“What follows is a riveting game of cat and mouse between a seasoned criminal and an underdog cop as she pieces together evidence before another innocent woman loses her life.”
The series is produced by Bollywood star and now production guru Farhan Akhtar and his company Excel Entertainment, which also is helmed by sister Zoya Akhtar, an established Bollywood director.
The series features Sonakshi Sinha, Vijay Varma, Gulshan Devaiah and Sohum Shah. Series direction comes from Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi.
The Excel team have already enjoyed international success with the film ‘Gully Boy’ which also premiered in Berlin and their episodic series, ‘Made in Heaven’ about a wedding planning agency based in Delhi.
More here: https://www.berlinale.de/en/home.html
Excel Entertainment (Twitter): https://twitter.com/excelmovies