Reel magic at the first Pondicherry International Film Festival
Pondicherry gets a one-of-a-kind international film festival hosted by PickurFlick
Around 120 films chosen from over 600 entries — the core committee of the Pondicherry International Film Festival (PIFF) did manage an arduous task in choosing the movies to be screened for this five-day festival. Led by festival director Saibal Chatterjee, a renowned film critic, the event will screen movies across varying lengths — short, feature and documentaries — and has a strong jury with acclaimed personalities across different fields. Out of the 120 entries, there will be 47 movies taking part in a competition too, besides premieres and world screenings.
Organised by Haryana-based PickurFlick, a digital promotional platform for indie cinema, the PIFF can also be considered as a second edition of an international film festival that was organised by PickurFlick last year. “However, with the festival getting a multiple venues in Pondicherry, the name of the festival has been changed to include the name of the place,” says Saibal, adding that they have tried to choose films with substance as well as technical ingenuity. Besides the screenings, there will also be an acting masterclass by actor and brand ambassador of the event Adil Hussain and an editing masterclass by film editor Arghyakamal Mitra.
“Pondicherry is one such place that has a unique blend of multiple cultures and further reflects the spirit of the PIFF. Hence we chose this as the venue for the festival,” says Saibal. Featuring movies from countries like Italy, Iran, USA, Belgium, Bulgaria, Australia, Turkey, Venezuela, Russia, Lebanon, Austria, China, Costa Rica and Japan, the festival will be held in multiple venues such as Alliance Française de Pondichéry and Multimedia Center Auditorium, in association with Cinema Paradiso & Aurofilm, Auroville, J N Auditorium and Pondicherry University.
“One of my top picks would be the 2017 Tamil drama To Let, by Chezhiyan Ra, that won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil,” says Saibal. Other top movies in the line-up are the Atanu Ghosh-directed Bengali film Mayurakshi, featuring heavyweights Soumitra Chatterjee and Prosenjit. “There is also a special showcase of French movies directed by five women directors,” adds Saibal.
September 26-30. Across Pondicherry.