Indian Film Festival Review

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If you’ve had the chance to travel to distant lands filled with rich culture, and scenic landscapes, you can easily imagine yourself right now on that last holiday.  The sun kisses your cheek as you look over the beach reclining with a cocktail in one hand, and mobile phone in the other checking Facebook.  At that moment you wake from your daydream, to find you have just missed your tram stop.

Like many of us, working everyday, we live for the next adventure, a new culture to explore, or just to get away.  Maybe this is one of the reasons cinema is such a popular escape.  If it’s been a long time between stops, and you need some inspiration for that next destination to visit and explore, then a beautiful and rich culture awaits you, without having to leave your armchair!

Having seen a few Hindi and Tamil films in my time, the word that springs to mind for most is ‘Bollywood’.  Now before we get carried away thinking this article is all song and dance, think again.  The art form has matured significantly moving beyond its traditional roots of mainstream ‘Bollywood’ and anticipated dance routines into the more social changing ‘Art-house’.

The festival, over 10 days at Hoyts CBD and Doncaster, featured some truly amazing films such as ‘Ship of Theseus,’ a story that will really leave you hanging, ‘The Lunch Box,’ for something more contemporary, and for those are in love with Art-house then ‘Gayonar Baksho’ was the movie ticket for you.  The festival though was more than just films, providing a window into a culture renowned as the birthplace of some of the oldest spiritual teaching in the world, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and went beyond the fringe and brought you into the conversation about Indian cinema.

The master classes were without a doubt not to be missed with elegant conversations on the importance of dialogue in film. Suhasini Maniratnam made a point of saying it’s not the dialogue which is the most memorable in a film, but what action follows – Titanic anyone!  Also notable was the talk on Art-house versus Mainstream cinema from Konkona Sen Sharma, the star of ‘Gayonar Baksho’, covering the importance of the social aspects of Art-house films being a new source of cinema in the maturity of mainstream ‘Bollywood’.

Before you turn to the next page, and jump to the next topic, put a reminder in your phone and keep an ear out for the next Indian Film Festival showing in cinemas near you around May 2015.

Brad Every

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