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Deepti Gupta's Shut Up Sona to have UK premiere at Sheffield Doc/Fest

The documentary, featuring singer Sona Mohapatra, is one of three Indian films to be screened at the festival which is being held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sonal Pandya

Deepti Gupta's documentary on singer Sona Mohapatra's Shut Up Sona is part of the official selection at the Sheffield Doc/Fest. The film will have its UK premiere, albeit virtually, at the nation's leading documentary festival.

Shut Up Sona is one of three Indian films to be screened at the festival which is being held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic. From today, the festival will launch a Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, a VOD (video on demand) platform which allows viewers to pay-per-view or subscribe according to their wishes. Besides films, the platform will also include question and answer sessions with filmmakers.

Festival director Cíntia Gil said on the festival's official website, "This year’s programme brings together various cinematic and narrative forms, landscapes, human existences and ways of expression. It reflects on our contemporary world through its present and its past, and a multitude of sensibilities. The crisis we are living now point, and not for the first time, to the systemic failure of institutions and nations, and their need to be equitable in their capacities to give respect to life, freedom and care."

"It has given us an acute sense of what needs to change and a desire for stronger bonds between us. This programme is our contribution to that: it comes from a collective effort to resist hegemonic views over cinema and its relation to the world and to our lives. It represents multiple conversations we want to continue in the near future, through different programmes and forms," she added.

Shut Up Sona will be shown online in the Rhyme & Rhythm section, which highlights films dealing with cinema and other art forms including performance. The Indo-German documentary, Breaking Barriers: The Casteless Collective by Maja Meiners, focuses on the Tamil indie band The Casteless Collective formed by a group of youngsters that addresses political and caste issues faced by the Dalit community.

Mehboob Khan's classic Mother India (1957) is part of the festival's retrospective section, which this year is focused on 'reimagining the land'. The Nargis-starrer will also be shown later this year in October-November at weekend screenings in Sheffield cinemas.

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