It looks to be a season of good news for Indian independent cinema in an otherwise grim and pandemic-driven scenario with a handful of new films screened at prestigious film festivals as Chaitanya Tamhane’s much-acclaimed ‘Disciple’ is nominated in the Best Picture category at the 15th Asian Film Awards and PS Vinothraj receiving the nomination for Best Newcomer for his film ‘Pebbles’.
Tamhane’s film, which premiered earlier at the Venice Film Festival, is in competition with films from masters like Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Spy Woman) and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy ), Chinese Zhang Yimou (One second) and Lee Joon-ik from Korea (The Book of Fish). Tamhane was also nominated for the award for best screenplay.
The winners of the Asian Film Awards will be announced at the Busan Film Festival in Korea in October. The nominations list is dominated by films from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Iran.
Besides Tamhane and Vinothraj, the other Indians nominated for these awards are Gokuldas in the Best Production Design category and Renganath Ravee in the Best Sound category, both for the film “Labyrinth”.
Meanwhile, the prestigious BFI London Film Festival, also to be held in October, has selected two Indian feature films and one documentary. The two feature films are newbie Natesh Hegde’s Kannada film “Pedro”, the story of an outcast and eternal drunkard who accidentally kills a cow setting off a chain of events, and “Dostojee” (Bengali) by Prasoon Chatterjee, which tells the viewer about the test of friendship that two children of different faiths face in rural Bengal as the Babri Masjid was destroyed in distant Ayodhya in 1992.
The documentary film chosen by the festival is “Invisible Demons” by Rahul Jain, a powerful and disturbing documentation of Delhi’s deadly pollution. The film had already made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in its new section on climate change.
Veteran Aparna Sen’s latest director “The Rapist”, starring Konkona Sen Sharma, Arjun Rampal and Tanmay Dhanania, has been nominated for the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the 26th Busan International Film Festival. Also in the running for the same award, Bangladeshi director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki ‘No Land’s Man’, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and music by AR Rahman.