Habitat Film Festival 2017: 10 films you shouldn't miss

From the popular to the art house, the 10-day festival brings the best of pan-Indian cinema to film lovers in Delhi. The film festival will run from 19-28 May 2017.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

As the 12th edition of the Habitat Film Festival kicks off today, we bring you 10 films that are a must-watch at the festival. From the popular to the art house, the 10-day festival brings the best of pan-Indian cinema to film lovers in Delhi. A retrospective of Om Puri’s films and a special exhibition of selected writings, photographs and film posters of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas are also a part of the festival. The festival ends on 28 May.

Here's the list of film you shouldn't miss at the festival.

1. A Death In The Gunj (English/2017)
Director: Konkona Sensharma

Set in 1979, A Death in the Gunj is a coming of age story, about a shy student Shyamal aka Shutu. He uses a family road trip to McCluskiegunj, an old Anglo-Indian town, as an escape from his failed semester. At the outset, the makings of a perfect family holiday are in place but something is amiss. In the week that follows, Shutu's quiet unravelling is overlooked by the family revellers, until the holiday ends with an implosion.

Sensharma's directorial debut won the Best Director award at the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF) 2017.

Screening details: 19 May 2017 | 3pm | The Stein Auditorium

A Death In The Gunj review: Konkona makes a promising debut

2. Angamaly Diaries (Malayalam/2017)
Director: Lijo Jose Pellissery

The crime drama revolves around Vincent Pepe who wanted to be a powerful leader of a righteous gang that ruled the city, like his seniors, and there’s the rival gang with the malicious gangsters of Angamaly, Ernakulam, a locale on which the film is based.

Angamaly Diaries has 86 newcomers starring in important roles.

Screening details: 19 May 2017 | 9pm | The Stein Auditorium

3. Dikchow Banat Palaax (Assamese/2016)
Director: Sanjib Sabhapandit

The flame is still burning in the frail, failing body of a freedom fighter. The society that once proved insurmountable is now not even in thought. The propelling emotion is making him young again. And even a fading memory cannot deter the irrepressible urge in the form of a journey…of the soul to meet its soulmate.

An unusual love story, the film explores the relationship of a freedom fighter and a Naga woman through decades of separation.

Screening details: 20 May 2017 | 4pm | The Theatre

4. Tope/The Bait (Bengali/2016)
Director: Buddhadeb Dasgupta

Munni, a young girl who wanders the countryside performing circus tricks with her parents; Goja, a postman who, fed up with his life, takes up residence in a tree and communes with his new primate neighbours; Raja, a man of regal origins who lives in the glory of his past and ignores the outlook for his future. In hopes of wooing his mistress, and impressing a crew of documentary filmmakers, Raja sets out to hunt a tiger. As the film shifts among the three stories, it takes an elliptical approach to the question of what or who is the bait.

Screening details: 20 May 2017 | 4.15pm | The Stein Auditorium

5.  Anaarkali Of Aarah (Hindi/2017)
Director: Avinash Das

Anaarkali of Aarah is the story of a singer (Swara Bhaskar) hailing from Aarah, Bihar, and is popular for her erotic songs. She is the star performer of her group but her life takes a drastic turn when she gets into a fight with a powerful man of the region.

Screening details: 20 May 2017 | 9pm | The Stein Auditorium

Anaarkali of Aarah review: Swara Bhaskar shines in classy, sensual show of retribution

6. Cinema Veeran (Tamil/2017)
Director: Aishwarya Rajnikanth

A tribute to stuntmen, the unsung heroes of the Tamil film industry, this documentary follows the history of stuntmen in Tamil cinema.

Screening details: 21 May 2017 | 11am | The Theatre

7. Kaasav/Turtle (Marathi/2016)
Director: Sumittra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar

Janaki, a divorcee trying to find meaning of life in a sea-turtle conservation project run by the conservationist Dattabhau in a coastal village, accidentally meets a young man. Janaki, with her empathy for the young man, Manav, tries to create a non-judgmental, non-intrusive, warm atmosphere to help him bloom. Janaki, her driver-assistant Yadu, conservationist Dattabhau, servant Bablya and street-kid Parshu become the vulnerable young Manav’s support system.

Screening details: 21 May 2017 | 6.30pm | The Stein Auditorium

Vast difference between rescuing and helping: Iravati Harshe on depression, Kaasav

8 .Shree 420 (Hindi/1955)
Director: Raj Kapoor

The number 420 refers to Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, which prescribes the punishment for the offence of cheating; hence, Mr 420 is a derogatory term for a cheater. The film centres around Raj, a poor but educated orphan who comes to Bombay with dreams of success. Raj’s character is heavily influenced by Charlie Chaplin’s little tramp, much like his character in his 1951 Awaara.

Shree 420 was the highest grossing film of 1955 and the song 'Mera Joota Hai Japani' ('My Shoes are Japanese'), sung by Mukesh and written by Shailendra became hugely popular and a patriotic symbol of the newly independent India.

Screening details: 21 May 2017 | 6.30pm | Gulmohar Hall

9. Mukti Bhawan (Hindi-English/2017)
Director: Shubhashish Bhutiani

Faced with his father's untimely and bizarre demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain salvation, a son is left with no choice but to embark on this journey.

Screening details: 24 May 2017 | 8.30pm | The Stein Auditorium

Mukti Bhawan review: Shubhashish Bhutiani's film a wonderful watch about long wait for death

10. Pinneyum/Once Again (Malayalam/2016)
Director: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

After a long and dedicated courtship, the unemployed Purushan marries a young and charming girl, Devi. Pressures rise as the household is run entirely on Devi’s schoolteacher salary. Eventually, a job offer in Dubai comes Purushan’s way; both the job profile and pay are beyond what he could have expected. The family’s fortunes improve as distance rekindles the love between the couple. But greed triumphs over better judgement.

Screening details: 25 May 2017 | 6.30pm | The Stein Auditorium

People think Hindi cinema is national cinema. It's not: Adoor Gopalakrishnan

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Habitat Film Festival 2017