By Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi
Puducherry will etch its name on the film festival map on September 25, the day the 1st Pondicherry International Film Festival (PIFF) ith the screening of French film Félicité directed by Alain Gomis, which had won the the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at Berlinale 2017.
To be held across several venues in the Union Territory, the festival, being organised by indie cinema streaming platform Pickurflick in association with Puducherry Tourism, will screen over 100 films from across the world, including a special screening of “Hva Vl Folk Si (What Will People Say)”, Norway’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar this year, in the presence of its lead actor Adil Hussain.
The festival, which will screen feature, short films, documentarie and animation films from India, France, Italy, Iran, the USA, Belgium, Bulgaria, Australia, Turkey, Venezuela, Russia, Lebanon, Austria, China, Costa Rica and Japan, will close with the screening of “Teen Aur Aadha” directed by Daria Gaikalova and presented by Anurag Kashyap.
Among the Indian films to be screened at the festival are National Award winners like “Mayurakshi” (Bengali) by Atanu Ghosh starring Prosenjit & Soumitra Chatterjee, “Reservation” (Kannada) by Nikhil Manjoo, “Paddayi” (Tulu) by Abhaya Simha, along with “My Son is Gay” (Tamil) by Lokesh Rajavel, “Feluda: 50 Years of Ray’s Detective” (documentary) by Sagnik Chatterjee, and Jimmy Shergill’s short film ‘Papa I Love You’ directed by Kabir Sadanand.
A special section will comprise screening of films by French contemporary women directors, such as “Eden” by Mia Hansen-Love, “Raging Rose (Crache couer)” by Julia Kowalski, “Grand Central” by Rebecca Zlotowski, “Standing Tall (La tete haute)” by Emmanuelle Bercot and “A Castle in Italy (Un chateau en Italie)” by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. France is the partner country of PIFF this year.
During the festival, a special interactive session will be organised for cine goers with Adil Hussain, who is also the PIFF brand ambassador, in addition to an editing masterclass by Editor Arghyakamal Mitra.
Incidentally, Hussain recently won the Norwegian National Award for Best Actor for his performance in “What will People Say”, directed by Iram Haq.
This year PIFF will include 3 World Premieres, 11 India Premieres, 5 Special Screenings and 47 movies in Competition in feature, documentary, short and animation sections. The Opening Night of the festival will be hosted at the French Consulate Pondicherry on September 25 in the presence of French Consulate General Catherine Suard, while the formal inauguration will be done by Puducherry Chief Minster V Narayanasamy on September 26 followed by screening of National Award-winning Tamil film “To Let” directed by Chezhiyan Ra.
winning Film Critic & Festival Director Saibal Chatterjee said, “It is hugely exciting for us to showcase the work of some wonderful independent filmmakers from India and the rest of the world in a place that has always been a confluence of cultures and traditions. Our aim is to develop PIFF into a dynamic platform for the celebration of unique cinematic voices as well as into an annual event that will serve to lend a new dimension to the city’s position on the world map.”
”It is indeed a privilege to be associated with this first edition of PIFF as the representative of the country that has produced stalwarts in cinematography like Etienne-Jules Marey, Louis and August Lumière, Georges Méliès and Alice Guy-Blaché,” says the Consul General of France in Pondicherry and Chennai, Catherine Suard.