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Chandigarh to host its first international film festival from March 27 to 31


Chandigarh, March 11: Chandigarh is set to host its first international film festival -- Cinevesture International Film Festival (CIFF) from March 27 to 31.

The opening film of the festival is Cannes Award-winning French film ‘The Taste of Things’ starring Juliette Binoche.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Anh Hung Tran, the historical romantic drama won the award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023.

The closing film is South Korea’s highest-grossing film of 2024 to date -- the Horror-Mystery-Thriller ’Exhuma’ (Pamyo), which premiered at the 2024 Berlinale.

Both the opening and closing films will have their India premieres at the festival and shall be open-air screenings in the Government Museum & Arts Gallery, Sector 10, the main venue of CIFF 2024.

The festival will showcase 24 award-winning international features in the World Cinema section, 17 indie gems in the India Unveiled, 27 shorts in Brief Encounters, a curated section of children’s films and timeless classics.

Programming highlights include internationally acclaimed films like 2024 Oscar contender Holocaust drama, ’The Zone of Interest’, Palme d'Or Winner and Academy Nominee Hirokazu Kore-eda's Monster, 2023 Academy Award-winner, ’The Whale’ starring Brendan Fraser, a gripping documentary which won at Berlinale, ’Seven Winters in Tehran’, Singapore's Oscar entry, ’Breaking Ice’, the Roshan Mathew starrer ’Paradise’, and the animation feature ’Sultana’s Dreams’ among others.

Award-winning Indian features and docs such as Toronto International Film Festival winner Marathi film 'Sthal', Venice Film Festival film 'Stolen', Rima Das’ Assamese film ’Tora’s Husband’, Deepa Mehta’s TIFF film, ’I am Sirat’, auteur filmmaker Gurvinder Singh’s Punjabi feature ’Adh Chanani Raat’, Harjit Singh’s documentary on the late Punjabi painter and writer’ Imroz-A Walk Down The Memory Lane', Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film ’Malaikottai Vaaliban’, Sreemoyee Singh’s documentary, ’And, Towards Happy Alleys’, an ode to Iranian cinema and poetry featuring Jafar Panahi, Varun Grover’s short ’Kiss’ and the Riz Ahmed starrer short ’Dammi’.

International features, 'Roleless’, ’The Tenants’ will have India premieres at the festival and short films Dammi and Suddenly TV will have their Asia premiere.

A host of stars will be attending the festival including Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Roshan Mathew, Gulshan Devaiah, Varun Grover, Rasika Duggal, Rashmeet Kaur (singer), Hansal Mehta, Shekhar Kapur, Sudhir Mishra, and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, among others.

The opening and closing films will be open air screenings in the Government Museum & Arts Gallery, Sector 10, the main venue of CIFF 2024.

Three more Open Air screenings are scheduled of the classics ’Jalsaghar’ (Satyajit’s Ray’s 1958 musical), Guru Dutt’s ’Kaagaz Ke Phool’ (1959) and ’The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone’ (2020), a recut of the original Godfather 3 by Francis Ford Coppola to mark the 30th anniversary of the film. The open air screen is 60 feet wide.

An experiential cinema exhibition to celebrate the centenary of Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand is being set up in the Rose Garden Underpass in collaboration with National Film Archives (NFDC) and students of Chandigarh College of Architecture.

A screening of Children’s films is open to all children from the ages of 10-17 years at 9 a.m. from March 27-31 at Cinepolis Jagat.

This inaugural edition of the festival will also feature CIFF/market to facilitate the business and craft of filmmaking. More than 15 curated projects by creators with a strong presence in the Indian film industry are being presented at CIFF/market.

CIFF will also feature workshops, master classes and panel discussions for the benefit of festival and industry delegates.

The festival is being organised by Cinevesture Pvt. Ltd.

Nina Lath is the Founder and CEO of the company.

The festival is supported by the Government Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh, Department of Tourism Chandigarh, and Chandigarh Administration.

VS Kundu IAS (Retd) and a former Head of the National Films Division of India has come aboard as the Director of the Film Festival and industry veteran Bina Paul as the Artistic Director of CIFF.

The advisory board of CIFF has the presence of Bahubali star and leading film producer, Rana Daggubati, Jerome Paillard, who served as Head of the Cannes Film Market, Festival de Cannes from 1995 to 2022, Nicole Guillemet, former Co-Director of Sundance Film Festival, the celebrated Indian filmmaker Ajitpal Singh (Fire in the Mountains and Tabbar) and other experts in the field of film making.

The main venues of CIFF will be the Government Museum and Art Gallery (GMAG), Sector 10 and Cinepolis theatres in Sector 17 Chandigarh.

Nina Lath, Founder and CEO of Cinevesture said: “Cinevesture International Film Festival is envisaged as a platform for the two key stakeholders, namely audiences and producers. Its various verticals have been designed keeping the same in mind. We trust that in time, CIFF will serve as a reliable festival offering high-quality content for audiences and enhanced business opportunities for the film industry.”

CIFF Director, V. S. Kundu said: “CIFF is the first global-scale cinema event to ever happen in Chandigarh with the support of Chandigarh Tourism, the Department of Culture and Chandigarh Administration. It is a truly international film festival designed to match the best international film festivals.”

“We endeavour to build a strong foundation for an annual event that the global film industry will look forward to, and which will foster effective business relationships between producers and distributors and the filmmakers of the region,” he said.

Bina Paul, Artistic Director of CIFF said: “This year at the launch of the Cinevesture film festival, the focus of programming is to bring a potpourri of cinema to the people of Chandigarh. There will be something for everyone. Festival favourite International and Indian films for film buffs and for students, and the latest trends in Korean, Japanese and French cinema will be on show. Children will get a chance to see films from many parts of the world, hearing stories they may otherwise not. Attending filmmakers, producers, and technicians will interact with audiences and share their experiences, thus enriching the viewing experience. A film festival opens up the world."

Naveen, Director, Government Museum & Arts Gallery Chandigarh said: “While the museum has been attracting diverse audiences and promoting cultural understanding through its exhibitions, its support for the Cinevesture International Film Festival marks a significant step forward in positioning itself in Chandigarh as a hub of cultural exchange and enrichment. This will not only lead to an increase in footfalls but also provide an opportunity to showcase the museum's facilities as a venue for cultural events, potentially attracting future collaborations and partnerships.”

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