Habitat Film Festival: A cinematic extravaganza

- April 25, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The festival will feature around 40 feature films, 10 documentaries, and three short film packages, all produced between 2023-24

The 16th edition of Habitat Film Festival will present a variety of Indian cinema across genres.

The festival will feature around 40 feature films, 10 documentaries, and three short film packages, all produced between 2023-24.

Taking place from May 3-12 at the India Habitat Centre (IHC), Delhi, the festival will offer a collateral programme including retrospectives, workshops, filmmaking master classes, panel and film book discussions.

The festival will open with the Marathi film “Sthal” (A Match) that won the NETPAC Award at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.

Directed by Jayant Somalkar, the film presents an uncompromising portrayal of Indian matchmaking. Shot with non-professional actors in the Vidarbha region, the film portrays a young woman fighting for her agency when she is forced into an arranged marriage.

The opening night will also see Sabharwal’s “Berlin” featuring actors Ishwak Singh and Aparshakti Khurana.

The feature film lineup at the festival includes films in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Maithili, Santali, Assamese, Gujarati, Tamil, Odia, Jaintia, Manipuri, Tulu, Nepali, Bhantu, and Garo languages.

Some of the films to be showcased at the festival are: “Kaathal – The Core” (Malayalam), “Ardhangini” (Bengali), “All India Rank” (Hindi), “Mithya” (Kannada), “Samanantar” (Maithili and Hindi), “Joseph’s Son” (Manipuri), and “Joram” (Hindi).
The documentary segment at HFF this year shines a spotlight on 10 documentaries, including the Sundance-winning documentary, “Against the Tide” by Sarvnik Kaur that follows the journey of two fishers and friends from Mumbai’s Koli community pursuing their livelihoods by different means.

Director Sreemoyee Singh’s Berlinale premiere, “And, Towards Happy Alleys”, will be screened on May 5, offering a poetic storytelling of love for the cinema and poetry of Iran through the lens of the uncompromising daily struggle of Iranian women.

“The House of Baruas” by Utpal Borpujari, “The Lotus and The Swan” by Nirmal Chander, and “Pari” by Priya Sen are some of the documentaries to be filmed at the festival.

“HFF fosters a culture of collective viewing and sharing for filmmakers, cinephiles and students. The festival programming this year has tried to platform more first-time directors from across the country who are trying to push the envelope. Our collateral calendar has expanded as well, this time turning more towards aspiring filmmakers in the city with workshops in the areas of screenwriting, film producing, investment and pitching, and filmmaking master classes,” Vidyun Singh, creative head of programmes at IHC, said in a statement.

The retrospective segment of the festival this year will present selected works of filmmaker Kumar Shahani.

The retrospective brings together three of his noted works: “Char Adhyay” (1997), “Kasba” (1991), and “Maya Darpan” (1972), Shahani’s debut feature.

The supplementary programs at HFF will feature a one-day screenwriting workshop by Ashwini Malik, senior mentor of screenwriting from Whistling Woods International.

Another one-day workshop focused on various facets of film pitching, fundraising, producing, distributing, and festival strategy for independent films will be organised by producers and industry insiders including Bauddhayan Mukherji of Little Lamb Films, Sanjay Gulati of Crawling Angel Films, Rahul Merchant of Runaway Luminosity Distribution, and Aseem Chhabra of the New York Indian Film Festival.

An exhibition, showcasing Hindi film posters and memorabilia from the blockbuster decade of the 1970s, in collaboration with the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), will also take place simultaneously from May 3-12 at IHC.
The festival will come to an end on May 12.

Where: India Habitat Centre New Delhi

When: May 3 to May 12, 2024