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Bulbul Can Sing, Balekempa, Ottamuri Velicham headline Mumbai Film Festival's India Gold category

The festival, which turns 20 this year, will be held from 25 October to 1 November.

Sonal Pandya

The 20th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival announced its list of Indian films which will compete against each other in the India Gold category. Nine films from different languages across the country, from Assamese to Malayalam, will be screened at the upcoming festival. They include National Award winner Rima Das's third feature Bulbul Can Sing, Thithi (2016) writer Ere Gowda's directorial debut Balekempa (The Bangle Seller), and Rahul Riji Nair's Ottamuri Velicham (Light In The Room).

Assamese film Bulbul Can Sing had its world premiere at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival, while Ere Gowda's Kannada film has been winning raves from film festivals from the Netherlands to Japan. It won the FIPRESCI Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam this February.

The Malayalam film Ottamuri Velicham picked up four awards, including Best Feature, earlier this year at the 2017 Kerala State Film Awards.

Other films in the lineup are The Gold-Laden Sheep And The Sacred Mountain, Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil, Mehsampur, Bodhi, Jonaki and Soni.

Ridham Janve's independent Pahari language film, The Gold-Laden Sheep And The Sacred Mountain is about an old shepherd who investigates a plane crash in the mountain. Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil is the latest to come from Kaul (2016) director Aadish Keluskar. Kabir Chowdhry's Mehsampur is based on the deaths of Punjabi folk singers Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot Kaur and has travelled to festivals in Poland, England and Australia.

Vinit Chandrasekharan's directorial debut, Marathi film Bodhi (Buddha), focuses on the farmer suicides of Maharashtra, while Aditya Vikram Sengupta's second film Jonaki is based on the filmmaker's relationship with his late grandmother and star Lolita Chatterjee. Finally, Ivan Ayr's Soni is about two New Delhi policewomen and their mission to tackle violent crimes against women. The film had its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival this August.
The Mumbai Film Festival will be held from 25 October to 1 November.

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