Indian films at APSA and BAPPF from 23 November to December 4

Here is a list of Indian films that are part of this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPPF). We suggest everyone move to Brisbane from November 23 to December 4 for these exceptional films with Indian drama Parched which will open the festival with an inspiring tale of female empowerment, it having won 18 international awards and toured 24 film festivals. Leena Yadav, director of Parched is coming to Brisbane. The original idea for Parched actually came from conversations Ms. Yadav had while in Brisbane.

BAPPF 2PARCHED

From its world premiere in Toronto 2015, where it received its first standing ovation, Parched has gone on to extended domestic releases following popular demand in both France and Spain, has won 18 international awards, toured 24 film festivals and now she comes home where it was just a glint in Leena Yadav’s eye. With Academy Award® winning Titanic cinematographer Russell Carpenter, whose sumptuous lensing is imbued with incredible ochres, and Academy Award® nominated editor Kevin Tent ( Nebraska ) assembling an energetic and dynamically paced scenario by Yadav that has been invited in to the Academy Awards® library, Parched draws attention to sexual politics that resonates globally.

An unflinching examination of patriarchal oppression as well as an emotionally and visually vibrant testament to the solace that springs from sharing a tough plight with others, Parched may take place in a fictional village; however Yadav draws her stirring stories from reality. As we celebrate a BAPFF with a distinctly feminine theme, Parched brings something special to our party — and we’re glad she came.

PSYCHO RAMAN

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India’s most infamous murderer, Raman Raghav, brutally slaughtered more than 40 people in the 1960s. This film is not about him. It’s about someone worse. In the present day, madman Ramanna hero-worships this legendary criminal, stalking the same fetid Mumbai slums, dragging a bloody tire iron, similarly driven to kill by the voices in his head. The only thing standing in the way of his killing spree is Raghavan, a coke-addled cop struggling with his own inner demons. The stage is set for a pulse-pounding, grim and gritty crime melodrama from celebrated Indian director and APSA Jury Grand Prize winner Anurag Kashyap ( Gangs of Wasseypur ).

ALIGARH

BAPPF 1

Inspired by the real-life ordeal of 64-year-old Professor Siras who was suspended and persecuted by the Aligarh University for being homosexual, Aligarh endeavours to bring this shocking case to broader attention. Manoj Bajpayee ( Gangs of Wasseypur ) in a transforming, gently fragile performance as the lonely Siras, and Rajkummar Rao fearlessly passionate and determined as the tireless explorative journalist, Aligarh offers a stirring and sensitive portrayal of a controversial case. Examining the persecution of homosexuality in India today, Aligarh is both timely and telling and proves as topical as it is powerfully moving.

THE FOURTH DIRECTION

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Punjab, 1984. The Indian paramilitary are fighting the Sikh separatists. Tensions are rising between Hindi’s and Sikh’s over Indira Gandhi’s hard-line approach to the militants. Within this climate of increasing tension, two Hindi’s try to board a train, and a Sikh farmer is told to shoot his barking dog. Weaving separate narratives into a loaded exploration of a fraught period in India’s history, and of the consequences of political turmoil on ordinary people caught in the middle. Singh has delivered a well-crafted potent portrait of unease and unrest, through arresting visuals and expressive performances from non-professional actors. This is a layered, profound film. Winner Best Punjabi Film at India’s National Awards, and the first Punjabi-language feature to break into Cannes.

THE TRAP

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Orphaned Kuttappayi lives with his kindly, weather worn grandfather among the spectacular Kerala backwaters where they raise flocks of ducks. Fishing, playing, reading, laughing — it’s an idyllic life full to the brim of learnings, discoveries and a deep respect for nature and the environment. An adaption of Chekhov’s timeless work Vanka, this modernised tale also looks at the plight of the poor and powerless. Winner of five awards including Best Film at the Kerala International Film Festival and winner of the Crystal Bear, Berlinale Generation Kplus competition, critically acclaimed auteur Jayaraj has made over 40 films in four languages across a 23-year career. The Trap is in the Malayalam dialect, exquisitely lensed, and gifted performances abound.

THE WILD

BAPPF - the wild

Blowing apart old Hindi cinema stereotypes, The Wild , a thrilling and brave Marathi romantic-drama has caused controversy and fierce debate along with packed cinemas in India, making overnight stars of its two young spectacular non-actor leads. Penniless boy meets high-class girl. It’s the old story — but this time, she’s making all the moves. When strong-willed and assertive landlord’s daughter Aarchi falls in love with ghetto cricket prodigy Parsha, their families step in to snuff out the romance. Premiering in competition at the 2016 Berlinale, The Wild follows on from award-winning, critically acclaimed Fandry continuing Manjule’s focus on caste discrimination and honour killing. The film’s original title Sairat, meaning passion, zeal and ardour is currently the highest grossing Marathi film of all time.

THE QUEST

BAPPF - the quest

A tender story of courage, second chances and a gentle look at the awe-inspiring simplicity of the spiritual faith of a poor, distraught farmer, paying tribute also, to the close bond between father and son. If it wasn’t for his son, distraught Arjun would have ended his miserable existence long ago. Winner of the Indian National Film Award for Best Marathi Film and screening in Cannes, The Quest , is a heartfelt, stirring tale of love between father and son set against the rise of suicides amongst poor Indian farmers — a problem not just felt in India.

QUEEN OF KATWE

BAPPF - the queen of katwe

Mira Nair ( Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding ) is one of India’s most internationally acclaimed awardwinning filmmakers, now working abroad. Her latest film brings to the screen the inspirational, true life story of Phiona Mutesi. Adapted from Tim Crothers’ book of the same name, Queen of Katwe follows the remarkable arcing hero’s journey of a young ghetto-dweller come chess prodigy from the slums of Uganda, who finds the confidence in herself to take on the world. In bringing Mutesi’s remarkable story to life with acclaimed stars Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo plus a naturalistic performance by newcomer Madina Nalwanga as Phiona, Nair’s film will raise the spirits of anybody who sees it.

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