Goa set for IFFI 2022; 15 flicks to compete for Golden Peacock laurel

IFFI 2022 will bring to the festival screens a bouquet of amazing films from around the globe

As many as 15 films are expected to vie with each other for the coveted Golden Peacock at the 53rd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) this year. Scheduled to get underway on November 20 and run till to November 28 in Goa, the IFFI this time around will bring to the festival screen some amazing celluloid fare from across the globe and India. The list of 15 films that will compete for the Golden Peacock has 12 International and 3 Indian films.

Among the films is Perfect Number, which is Polish film maker Krzysztof Zanussi’s offering this year. 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.

Red Shoes, directed by Mexican film maker Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser, is being touted as an emotional reflection. The drama narrates the tale of a farmer living an isolated life when he receives 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.

Iranian New Wave director Dariush Mehrjui’s a Minor 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. Meanwhile, No End, an Iranian drama, depicts the manipulations and machinations of the secret police in Iran. A man of 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. This Nader Saeivar feature was nominated for the New Currents Award at the Busan International Film Festival. Jafar Panahi is credited as advisor and editor.

IFFI I have Electric Dreams
A still from ‘I have Electric Dreams’

IFFI competitions films to pose strict competition

Mediterranean Fever, from Palestinian-Israeli writer-director Maha Haj, 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. Another contender, When the waves are gone, is by Filipino film maker Lav Diaz, and tells the tale of an investigator in the Philippines, who is at a deep moral crossroads. The film discusses his 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.

Costa Rican film maker Valentina Maurel won the Best Director Award at the 2022 Locarno International Film Festival with her film, I have Electric Dreams. This film will compete in Goa. 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.

Cold as Marble from Azerbaijan director Asif Rustamov, comes across as a is crime-drama 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 is in for the shock of his life when he finally finds out why his father killed his mother.

Yet another film that would be in the IFFI line-up will be The Line, which was earlier nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Ursula Meier-directed The Line is a study of acceptance and delicate family bonds. The French-Swiss film maker’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

Seven Dogs, which had premiered at the 43rd edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, is also part of the 15. 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.

IFFI Kurangu Pedal
A still from ‘Kurangu Pedal’

Indian line-up includes The Kashmir Files, The Story Teller, Kurangu Pedal

Maariya: The Ocean Angel, which is Sri Lankan film maker Aruna Jayawardana’s offering, is 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. Indian director Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files centres around the 1990 exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir. 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.

Meanwhile, Nezouh is a drama about a family in war-torn Syria. The Arabic film is about a family who decides to stay behind in the besieged area in Syria. Director Soudade Kaadan has said that she herself experienced life outside her house for the first time when their neighbourhood was bombed.

The Storyteller, another Indian offering, is by Anant Mahadevan, and is 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 story teller. The film was nominated for the Kim Ji-Seok Award at the 2022 Busan International Film Festival, where it premiered. Kurangu Pedal, another Indian film, is based on Rasi Alagappan’s short story ‘Cycle’ and directed by Kamalakannan. Kurangu Pedal is about a school boy 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 IFFI Golden Peacock awards jury comprises Israeli writer and film director Nadav Lapid, American producer Jinko Gotoh, French film editor Pascale Chavance, French documentary film maker, film critic and journalist Javier Angulo Barturen and Sudipto Sen.

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