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StartEnglishThe 13th Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart from 20th to 24th of...

The 13th Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart from 20th to 24th of July 2016 – The era of strong Indian women has arrived

(c) Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg
(tg) Strong Indian women conquer the screen in the opening film of the 13th Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart in Leena Yadav’s drama ‚Die Zeit der Frauen [Parched]’ on Wednesday, 20th of July 2016. The actress Tannishtha Chatterjee, who will appear in the Autumn in the US film ‚Lions’ alongside Nicole Kidman, plays the lead role in ‚Die Zeit der Frauen [Parched]’ and also features in festival films ‚7 Göttinnen – Angry Indian Goddesses’ and ‚Island City’. Tannishtha Chatterjee is expected as a special guest. Until 24th of July Badem-Württemberg’s capital city will be hosting Europe’s biggest Indian film festival, showing 56 of the latest film productions from the whole of India.
The festival focuses on the redefining of Indian women’s role within society and the fundamental challenging of gender roles according to words of the Head of Program of Stuttgart’s 13th Indian Film Festival, Roland Fischer. 
Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee can be seen campaigning for women’s rights in two festival films: in the opening film ‚Die Zeit der Frauen [Parched]’, which director and author Leena Yadav situated in the countryside, four women chat about men, sex and existential doubts. The festival is showing the original version in Hindi with English subtitles. In ‚7 Götteinnen – Angry Indian Goddesses’, women explore the status quo of their lives, and it also comes to same-sex relationships. Vijay Kumar’s short film ‚Marriage Bazzar’ is about arranged marriages, 80% of which are arranged by the parents. Director Nishant Roy Bombarde introduces us to 13-year-old Pankaj in ‚Daaravtha’, who finds women’s clothes incredibly beautiful and would rather be a woman. 
A theme-based film from a German filmmaker also makes an appearance this year. Manuela Bastien, who studied Dokumentarfilm/Regie at the Filmakademie in Baden- Württemberg, is responsible for ‚Where to, Miss?’, which portrays an Indian taxi driver caught in an on-going fight between her wish for emancipation and strong traditions found in Indian society. 
Director Hansal Mehta finds himself back in Stuttgart with his gay drama ‚Aligarh’. His 114- minute Hindi feature film is based on a true story: a reputed professor for Marathi loses his position as he is suspected of being gay. 
The extended version of the documentary ‚Zubin Mehta – Dirigent und Weltbürger’ from Munich’s Bettina Ehrhardt celebrates its world premiere in Stuttgart. The 90-minute film portrait about the chief conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra focuses mostly on Mehta’s character and accompanies the star conductor on meetings with friends and other great artists like Daniel Barenboim and Yuja Wang. 
The second day of the festival kicks off in traditional fashion as it starts with the school film ‚Ottaal’, a modern day reenactment of Anton Chekhov’s 18th century short story ‚Vanka’ set in India. The adaptation tells of the fate that 8-year-old Kuttappayi shares with millions of other children worldwide. He experiences how valuable education can be and how unfairly distributed the chances of education are. 
The world premiere of Ramkishan Choyal’s debut film ‚Gauru’ is a fascinating road movie for kids.
Festival visitors can look forward to a very strong line-up this year. Head of Program Roland Fischer clarifies that „new Indian cinema has been appearing at all important international film festivals for two years. It is more world cinema rather than Bollywood.“ If anyone prefers entertaining mainstream films, they can get excited over films like ‚Brahman Naman’, ‚Waiting’ and ‚Zubaan’. In the documentary category audiences can get to know one of India’s last film poster artists in ‚Original Copy’. Fans of short films should not miss ‚Famous in Ahmedabad’, about an 11-year-old boy who takes part in a kite flying competition, ‚Chhaya’, an art house animation film about two old people and shadow games, and finally ‚Daaravtha’, about a boy who likes women’s clothes. 
Featuring in a surprisingly strong manner in Stuttgart’s 13th Indian Film Festival are animation films. Two filmmakers from India’s branch of animation films specifically requested to establish ties with local industries in Stuttgart, also the location of the globally renowned Trickfilm. 
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