The 9th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart opens on Wednesday, 18th July 2012, at Metropol cinema in the heart of the German capital city of BadenWuerttemberg, with award-winning film legend Suhasini Maniratnam and popular Indian film star Tannishtha Chatterjee on the Red Carpet, followed by the deeply moving opening film ‘Dekh Indian Circus’. Until 22nd July, Europe’s largest film festival dedicated to Indian cinema presents about 60 current films from all over India. Films running in competition can look forward to awards endowed with a total of 7,000 Euros in prize money.
Tannishtha Chatterjee, acclaimed as the Bengali beauty, plays the lead role in this year‘s opening film. In 2004 she acted in German director Florian Gallenberger’s Indo-German cinema production ‘Shadows of Time’. She will attend the Opening Ceremony in the company of male lead Nawazuddin Siddiqui, director Mangesh Hadawale and producers of the film.
Suhasini Maniratnam will come to Stuttgart as the festival’s guest of honour and as a member of the jury. As a tribute to the film legend, who is married to successful director Mani Ratnam, the Indian Film festival Stuttgart presents the South-Indian feature film ‘Sindhu Bhairavai’ as part of a non-competitive Tamil Special section.
On occasion of the upcoming hundredth anniversary of Indian cinema, the festival programme in Stuttgart features several screen gems. The festival’s main sponsor and Honorary Consul of the Republic of India for Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, Andreas Lapp, reminds audiences of another important anniversary: “In 2012 we celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and India”. According to Mr. Lapp, the festival brings some of the Indian subcontinent’s fascination to Stuttgart and opens exciting new perspectives on India to audiences.
With a new name – 9th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart instead of ‘Bollywood and beyond’ – the internationally renowned showcase of Indian film will return to its traditional venue at the Metropol cinema on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz, after three festival seasons at the SI-Centrum. By renaming the festival and moving back to the city centre, Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg e.V., a non-profit cultural association, complied with the wishes of audiences, local politicians and sponsors. “The festival’s feature films, documentaries and short films bring independent and mainstream productions from various Indian film centres to the big screen”, says Festival Director Oliver Mahn.
Film Action with Shah Rukh Khan
Film Action with Shah Rukh Khan Mainstream highlights such as ‘Don 2 – The King is back’ with Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, love story ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’, romantic comedy ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ with Bollywood stars Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan, are guaranteed to attract audiences, as well as the German premiere of feature film ‘All in good time’ by the director of ‘Calendar Girls’, Nigel Cole, and the author of ‘East is East’.
The documentary ‘Bitter Seeds’ shows that splendour and misery are very close to each other in India; the film in Marathi deals with the high suicide rate among Indian farmers. It is in the focus of this year’s School Day supported by the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Mainstream and Independent
Both mainstream and independent film productions keep raising the same questions. How do filmmakers deal with the topic of economic growth in one of the most densely populated democracies of the world? How do they portray the people of a nuclear power in the process of tackling illiteracy? What moves the ‘service-provider of the world’ to abandon the country’s poor farmers to their fate? How does a threshold country, looking to find its place in the globalised economy, present itself on the cinema screen? Answers will be given by exciting, evocative, and magical festival films such as ‘Shala’, which portrays four students on the brink of adulthood. Particularly with independent and documentary films, the Indian wizards of the cinema with their masterful narrative style manage to blur the line between laughing and crying. Three short film blocks include productions by Indian film academy students.
German Subtitles and live Dialogues
The thrilling road movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ is about unspoken wishes and long-kept secrets. In the children’s film ‘’I am Kalam’ the audience gets to meet the extraordinarily talented boy Chhotu; German live voice-over for the dialogues will be provided by actress Juliane Bacher. Other festival films will remove the language barrier by means of German subtitles or are screened in a dubbed German version to appeal to a wieder audience. These films include ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (German subtitles), ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ (German subtitles), ‘Fernes Land’ (German language version), ‘All in good Time’ (German subtitles), ‘DON 2’ (German subtitles) und ‘Amrit Nectar of Immortality’ (German subtitles).
Longstanding Curators as Festival Consultants
The festival’s rich programme gives visitors a huge choice. Same as in previous years, curators Uma de Cunha from Mumbai and Therese Hayes from Los Angeles have acted as the festival’s programme consultants.
Excellent productions are in competition for the coveted German Star of India awards, in the categories of feature film, documentary and short film. The German Star of India for Best Feature Film is endowed with 4,000 Euros and donated by the festival’s main sponsor and Honorary Consul of the Republic of India for Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, Andreas Lapp. The Director’s Vision Award honours a committed director, while the Audience Award goes to the audiences’ favourite production. The film winning the German Star of India in the Best Feature Film category will have a second screening on Sunday, 22nd July, 20:30, at Metropol cinema to close the festival.
Concerts, an Art Project, ‘Tea Talks’, a Party and much more
Concerts, an Art Project, ‘Tea Talks’, a Party and much more The film festival, which originated from the longstanding partnership between the twinned cities of Stuttgart and Mumbai has even more to offer than cinematic perspectives of the Indian subcontinent. Dance, music, discussions, workshops and numerous encounters round off the Indian atmosphere. The daily ‘Tea Talks’ tackle controversial and interesting topics such as ‘Hijras – The third Gender’.
Singer Fauzia Maria Beg, based in Stuttgart but born in Mumbai, presents her latest musical project, the Nostalgic Bollywood Quartett. DJ Uri, the Roc Fresh Crew, the Bollywood Art Project and the Tabla Bass Raaga Dub Project from the Indian Hip-Hop scene join the festival’s supporting programme. The annual dance workshops are an absolute must for active fans of India. This year, the workshops offered by Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg take place at the Jonny M. Club at Königstraße 32. Same as last year, Sakis Tsapakidis from Gerlingen near Stuttgart delights audiences with Bollywood songs. Another annual highlight of the festival’s supporting programme is the concert of the Indo-German Society Stuttgart (DIG e.V.), this year featuring classical music from North India; Ghazals, Bhajans as well as Kathak dance with Bhaswati Mitra (vocals and harmonium), Meghamita Mitra (dance), and Rabindranath Ray (bamboo flute), accompanied by tabla and tanpura artists.
A Day Pass or Festival Pass gives visitors good value for money. A ticket discount is available to guests using the local public transport (see www.vvs.de). Remaining tickets for the Opening and Awards Ceremonies are available at the festival box office.
More information on http://www.bollywood-festival.de/