It seems to be a season of good tidings for Indian independent cinema in an otherwise gloom, pandemic-driven scenario with a clutch of fresh films getting selected to prestigious film festivals while Chaitanya Tamhane’s much-acclaimed ‘Disciple’ getting nominated in the best film category at the 15th Asian Film Awards and PS Vinothraj getting the best newcomer nomination for his film ‘Pebbles’.
Tamhane’s film, which had its world premiere earlier at the Venice Film Festival, is competing with films by masters like Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Wife of a Spy) and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy), China’s Zhang Yimou (One Second) and Korea’s Lee Joon-ik (The Book of Fish). Tamhane has also been nominated for the Best Screenplay award.
The winners of the Asian Film Awards will be announced during the Busan Film Festival in Korea in October. The nominations list is dominated by films from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Iran.
Apart from Tamhane and Vinothraj, other Indians to get nominations in these awards are Gokuldas in Best Production Design and Renganath Ravee in Best Sound, both for the film ‘Labyrinth’.
Meanwhile, the prestigious BFI London Film Festival, also to be held in October, has selected two feature films and one documentary from India. The two features are debutants Natesh Hegde’s Kannada film ‘Pedro’, the story of an outcast and perennial drunk who accidentally kills a cow setting off a chain of events, and Prasoon Chatterjee’s ‘Dostojee’ (Bengali), which tells the viewer about the test of friendship that two kids from different faiths face in rural Bengal as the Babri Masjid was destroyed in faraway Ayodhya in 1992.
The documentary film chosen by the festival is Rahul Jain’s ‘Invisible Demons’, a powerful and unsettling documentation of Delhi’s killer pollution. The film earlier had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in its newly-introduced section on climate change.
Veteran Aparna Sen’s latest directorial, ‘The Rapist’, starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania, meanwhile, has been nominated for the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the forthcoming 26th Busan International Film Festival. Also in contention for the same award is Bangladeshi director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki’s ‘No Land’s Man’, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and with music by AR Rahman.