Subcontinental Presence at the Sydney Film Festival

Mallika Sherawat gets clapped on the sets of Jennifer Lynch’s Hiss, as seen in the documentary Despite the Gods.

The Sydney Film Festival commences for the 59th time this year on the 6th of June and runs until the 17th. The huge line-up also includes a number of films from or related to the subcontinent:

Despite the Gods – A documentary that follows Jennifer Lynch (daughter of the acclaimed director David Lynch) through the process of making Hiss, the Bollywood film featuring  Mallika Sherawat that released in 2010. The film is in competition for the festival’s documentary prize.

[youtube QURrNZGY0GM]

Dr. Sarmast’s Music School – Musicologist Dr. Ahmad Sarmast returns to Kabul after 15 years in exile to reopen an old music school, closed down by Muslim extremists in 1992.  The film is in competition for the festival’s documentary prize.

Gun-toting Nawazuddin Siddique leads Anurag Kashyap’s epic Gangs of Wasseypur.

Gangs of Wasseypur –  While Anurag Kashyap showcases the epic at the Director’s Fortnight happening around Cannes, Australian audiences have a chance not miss out on the action while it screens in the Official Competition section of the festival.

Jai Bhim Comrade – Made by the master of the Indian political documentary, Anand Patwardhan. Audiences can also hear what the maker has to say about the film in conversation with Australian documentary film maker Tom Zubrycki.

Missing in the Land of the Gods – A documentary in which Jock and Di Chambers go in search for their son Ryan, missing in north India.  The film is in competition for the festival’s documentary prize.

Paramedico – Made by paramedic/film maker Benjamin Gilmour (also the maker of Son of a Lion from 2008), this documentary  takes us on a ride with access to ambulance teams from Lahore, Honolulu, Mexico City and Venice.  The film is in competition for the festival’s documentary prize.

The Sound of Old Rooms (Kokkho-Poth) –  Sandeep Ray’s documentary, filmed over 20 years, traces the life of Sarthak, an Indian man who juggles his desire to be a poet with the practicalities of raising a family.

The Temple (Deool) –  Umesh Kulkarni’s feature is a take on religious fervour as a divine vision appears to a member of a drought affected village, stirring up the village, politicians and the media.

The World Before Her – Nisha Pahuja’s award winning documentary dramatically juxtaposes the  Miss India pageant and Durga Vahini, the women’s arm of the Hindu fundamentalist movement.

Unravel –  An Indian woman in the sleepy northern town of Panipat ponders the ways of the world as she unravels unwanted clothes from the West – recycling them back into yarn. This 14 minute film screens together with ‘The World Before Her’.

Valley of Saints –  Set on the Dal Lake in Kashmir, the acclaimed  Valley of Saints  is an unlikely love story that raises important environmental issues.

Whore’s Glory –  This stylish and hard-headed look at the commodification of sex from Michael Glawogger, explores the lives of prostitutes and their clients in Bangkok, Faridpur in Bangladesh and Reynosa on the Mexico-US border.

Timings, ticketing and other Sydney Film Festival information can be found at



Short URL: