Indian films in Sydney Film Festival

sff - charulata 1








The  Sydney Film Festival  have just announced the full program for the 61st  Festival running from 04-15 June.

There is an interesting line up of Indian films that one should not miss:

Charulata (The Lonely Wife)  –  The wife of a newspaper editor  in the 1870’s finds a cure for her loneliness within her visiting cousin-in-law, and through their shared love of literature, subsequently fall in love.

  • Directed by one of India’s most renowned film makers – Satvajit Ray,  Charulatasignificantly marks the beginning of an influence of Western film of Ray’s directorial style.
  • Based on the popular short Indian novel  Nastanirh  (The Broken Nest) by Rabindranath Tagore.
  • Shown at the 1965 Berlin Film Festival,  Charulata  was rejected by committee at the Cannes Film Festival in the same year for unknown reasons. It has been included as a Retrospective Feature within the 2014 Cannes program.
  • The film depicts an upper class, childless marriage within the Bengal Renaissance (British Rule) of the 1870s. The assumed roles of women within the household are explored, regardless of education and intellectual capabilities.
  • Score from this film can also be heard in  The Darjeeling Limited  (2007).
  • Charulata  won the President’s Gold Medal, New Delhi (1964); Silver Bear for Best Direction, Berlin (1965); Catholic Award, Berlin (1965); Best Film, Acapulco (1965).
  • SFF Screenings: Thu 5 Jun 6:00 PM DOQ3

sff -faith connection







Faith Connections  –  Focusing on the month-and-a-half long Hindu Kumbh Mela ritual,  Faith Connections  explores diverse and deeply moving stories such as a young runaway kid, a Sadhu, a mother desperately looking for her lost son, a yogi who is raising an abandoned baby, and an ascetic who keeps his calm by smoking cannabis ”“ all connected by one faith against the spectacular display of devotion.

  • Directed by Indian writer-director Pan Nalin (Samsara)
  • An exploration of religious devotion, centred around the Hindu Kumbh Mela ritual ”“ the largest religious gathering in the world
  • The Kumbh Mela ritual occurs every 12 years; it draws between 90 ”“ 100 million people throughout its 55 days-long duration
  • Shares a wide range of stories and perspectives, from a hermit-turned-adoptive-father, a young runaway, and a couple searching for their son who has been lost in the crowd
  • Highlights the children’s experiences at the ritual; 135,000 children are at the Lost & Found camp when director Nalin filmed
  • SFF Screenings: Thu 12 Jun 10:00 AM EV4 // Sun 15 Jun 12:30 PM DOQ2

sff -siddharth







Siddharth  –  After sending his young son Siddharth away to look for work, Mahendra becomes concerned when he fails to return home one weekend and travels across India in search of him.

  • Examines the pressure of child labour and fears of child trafficking in developing countries
  • Canadian director Richie Mehta (Amal,  I’ll Follow You Down) met a man who was searching for his missing son while in India; this man served as inspiration for the script that Mehta co-wrote
  • The second collaboration of director Mehta and Indian actor Rajesh Tailang (who plays Mahendra); they first worked together on the Mehta’s award-winning feature-length debutAmal
  • SFF Screenings: Thu 12 Jun 8:30 PM DOQ2 // Sat 14 Jun 6:35 PM DOQ2

 sff - lunch box







The Lunchbox  –  Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi,  Slumdog Millionaire) stars in this Indian indie hit ”“ a delicious celebration of romance and food. In Mumbai’s remarkable  dabba  (lunchbox) delivery system, only one in four million home-cooked meals is ever lost. That one wayward lunch connects a housewife with an office worker in the dusk of his life, leading them into a rich fantasy.

  • Director Ritesh Batra originally intended the film to be a documentary after researching Mumbai’s Lunchbox delivery system, an elaborate, extremely efficient system, and thedabbawalas  who deliver them
  • The delivery system, studied by the Harvard Business School for its efficiency, has a million to one odds of a wrongful lunchbox delivery; these slim odds are what inspired Batra to construct his film’s pen-pal romance
  • Winner, 2013 Asia Pacific Screen Awards: Best Screenplay; Jury Grand Prize
  • Winner, 2013 Muhr AsiaAfrica Award, Dubai Film Festival, Best Actor, Special Mention Feature
  • Winner, 2014 Screen Weekly Awards, Most Promising Debut Director
  • Screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2013 Critics Week
  • SFF Screenings: Fri 6 Jun 6:00 PM STATE // Sun 8 Jun 6:00 PM CREMORNE // Tue 10 Jun 6:00 PM EV8

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