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India has scored big at the 24th Busan International Film Festival, with a rich crop of fresh films representing the country at the premier festival of Asia, including two which have got nominations for the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award.

Seventeen Indian films will be showcased at the festival beginning on October 3, of which Himachali film Bitter Chestnut, directed by Gurvinder Singh, and Khasi film Iewduh (Market), directed by Pradip Kurbah, have received the Kim Jiseok Award nominations.

Among the Indian films will be a special package of films by Deepa Mehta, which will comprise a section of retrospective of leading Asian women filmmakers.

The competitive New Currents section of the festival has one Indian representation in the form of FTII-graduate Kislay Kislay’s “Just Like That”, which focuses on the life of a widow who embarks on a journey of self-discovery to find a new identity for herself.

The prestigious “A Window to Asian Cinema” section of the festival has two films starring Adil Hussain. The first one is a horror film titled “Nirvana Inn”, directed by Vijay Jayapal, which has been shot in Himachal Pradesh and in the world-famous Majuli river island of Assam. It also stars Rajashri Deshpande and Sandhya Mridul. The other one is celebrated director Goutam Ghose’s latest offering “Raahgir (The Wafarers)”, also starring Tilottama Shome and Neeraj Kabi.

The section also has “Aadhaar”, a comedic look at how life changes for the first man in a village to have an Aadhaar card. Directed by Suman Ghosh and produced by Drishyam Films, it stars Vineet Kumar Singh of Mukkabaz fame.

Another highlight of the section is Gitanjali Rao directed animation film “Bombay Rose”, which has been already screened in prestigious festivals like Venice, Toronto and London. An ode to the city of Mumbai, the film is a resplendent work with a rich colour palate and eye-catching animation.

The Indian films in the section are “Roam Rome Mein”, the directorial debut of actress Tannishtha Chatterjee starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Gurvinder Singh’s “Bitter Chestnut”, which takes a sensitive look at rural migration, and Alankrita Srivastava’s “Dolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars”, a comedy starring Konkana Sensharma, Bhumi Pednekar, Vikrant Massey and Amol Parashar.

Lijo Jose Pelliessery, who wowed audiences with his “Angamaly Diaries” and “Ee.Ma.Yau” in the recent past, returns to the festival with another high-energy Malayalam film “Jallikattu”, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival recently.

In the same section are Kurbah’s “Iewduh” and Leena Manimekalai’s Tamil film “Maadathy, An Unfairy Tale”, which is an unrelentingly hard look at the oppression faced by Tamil Nadu’s Puthirai Vannar women, said to be the lowest in the caste hierarchy.

The festival’s Open Cinema section will showcase Shonali Bose’s Priyanka Chopra-Farhan Akhtar-starrer “The Sky Is Pink” and AR Rahman-produced and Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy-directed “99 Songs”.

In the short film section called “Wide Angle”, the festival has chosen Sudhanshu Saria’s “Knock Knock Knock”.

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About Utpal Borpujari


Utpal Borpujari is a National Film Award winning filmmaker and film critic. He won national award for his debut feature film 'Ishu'.


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