Habitat International Film Festival: A Celebration Of World Cinema

- March 6, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The Habitat International Film Festival will run till March 17th at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, featuring a line-up of over 60 films from 30 countries with Germany as a focus country

Habitat International Film Festival (HIFF) 2024 is going to be held at India Habitat Centre from March 8 – 17. The festival will screen 60 films from 30 countries with a special package from Germany as a focus country.

Works by award-winning filmmakers, including Margarethe von Trotta, Wim Wenders, and Frauke Finsterwalder, are part of the gala line-up, which is organised by IHC in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi.

The festival will showcase a series of Oscar and Golden Globe-winning films under the themes of ‘New Voices’, ‘Famous Filmmakers’, ‘Documentary’ and ‘Coming of Age’.

Since the festival is opening on International Women’s Day, the curation will also put a spotlight on women directors and movies with a focus on women-centric issues.

“The HIFF is back in its full-fledged form this year, with an exciting line-up of top-notch new cinema from across the world, with a focus on German cinema, a return of the much-loved and successful VR Section, two Masterclasses and sections featuring NETPAC Award Winners and MUBI specials. All of this curated for us by the wonderful Habitat Programmes Team led by Vidyun Singh,” Sunit Tandon, Director, India Habitat Centre said.

“A Festival of films that brings you a selection of the incredible talent of some of the best International filmmakers who craft narratives that cannot fail to touch hearts and evoke concern, empathy, sympathy, understanding, urgency, admiration and hope,” Vidyun Singh, Creative Head Programmes, India Habitat Centre told Patriot.

Highlights of the 2024 edition of HIFF

1. Focus Country: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi will open the festival with director and writer Ilker atak’s acclaimed “The Teachers’ Lounge” and showcase the best of contemporary films from focus country Germany.

“We explore new German feature and documentary films at the HIFF, ranging from luminaries, such as Margarethe von Trotta and Wim Wenders, to exciting new voices, including Ilker Catak or Frauke Finsterwalder. Without intending to, we have created a showcase of female filmmakers, protagonists, and narratives. This is a result of the recognition of women in the film industry in the last years that acknowledges the impact of their perspectives and narratives in the filmmaking landscape that was not that visible before,” said Katharina Görig, Director Programmes South Asia, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi.

Famous Filmmakers and New Voices: Audiences will get a unique opportunity to explore the richness of human experiences through the lens of visionary directors as HIFF celebrates both renowned filmmakers and emerging voices in the world of cinema.

Acclaimed filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta’s ‘Ingeborg Bachmann: Journey into the Desert’ and 2024 nominee for Palme d’Or and Best International Feature Film at the Oscars ‘Perfect Days’ by Wim Wenders will be showcased in the famous filmmakers’ segment.

‘The Teachers’ Lounge’ by Ilker Catak and Sophie Linnenbaum’s ‘The Ordinaries’ which won nominations in several categories at the German Film Awards 2023 will be showcased in the New Voices section. Other films in this category include ‘Sisi and I’ by Frauke Finsterwalder and ‘Orphea in Love’ by Alex Ranisch. Also featured will be Steffi Niederzoll’s Seven Winters in Tehran, a moving and shockingly topical documentary debut, where Niederzoll uses original audio and visual material smuggled out of Iran.

Technology and Craft: VROOOM – a Virtual Reality Film Experience, launched in 2023 by Goethe- Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi as part of HIFF returns with a new set of innovative and interesting works of filmmakers from around the world, who are using Virtual Reality or 360-degree filmmaking to convey their powerful stories. It is presented in partnership with VRHam!

Coming-0f-Age: The section features ‘Mission Ulja Funk’ by Barbara Kronenberg and Joya Thome’s ‘One in A Million’.

Masterclasses and Workshops:

1. Masterclass on Editing with Kai Eiermann, a film editor and script consultant based in Berlin, Germany. With an impressive portfolio that includes documentaries and fiction films premiering at prestigious festivals like Berlinale, and Munich Film Festival, Eiermann offers invaluable insights into the art of editing. Through discussions and analysis of films such as ‘The Ordinaries’ (screening at HIFF 2024), attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the creative decisions and challenges inherent in editing.

2. Masterclass and workshop with Ulrich Schrauth who is also the curator of the VROOOOM – A Virtual Reality Film Experience and an artistic director for VRHAM! Festival Virtual Reality & Arts Hamburg, XR & Immersive Programmer for the British Film Institute (BFI) and the London Film Festival.

MUBI Specials: Four features. From comedy heists, ‘The Delinquents’, to Sophia Coppola’s acclaimed ‘Priscilla’ based on Priscilla Presley’s memoir to Ira Sach’s LGBTQIA+ love story ‘Passages’ and the multi-country production ‘Settlers’.

“Embark on a heartfelt cinematic journey with the MUBI Special at the Habitat Film Festival, as we present a handpicked selection of our titles – Rodrigo Moreno’s The Delinquents, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, Felipe Gálvez Haberle’s Settlers, and Ira Sach’s Passages. Delving into themes of identity, love, and rebellion, these films delicately explore the multifaceted realms of human experience, and in the process offer a rich emotional landscape which often speaks to the depths of our own experiences and aspirations,” said Svetlana Naudiyal, Programming Director, APAC, MUBI.

NETPAC Award Winners: The NETPAC Award is awarded to the best Asian feature film by a jury from the  Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema.

The NETPAC film screening at HIFF will be introduced by Bina Paul, Joint President, NETPAC. The films that will be showcased are: Sunday/Yakshanba (Uzbekistan/ Uzbek/ 2023/ 97 mins) Dir.Shokir Kholikov ,Whispering Mountains ( Sri Lanka/ Sinhalese/ 2023/ 87 mins) Dir. Jagath Manuwarna.
Solids by the Seashore (Thailand/ Thai/ 2023/ 93 mins) Dir. Patiparn Boontarig.
Iti Mapukpukaw/The Missing (Animation/ Philippines,Thailand/ Filipino and Ilocano/ 2023/ 90 mins) Dir. Carl Joseph E. Papa.

Women In Film: As the HIFF opens on International Women’s Day, making a strong presence in the curation for this year are films by women directors, and films empowering/drawing attention to women’s issues. Some highlights include The Peasants about Jagna, a young woman determined to forge her path within the confines of a late 19th-century Polish village, and our closing film Inshallah A Boy, Jordan’s official entry to the Oscars 2023.

Select award-winning features at HIFF:

Oscar Shortlist

The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany, 2023, 98 mins) directed by İlker Çatak. Nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 2023 Oscars.

Perfect Days (Japan, Germany, 2023, 123 mins) directed by Wim Wenders. Nominated for Best International Feature Film (Japan) at the 2024 Oscars.

Bastarden/ The Promised Land (Denmark, Sweden/ Danish/ 2023/ 127 mins) Dir. Nikolaj Arcel. Chosen as the Danish entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

Golden Globes USA

Priscilla (United States, Italy/ English/ 2023/114 mins) Dir. Sofia Coppola 2024, Nominee, Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture.

When: March 8 to 17

Where: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi