By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – From Tuesday, June 19th until Sunday, July 1st, Caixa Cultural in Rio’s Centro (city center) is hosting a film festival, ‘Novo Cinema Indiano’ (New Indian Cinema) which will be showing a selection of eleven feature films, including many award winners, in order to demonstrate the quality and variety of contemporary Indian cinema.
Curator Carina Bini has assembled a selection of eleven feature films, highlighting unpublished films and award-winners at the National Film Awards, the top prize in Indian cinema. The project is sponsored by Caixa Econômica Federal and the Federal Government.
In addition to ten productions spoken in six different official languages of India, the festival will also present, in a special session, the Brazilian production Kilasumak – The Awakening of a Warrior (2017), which is presented in Portuguese and directed by Vedanta master Jonas Masetti.
Among the highlights of the program are Pimpal (2017), the last work of the renowned filmmaker Gajendra Ahire, who has directed 44 films. There is also Dileesh Pothan’s Witness (2017), considered one of ‘Mollywood’s’ finest Malayalam films and winner of Best Original Screenplay and Best Feature Film at the Malaysian Film Awards and Best Supporting Actor (Fahadh Faasil) at the National Film Awards.
Also being shown is Masaan (2015), by Neeraj Ghaywan, a drama about the social disparities of today’s India that marks the director’s debut in feature films. It won the prestigious FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) award and ‘Avenir Prometteur’ (Promising Future) award at the Cannes Film Festival.
India produces the most films out of any country in the world and its influence dominates the Asian film market, as well as further afield. This festival aims to give the public access to filmmakers who are seeking less conventional narratives within Indian cinema. Movies that are both thought-provoking, challenging and gripping – to offer a counterpoint to the ‘Bollywood’ stereotype associated with the Indian film industry.
Carina Bini, the festival’s curator commented, “The show presents a ‘look’ at India that comes from its core…Since this is the cinema that dominates many countries in Asia and the Middle East, and communicates to billions of individuals of this planet.”
Talking about the theme of the festival, she added, “It will be a contemporary panorama of Indian cinema in a theme where the challenges of the moment are present within a society that needs to live with traditional values and with the modern and globalized world of the digital age that transforms relationships and puts into check the values of a culture ancestry.”
Along with these film showings there will be other events such as presentations and debates with experts on Indian culture. On Saturday, June 23rd at 5pm, Vedanta master Jonas Masetti will present his film ‘Kilasumak – O despertar de um Guerreiro’ (Kilasumak – The Awakening of a Warrior) which explores the search for a ‘Guru’ in the Indian philosophy of Vedanta.
On Thursday, June 28th at 7pm, after the showing of ‘Os últimos ritos do Honorável Sr. Rai’ (The Last Rites of the Honorable Mr. Rai) yoga teacher Leandro Castello Branco and Hindu yoga and symbolism teacher Patrick van Lammeren will present a talk to the public about India and sacred rituals.
What: ‘Novo Cinema Indiano’
When: Tuesday, June 19th until Sunday, July 1st – time varies according to the session.
Where: Caixa Cultural – Avenida Almirante Barroso, 25 – Centro
Entrance: R$2 – R$4