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Manikbabur Megh, Dug Dug, Paka (River Of Blood) to be screened at Santa Barbara

The Indian features, along with the documentary Geeta, will have their US premieres at the upcoming festival in March.

Sonal Pandya

The Indian features Manikbabur Megh, Dug Dug and Paka (River Of Blood), along with the documentary Geeta, will be screened at the 37th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) next month.

They are among the 95 films from 54 countries having their US premieres at the Californian festival.

Director Abhinandan Banerjee shared the news that his Bengali film Manikbabur Megh (The Cloud & The Man) would be one of 12 films in the International Competition section.

Ritwik Pareek's Hindi film Dug Dug and Nithin Lukose’s Malayalam film Paka (River Of Blood), both of which had their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, will also be showcased.

Emma Macey-Storch's documentary Geeta looks at an Agra woman who is targeted in an acid attack by her husband. Her daughter Neetu was also blinded in the same attack. The courageous woman starts anew by becoming independent, raising her three children and becoming a leader in her community.

SBIFF is a key festival leading up to the Oscars as current nominees like actresses Kristen Stewart, Ariana DeBose, Aunjanue Ellis and Nicole Kidman and actors Troy Kotsur, Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch and Javier Bardem will all be stopping by to receive honours.

Netflix’s The Power Of The Dog, which leads the field with 12 Oscar nominations, will be having a special screening and there will be a question-and-answer session with director Jane Campion.

The festival will be held from 2–12 March as an in-person event. Craig Roberts’s British comedy The Phantom Of The Open, starring Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins and Rhys Ifans, will open the festival while the documentary Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over is the closing-night film.

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Santa Barbara International Film Festival