🎥12 Indian films screened in South Korea, 11 of them new independent films
🎥 Shivama, The Winter Within and the documentary, While We Watched took home awards
By Rodrigues C
THE 27TH BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (BIFF) wrapped up on Friday (October 14) in South Korea.
The prestigious event, which was held without any social distancing norms, saw 242 films from 71 countries being screened under the Official Selection section, 101 World and International Premieres and 161 films presented at the Community BIFF and BIFF Everywhere programmes.
An impressive line up of Indian films made it to the 10-day long event.
Two of the selected films were about online issues. ‘Declaration’ dealt with the lives of a Kerala couple Harish and Reshimi, who work in the medical glove industry in Delhi. The duo’s lives are turned upside down when a doctored video of Reshimi goes viral. It screened at London Film Festival (LFF) and has been purchased by Netflix. (You can read the review shortly, coming with our final reviews and stories from LFF 2022). See our LFF (October 5-16) interview with well-known director-writer Mahesh Narayanan here.
A similar theme surfaces in Prithvi Konanur’s Kannada language film ‘Seventeeners’, about a couple’s intimate video being leaked online, and has both professional and non-professional actors.
‘The Storyteller’, which took inspiration from one of Satyajit Ray’s character Uncle Tarini, told the story of a retired man, who used his storytelling potential to help a man suffering from insomnia in Ahmedabad. Helmed by Anant Mahadevan, the film features comedy favourite Paresh Rawal and indie icon, Adil Hussain.
‘Goldfish’, directed by Pushan Kripalani, had its world premiere at BIFF. The film is about a woman named Anamika (Kalki Koechlin), who decides to return home London to care for her estranged mother Sadhana (Deepti Naval) because she is suffering from dementia.
Some of the Indian films took us back into the covid pandemic. Directed by Arvind Pratap, Hindi movie ‘Mariam’ followed a migrant worker, who takes up an illegal surrogacy to support her three daughters; they don’t even own smartphones, which were needed for home schooling during the pandemic. But, with just a month left for her to deliver, the baby’s parents disappear. The film received the Asian Cinema Fund at BIFF for its post-production work and was premiered at the event.
Assamese film ‘Tora’s Husband’, which is directed by National Award-winner Rima Das delved into the life of a hotel and restaurant owner Jaan (Abhijit Das), who desperately tries to keep his business afloat during the pandemic. Eventually, Jaan turns into an alcoholic and alienates himself from his family, including his wife Tora (Tarali Kalita Das). This film also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last month (September 8-18). Read our TIFF wrap article.
Written and directed by Nandita Das, ‘Zwigato’ sees stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma play the role of a delivery driver, who loses his job as a factory manager in Bhubaneswar during the pandemic. In order to sustain the family, his wife (Shahana Goswami) takes up the job of a cleaner at a mall.
Two of the films won trophies at the event. ‘Shivama’, staring Sharanamma Chetty and Chinnamma Abhigere, and directed by Jaishankar Ariyar, was an account of a poor middle-aged woman, who works as a sales representative in an energy drink company. The Kannada movie won the New Current Award at BIFF sharing it with Korean film ‘A Wild Roamer.’
Director Aamir Bashir’s ‘The Winter Within’ is set in Kashmir and tells the story of Nargis, who takes help from Yaseen to look for her missing husband. Just when Yaseen starts falling in love with Nargis, her husband, who has been arrested by the authorities, returns home. The movie bagged the KB New Currents Audience Award during the festival’s closing ceremony.
Vinay Shukla’s documentary ‘While We Watched’, which takes us into the working of broadcast journalist Ravish Kumar, won the Cinephile Award.
Narasimhamurthy Padmakumar’s ‘Max, Min and Meowzaki’ touched upon a couple, who divide their belongings such as a cat, after a separation. The film stars Mandira Bedi and Nafisa Ali.
Director Suchana Saha’s animated film ‘Dear Me’, about an emotional letter from a girl to herself and Shaunak Sen helmed documentary ‘All That Breathes’, about the quest of two brothers to rescue and treat birds, also made it to BIFF. Sen was in London for LFF and was presented with top documentary award, the Grierson and spoke to www.asianculturevulture.com just after its screenings. Read this interview here.
The biggest Indian movie at the festival was Kamal Haasan’s Tamil hit ‘Vikram’. Staring Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil, the action thriller had a full house during the screening.
Our final London Film Festival 2022 videos and stories will be out shortly…