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Section 375, Bombay Rose, Pareeksha selected for 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival

The longest running film festival in China will have a mixed physical and online event from 25 July to 2 August.

Sonal Pandya

The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival is set to be held from 25 July to 2 August, becoming the first major event to be held in the country since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Indian films will be screened at the festival including last year’s hard-hitting Hindi drama Section 375 (2019) and Article 15 (2019).

Other films include Gautam Ghose’s Raahgir (2020), Gitanjali Rao’s Bombay Rose (2020), Prakash Jha’s upcoming film Pareeksha: The Final Test (2020) and Arati Kadav’s Cargo (2019). The short film Salana Jalsa (Annual Day) has also been selected. The diploma film of filmmaker Pratik Thakare from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute will make its world premiere in the Golden Goblet award official selection.

Over 320 films will be shown in theatres, outdoor projection venues as well as online platforms, beginning this weekend. Nearly 232 will be making their Chinese or world premiere at the festival.

Jha said, “It’s a great honour for our film, Pareeksha to have its international premiere at one of the biggest and most prestigious film festivals in South Asia. We are delighted that the festival is taking place physically and our film will actually be screened in theatres.”

Meanwhile, Kadav’s sci-film feature Cargo is part of the official selection for the Asian New Talent award. Indraneil Roychowdhury's Mayar Jonjal starring Ritwick Chakraborty, a Bangladesh and India co-production, is also competing in the same category. Rajat Kapoor's RK/R Kay will be screened as part of the The Belt And Road Film Week.

Tickets for the festival were sold out within minutes at the online box office yesterday. However, there will be no red carpet events or opening ceremony. This year, the Golden Goblet and Asian New Talent award ceremonies will not be held as well.

The festival goers' IDs will be verified when online, and their temperatures taken when watching a film in a theatre. The audience must wear a mask while inside, failing which the cinema will provide one.

The festival was originally due to begin on 8 June, but was postponed and then altered so that it could be a mix of both physical and online screenings, instead of just being held virtually. The city has managed the pandemic more effectively than other parts of the country and the world.

"Our decision to host the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival ignited wide resonance in the filmmaking industries at home and abroad," Gao Yunfei, deputy director of the municipal publicity department, said in the newspaper China Daily. "In China, we believe the festival will strengthen the industry's confidence."

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Shanghai International Film Festival