The Kashmir Files among 15 Films for the coveted Golden Peacock at IFFI 53: IFFI has announced the list of 15 films that will compete for the coveted Golden Peacock at the 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India.

It includes three Indian films, including filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri’s sleeper hit The Kashmir Files, Anant Mahadevan’s The Storyteller, and Kamalakannan’s Kurangu Pedal.

The line-up comprises 12 International including the best director award winner ‘I have Electric Dream’ at the 2022 Locarno International Film Festival, Golden Bear nominated The Line, and the Winner of the Audience Award at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, Nezouh.

Masakazu Kaneko’s Japanese film – Ring Wandering won the Golden Peacock Award at the 52nd International Film Festival of India.

The jury tasked with the impossible job of picking a winner this year comprises Israeli writer and film director Nadav Lapid, American producer Jinko Gotoh, French film editor Pascale Chavance, French documentary filmmaker, film critic, and journalist Javier Angulo Barturen and India’s very own film director Sudipto Sen.

Last month, IFFI announced Indian Panorama At the 53rd IFFI 2022 which includes S.S Rajmouli’s epic-historical action-dram RRR, TJ Gnanavel’s legal drama Jai Bhim and Arindam Sil’s Mahananda.

In the thick of the competition this year are :

1. Perfect Number (2022)

Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi’s Perfect Number is a drama that aims to provoke thoughts on morality and mortality. Co-produced with Italy and Israel, the film explores the relationship between a young mathematician and his distant cousin and how a chance meeting between the two leads to profound meditations on the mysterious world order, the meaning of life, and its passing.

2. Red Shoes (2022)

Mexican filmmaker Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser describes his film Red Shoes as an emotional reflection more than anything else. The drama is about a farmer who lives an isolated life after receiving news of his daughter’s death. The film progresses as the farmer tries to navigate through an unfamiliar and alien world to try and bring his daughter’s body home. Among the multiple award nominations the film has received, it was in contention for the Audience Award at Venice International Film Festival.

3. A Minor (2022)

A founding member of the Iranian New Wave in the 1970s, Dariush Mehrjui is well-known among connoisseurs of Iranian cinema. The maestro is back at IFFI with his latest film, A Minor. The film is about a girl who aspires to be a musician despite opposition from her father. Complex equations between members of the same family, differing aspirations between parent and child, and the hypnotic spell of music are some themes the film explores.

4. No End (2021)

Iranian drama, No End depicts the manipulations and machinations of the secret police in Iran. A man of quiet integrity indulges in a lie involving the secret police in a desperate attempt to keep his house. Things get complicated when the real secret police enter the scene. Jafar Panahi Collaborator Nader Saeivar’s second feature was nominated for the New Currents Award at the Busan International Film Festival. Jafar Panahi is credited as advisor and editor.

5. Mediterranean Fever (2022)

Palestinian-Israeli writer-director Maha Haj’s Mediterranean Fever is a black comedy about two middle-aged ‘frenemies’. Winner of the best screenplay award in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard competition, the film is woven around an unlikely partnership between an aspiring author and a small-time crook.

6. When the waves are gone (2022)

When the waves are gone by Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz is a story of an Investigator in the Philippines, who is at a deep moral crossroads. The film discusses the dark past that continues to haunt him even as he tries to heal from severe anxiety and guilt. Lav Diaz, who is known for developing his own form of ‘cinematic time’ (his 2004 film, Evolution of a Filipino Family, has a run time of nearly 11 hours) has decided that this film requires just over 3 hours to be told well.

7. I have Electric Dreams (2022)

Costa Rican filmmaker Valentina Maurel won the Best Director Award at the 2022 Locarno International Film Festival with her film I have Electric Dreams. The drama tells the story of Eva, a 16-year-old girl with divorced parents, who is clinging to her estranged father. As she tries to reconnect with him, she discovers surprising traits about her father and herself. The film’s performances have also bagged awards with Reinaldo Amien winning Best Actor and Daniela Marín Navarro winning Best Actress at Locarno International Film Festival.

8. Cold as Marble (2022)

Azerbaijan director Asif Rustamov’s Cold as Marble is a crime-drama / psycho-thriller about the unexpected return of a father who was jailed for murdering his wife. The focus of the film is on a young man who is described by the director as an anti-hero of changing society. The sensitive painter and tombstone engraver protagonist are in for the shock of his life when he finally finds out why his father killed his mother.

9. The Line (2022)

Nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, Ursula Meier’s The Line is a study of acceptance and delicate family bonds. The French-Swiss filmmaker’s film explores the turbulent relationship between a mother and daughter. The drama, shot in Switzerland, thus features a usual combination of both motherhood and violence.

10. Seven Dogs (2021)

Having premiered at the 43rd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, Seven Dogs is a film about a lonely man’s struggles to provide for his seven dogs even as he is going through severe money problems. The film is Argentinian Director Rodrigo Guerrero’s fourth feature. With a runtime of just over 80 minutes, the film explores the bond between a man and his pets.

11. Maariya: The Ocean Angel (2022)

Sri Lankan filmmaker Aruna Jayawardana’s Maariya : The Ocean Angel aims to be the second Sri Lankan film to win the Golden Peacock, a full 50 IFFI edition after Lester James Peries’s Gamperaliya won it the first time IFFI was organized as a competitive festival. Maariya : The Ocean Angel, is a film about a group of fishermen whose lives are disturbed after discovering a sex doll adrift at sea. The film director is best known for his 2011 film August Drizzle.

12. The Kashmir Files (2022)

The Kashmir Files is a Hindi film centered around the 1990 exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir. Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, The narration develops around the protagonist, Krishna a young college student who sets out to discover the truth about the untimely demise of his parents.

13. Nezouh (2022)

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, Nezouh is a drama about a family in war-torn Syria. The Arabic film is about a family who decides to stay behind in a besieged area in Syria. Director Soudade Kaadan has said that she herself experienced life outside her house for the first time when their neighborhood was bombed.

14. The Storyteller (2022)

Anant Mahadevan’s The Storyteller is a film based on the Legendary Auteur Satyajit Ray’s character Tarini Khuro. The story is about how Tarini Khuro finds himself in a peculiar situation after retiring from his job to become a storyteller. The film was nominated for the Kim Ji-Seok Award at the 2022 Busan International Film Festival, where it premiered.

15.Kurangu Pedal (2022)

Based on Rasi Alagappan’s short story ‘Cycle’, Director Kamalakannan’s Kurangu Pedal is about a schoolboy who wants to learn to ride a cycle even as his father is unable to teach him. The rural drama relies on the five children in the film to take the narration forward. The film director is most well known for his 2012 film, Madhubaanakadai.

The article was originally published on PIB GOV India site.

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