The much-anticipated list of Film Bazaar Recommended films for the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has been revealed, promising a rich array of cinematic experiences. This selection spans fiction, docu-shorts, documentaries, horror, and animated features, exploring themes ranging from diaspora, patriarchy, urban life, and climate crises to nationalism and sports. The films, presented in English, Hindi, Bengali, Marwari, Kannada, and Maori (New Zealand language), cover a diverse spectrum of subjects.
Here are some highlights from the list:
1. ANU (14 minutes): Directed by Pulkit Arora (English/Hindi/Maori), ANU narrates the story of a recent widow who moves from New Zealand to India, clinging to the vestiges of her lost partner. A crisis forces her to confront her grief during quarantine.
2. ROTI KOON BANASI (25 minutes): Directed by Chandan Singh Shekhawat (Marwari), this film set in rural Rajasthan explores patriarchy and masculinity through the character of Santosh, who challenges conventional ideas to support his wife.
3. TUESDAY’S WOMEN (29 minutes): Directed by Imaad Shah (English), this surreal film revolves around a protagonist’s encounters with mysterious women, offering profound insights into his life.
4. GIDDH (25 minutes): Directed by Manish Saini (Hindi), this film portrays an old man’s struggle for survival and the internal conflict that arises when a calamity presents an unexpected opportunity.
5. GOPI (14 minutes): Directed by Nishanth Gurumurthy (Kannada), this documentary explores the life of Gopi Siddi, a storyteller from the Siddi community in South India, dealing with alienation, social standing, and environmental challenges.
6. IRON WOMEN OF MANIPUR (26 minutes): Directed by Haoban Paban Kumar (Manipuri/English), the film pays tribute to Kunjarani Devi, Anita Chanu, and Mirabai Chanu, women weightlifting pioneers who have inspired generations.
7. WHERE MY GRANDMOTHER LIVES (51 minutes): Directed by Tasmiah Afrin Mou (Bengali), the film explores family memories, environmental concerns, and the clash between tradition and development.
8. LADAKH 470 (38 minutes): Directed by Shivam Singh Rajput (Hindi/English), the documentary follows ultrarunner Sufiya Runner on her ambitious marathon from Siachen base camp to Kargil war memorial.
9. THE EXILE (82 minutes): Directed by Samman Roy (Bengali), this horror film set in rural Bengal tells the story of Gouranga, a man grappling with loss and confronting supernatural elements.
10. RETURN OF THE JUNGLE (105 minutes): Directed by Vaibhav Kumaresh (Hindi), the animated film follows 9-year-old Mihir and his friends as they embark on a journey of friendship, compassion, and determination.
This diverse selection promises an engaging cinematic experience at the 54th IFFI, catering to a wide range of tastes and interests. Film enthusiasts can look forward to a captivating showcase of talent from across genres and languages.