At the Sundance Film Festival, three Indian women-centric films are part of the 2021 line-up


Written by Tanushree Ghosh

Updated: December 17, 2020 9:19:41 pm

India will ship three highly effective tales of and about girls to 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

Put ‘fire’ in the title and possibilities are the movie will probably be proven at Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, Indian-Canadian Dylan Mohan Gray’s Fire in the Blood was proven there. Jokes apart, this 12 months, too, the fire-titled Indian shortlists are hoping so as to add to the celebration of range at the world stage. From Peepli (Live), to The Lunchbox and Liar’s Dice, India has been taking distinctive tales to the hallowed pageant. From January this 12 months, when it opened with pop singer Taylor Swift’s documentary Miss Americana (now on Netflix) to the forthcoming hybrid 2021 version (January 28-February 3), loads has modified. The pandemic gripped the world, and America’s most distinguished movie pageant received a brand new head.

Tabitha Jackson is the first girl and first individual of color to move the four-decade-old Sundance pageant. She comes into her new position after a six-year-stint steering the Sundance Institute’s documentary movie programme. She’s educated the pageant’s lens on unbiased cinema, bringing in various themes, together with race and gender, as the margins and marginalised take centre stage. The pared-down, shorter, week-long version (as a substitute of 10 days) will showcase 72 films, down from the common 120. There will probably be a digital hangout area for viewers to talk with each other, and extra. And ticket/move gross sales will begin from January 7.

“Despite the challenges this year, nothing could stop us from celebrating independent film, visionary artists, unique perspectives, and our adventurous audiences,” Jackson wrote on the pageant web site, “For the first time, we are bringing the festival to you, both online and in the real world across the US and beyond.”

Around half the films in the two narrative competitors lists are by girls filmmakers. There’s Constance Wu-starrer CODA (or Child Of Deaf Adults), and House of Cards’ actor Robin Wright’s directorial debut Land. African-American racial-issues themed Rebecca Hall’s debut, the Tessa Thompson-starrer drama Passing, and the premiere of Questlove’s (Ahmir Thompson’s) Black Woodstock music documentary, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).

India will ship three highly effective tales of and about girls:

Fire in the Mountains

Fire in the Mountains Fire in the Mountains is helmed by Ajitpal Singh. (Photo: Sundance Institute)

Writer-director Ajitpal Singh’s characteristic debut in Hindi, previously titled Swizerland, is one of the 10 options in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition part. It was steeped and brewed at NFDC Screenwriters’ Lab 2018, Work-in-Progress Lab 2019, and, in June this 12 months, part of the 5 initiatives in Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes at Marche du Film market to fetch international distributors, and so on.

The movie, which has its world premiere on February 1-2, is impressed by a private tragedy. Singh’s cousin died as a result of her husband didn’t take her to the hospital “thinking she was possessed by a ghost”. It tells the story of Chandra and Dharam, who run Swizerland Homestay, towering on the solely highway in a small Himalayan village. While Chandra seeks medical consideration for his or her wheelchair-bound son, her husband pockets the cash for a shamanic ritual to rid Prakash of a deity’s curse. Here, Singh walks the tightrope between custom and modernity, tensions spike when worldviews collide, and wheeling by means of familial terrain turns into tough as ties begin to erode.

Writing with Fire

Writing with Fire Writing with Fire is helmed by Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas. (Photo: Sundance Institute)

Former Jamia Millia Islamia graduates, filmmakers Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas (the latter has been a Sundance Institute Stories of Change fellow) have been making documentaries and quick films for some time now, and have obtained many awards, together with a National Film Award in the Best Environment Film in 2012 for Timbaktu. The Sundance docu-feature entry is one amongst 10 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition class, to premiere on January 31-February 1. It charts the story of India’s solely all-female Dalit information community Khabar Lahariya. The coming into existence, and survival, towards all odds, of such an outfit in a male-dominated information panorama and amid the actuality of how information about Dalits, particularly Dalit girls, goes unwritten in not simply mainstream nationwide media however even in regional media, mentioned Khabar Lahariya’s chief reporter Meera at a current gender-equity digital youth discussion board NGAGE, organised by Bengaluru NGO Durga. The movie trails Meera and her gang of ladies to seize the outfit’s change from print to digital, armed with smartphones and unwavering grit, dismantling notions of energy and patriarchy.


LATA LATA is helmed by Alisha Tejpal. (Photo: Sundance Institute)

Lata is a 23-year-old home employee who navigates her manner by means of an upper-class house in south Mumbai. The opening and shutting of doorways, actually and figuratively, offers her entry to contending realities which occupy these areas, unspooling class and energy dynamics.

This one is definitely an India-US manufacturing. Part of Short Program 2, to display screen on January 28, the eponymous quick movie, in Hindi, Marathi and English, goals to be a voice for India’s home staff. This is Los Angeles-based Indian filmmaker and producer Alisha Tejpal’s second movie. It premiered at the 68th San Sebastián International Film Festival in September and can also be her MFA thesis movie from CalArts (The California Institute of the Arts). Tejpal has earlier assisted Konkona Sen Sharma as an assistant director on Death in the Gunj and Nandita Das with Manto.

Also, part of the pageant line-up is Kevin MacDonald’s Life in a Day 2020, the second outing, after a decade, of his crowdsourced experiment, the place he invited uncooked footage shot on one explicit day, July 25, from throughout the world. Culled from these – 300,000 entries (trumping 80,000 from 10 years in the past) from 191 nations – MacDonald and Ridley Scott stitched the 90-minute docu-feature, which will probably be screened on February 2. India was amongst the prime nations to ship the most submissions. Now to attend and see what India has despatched.

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