Pune International Film Festival 2019 is all set to open on 10 January with the Spanish film from Chile, Damn Kids, directed by Gonzalo Justiniano. Set in 1983, Damn Kids revolves around a woman fighting for democracy in Chile under the regime of vicious dictator General Pinochet.
Seven films have been selected in the Marathi competition section this year, and it’s a good mix of new entries and other festival favourites.
Amongst the new films, Shivaji Lotan Patil’s poignant tale, Bhonga, revolves around a family whose 9-month-old is suffering from health problems and is especially affected by the loud sounds of azan (Muslim prayers) coming from the mosque next door.
The line-up also include Sumitra Bhave’s Dithee about a devotee of Vitthal who becomes angry with God after a personal tragedy and Paresh Mokashi’s Khatla Bitla, a satire on a man and a woman being tried in a fast track court after being caught in a police raid.
Other Marathi films in the category are Vinit Chandrasekharan’s Bodhi, Sandeep Modi’s Chumbak (2018), Pravin Vittal Tarde’s Mulshi Pattern (2018) and Sudhakar Reddy Yakanti’s Naal (2018).
Walking With The Wind (2017, Hindi), Angu Doore Oru Desathu (Malayalam), Mahanati (2018, Telugu), Olu (Malayalam), Rakkhosh (Hindi), Ek Je Chhilo Raja (2018, Bengali), Sinjar (Jasari), Sivaranjani And Two Other Women (Tamil), To Let (Tamil) and Dhappa (2019, Marathi) will be screened in the Indian cinema section.
This year PIFF also celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with two critically acclaimed films made on his life — Shyam Benegal’s The Making of Mahatma (1996) and Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982).
The festival will also pay tributes to Sridevi and Kalpana Lajmi, who passed away in 2018, by screening their films English Vinglish (2012) and Rudali (1993), respectively. There will also be a tribute to Akira Kurosawa with the screening of his film Ikiru (1952).
The retrospective section will focus on filmmkaker Mehboob Khan with his film’s Andaz (1949), Amar (1954) and Mother India (1957) being showcased. Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci will also be celebrated through his films The Last Tango In Paris (1972), Little Buddha (1993) and The Last Emperor (1987).
The country focus this year will be on Hungary, Argentina and Turkey. Hungarian films like Virágvölgy (2018) and The Whiskey Bandit (2017), Argentinian films Las Acacias (2011) and Showroom (2014) and Turkish films Bal (2010) and Kardesim Benim (2016), among others, are slated to be screened.
The 17th edition of Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) organized by the Pune Film Foundation and the government of Maharashtra will be held in Pune from 10 to 17 January.