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UnIndian, Toba Tek Singh to be screened at inaugural Lonavla film festival


The event's opening ceremony on September 1 will see Benegal present the Lifetime Achievement Award to his one-time cinematographer Nihalani, known for his socially relevant films like Aakrosh (1980) and Ardh Satya (1983).

Govind Nihalani will be presented a Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival

IANS

The Brett Lee-starrer UnIndian and Pankaj Kapur's much-talked-about drama Toba Tek Singh are among the 45 films to be screened at the debut edition of the Lonavla International Film Festival, to be held at this hill station near Mumbai next month.

The offerings at the gala will be a mix of short films by Indian and international filmmakers as well as by student filmmakers. There is also an interesting selection of feature films, which include titles like Highway Ek Selfie Aarpar (Marathi), Assamese filmmaker Partha Borgohain's 1962: My Country Land (which was screened at Cannes), Buddha In A Traffic Jam (2016), Rough Book (2016) and Rang Rasiya (2008).

"LIFFI is bringing about nine feature films that have yet not been released under its premiere category. Most of these films are by first-time directors and are looking for marketing avenues," Riju Bajaj, the festival director, told IANS.

Bajaj, who was first noticed in the role of a Hindu fanatic in Govind Nihalani's hard-hitting Partition film Tamas (1987), which was serialized on Doordarshan, added that a bouquet of short films and documentaries will enthral the audience at Triose Plaza, the festival venue.

"We are thankful to Films Division for stepping up in our support as courtesy content partner by generously letting us screen five of their best films made recently, most of which have got international awards," Bajaj said.

The picturesque hill station of Lonavla, a little over 80 km from Mumbai, will play host to names like Nihalani, whom Bajaj assisted in the direction of Sanshodhan (1996) and Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), Shyam Benegal, Tanishhtha Chatterjee, Ketan Mehta, Sudhir Mishra, Vivek Agnihotri, Pavan Malhotra and Rajit Kapur, to name a few, for the festival.

The event's opening ceremony on September 1 will see Benegal present the Lifetime Achievement Award to his one-time cinematographer Nihalani, known for his socially relevant films like Aakrosh (1980) and Ardh Satya (1983).

"The overwhelming response from the film fraternity in lapping up the festival has left us speechless," Bajaj said. "A cherry on the icing is that there will be Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and delegates."

The sessions will be conducted and moderated by respected people like Viveck Vaswani, Dolly Thakore and Khalid Mohammed.

The complete list of films to be screened at the gala is available on its official website.