Film Baazar has officially revealed its highly anticipated list of recommended films for the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). This year’s selection showcases a rich variety of cinematic experiences, spanning fiction, docu-shorts, documentaries, horror, and animation. The IFFI films delve into themes ranging from diaspora, patriarchy, and urban angst to extreme poverty, climate crises, nationalism, and sports/fitness.
Here’s a glimpse of the cinematic treasures awaiting audiences at IFFI:
1. ANU (14 MINUTES)
Director: Pulkit Arora (English/Hindi/Maori)
Synopsis: A recent widow’s journey from New Zealand to India unfolds in the face of a crisis, leading her to confront grief in the extraordinary circumstance of quarantine.
2. ROTI KOON BANASI or WHO WILL BAKE THE BREAD (25 minutes)
Director: Chandan Singh Shekhawat (Marwari)
Synopsis: Set in rural Rajasthan, this film explores the challenges faced by Santosh, who grapples with conventional patriarchy while striving to support his wife’s pursuit of a government job.
3. TUESDAY’S WOMEN (29 minutes)
Director: Imaad Shah (English)
Synopsis: A surreal day unfolds as mysterious women interrupt a protagonist’s domestic routine, offering profound insights into life. Inspired by three short stories by Haruki Murakami.
4. GIDDH (25 minutes)
Director: Manish Saini (Hindi)
Synopsis: An old man’s struggle for survival takes a dark turn when he stumbles upon an unlikely means of sustenance, raising questions about morality and desperation.
5. OPI (14 minutes)
Director: Nishanth Gurumurthy (Kannada)
Synopsis: Gopi Siddi, a middle-aged storyteller from the Siddi community, battles alienation, social standing, and environmental catastrophe in her quest to self-publish her stories.
6. IRON WOMEN OF MANIPUR (26 minutes)
Director: Haoban Paban Kumar (Manipuri/English)
Synopsis: A tribute to women weightlifting pioneers, this film celebrates the inspiring stories of Kunjarani Devi, Anita Chanu, and Mirabai Chanu, who have left an indelible mark in Indian sports.
7. WHERE MY GRANDMOTHER LIVES (51 minutes)
Director: Tasmiah Afrin Mou (Bengali)
Synopsis: Filmmaker Mou explores her Nanu’s 100-year-old home, reflecting on memories, family ponds, and the clash between preserving heritage and rampant development.
8. LADAKH 470 (38 minutes)
Director: Shivam Singh Rajput (Hindi/English)
Synopsis: Sufiya Runner, an ultrarunner from Ajmer, embarks on a marathon at high altitude, honoring Indian army heroes of the Kargil war. A meditative journey unfolds against the backdrop of challenging terrain.
9. THE EXILE (HORROR) – (82 minutes)
Director: Samman Roy (Bengali)
Synopsis: Gouranga, a grieving young man in rural Bengal, confronts personal demons and supernatural myths in this horror film set in the late 1960s.
10. RETURN OF THE JUNGLE (ANIMATION) – (105 minutes)
Director: Vaibhav Kumaresh (Hindi)
Synopsis: 9-year-old Mihir and his friends navigate school bullies with the help of Thatha’s tales from the ancient Jungles of India. An inspiring animation that celebrates friendship, compassion, and determination.