22nd KIFF: Asian Select competing for the NETPAC Award
It was created as the result of a conference on Asian cinema organized by Cinemaya, the Asian Film Quarterly, in New Delhi in 1990 at the instance and with the support of UNESCO, Paris. Today, the Indian chapter is no longer linked to Cinemaya that ceased publication some years ago.
This year, at the 22nd KIFF, there are ten films competing for this award from nine countries which includes two from India. The films offer a wonderful melting pot of ideas, plots, themes and treatments from different filmmakers, mostly young and relatively new, who through their films are exploring new avenues of cinematic expression. The films are – The Violin Player and Lady of the Lake (India), Inadaptable (Iran), Kingdom of Ants (Iraq), Singing in the Graveyards (Malaysia), White Sun, (Nepal), Lando at Bugoy (Phillipines), Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia), Dreaming Butterflies (Sri Lanka) andThe Road to Mandalay (Taiwan).
Bauddhayan Mukerjee’s second feature The Violin Player pulled a full house in its first screening at Rabindra Sadan.
Says Mukherjee about his film, “The film is about one day in the life of a session violinist in Mumbai. How life had beaten the art out of him, reduced him to a non artist. Then one day the same life shows him the carrot. Well, art and the artist have always intrigued me.”
It stands out not only because of the counter pointing technique he applies and also for the outstanding performance of Rittwik Chakraborty in the title role and Adil Hussain who plays a mysterious character in the film.
Rohan Pereira’s debut film Dreaming Butterflies tugs at the emotional chords of all mothers who identify with the edge to which they are pushed when their child falls victim to a killing disease that might need an organ from another healthy child. The film is filled with touching moments though the climax might appear to be a bit of an emotional overload.
Inadaptable narrates a slightly unusual story of what can happen within relationships within and without marriage based solely on hearsay and suspicion. The young filmmaker Ebrahim Ebrahimiyan has used different dimensions of sound to express the heightening tension between two couples whose friendship is threatened for several reasons.
Deepak Rauniyar”s White Sun is a moving human document of two brothers trapped in a severe war of political ideology that impacts on the final journey of their father, also a leading politician, to the crematorium through rocky terrains. The climax is a wonderful learning experience.
Asian cinema has really grown and evolved in different ways as 22nd KIFF unfolds.
(Reporting by Shoma A. Chatterji)