True celebration of Indian cinema at Dubai fest

True celebration of Indian cinema at Dubai fest
The Indian film selection at the eighth Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), to be held from December 7-14, will capture the diversity of the country's cinema, organizers said.

The movies will range from the colourful joviality of Bollywood to the intense dramas, often inspired from real life, by filmmakers who challenge mainstream conventions.

DIFF 2011's 'Celebration of Indian Cinema' programme will feature three world premieres, two international premieres and several first-ever regional screenings of films in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.

"With our selection this year, we wanted to bring the true diversity of Indian cinema to DIFF," said Dorothee Wenner, Consultant for the Subcontinent Programme, Dubai International Film Festival.

The celebration flags off with the Hindi romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, an eagerly anticipated Bollywood film that will make its world premiere with a red carpet gala on December 8.

The film, directed by Maneesh Sharma and music by Salim-Sulaiman, depicts the story of suave and charismatic conman Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh), who makes a living by deceiving women until he meets his match in the form of Anushka Sharma's character.

The cast and crew of the film will walk the red carpet prior to the gala screening of the movie. Also making its world premiere is Prague PCFE Film School alumna and former assistant to over 27 Indian and international directors, Shalini Usha Nair's Palas In Bloom (Akam), based on renowned author Malayattoor Ramakrishnan's celebrated Malayalam novel Yakshi.

Debutant director Muthusamy Sakthivel's Tamil film Life is a Game (Maithanam), making its international premiere at DIFF, is the story of four friends from a small village in Tamil Nadu, who will do anything for each other.

Srijit Mukherji's 7th August (Baishe Srabon), also making its international premiere, explores the dark underbelly of Kolkata, and the genteel 'Bhadraloks' of the city.

Karan Gour's Corrode (Kshay), which makes its Middle East premiere, is a psychodrama based on the story of a woman's need for an unfinished sculpture, which blossoms into an obsession.

Competing in DIFF's Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for feature films is Kaushik Ganguly's Laptop, which narrates how a single commodity - a laptop - connects several lives and narratives as it changes hands to change lives. The film will make its international premiere at DIFF.

"While Bollywood dominates the international media when it comes to cinema from India, the country has an amazing wealth of talent, with several powerfully executed films made in vernacular languages having a huge audience base all over the world. The Celebration of Indian Cinema gala will offer a fresh perspective on Indian cinema to DIFF audiences," Wenner added.

Also, making its world premiere and contending in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for short films is Rohit Pandey's Safe (Mehfuz), which depicts the story of a city shaken by violence, a man who looks after its dead, and a woman wandering its empty streets.

Vying for honours in DIFF's Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for documentary films is Sandeep Ray's Sound of Old Rooms (Kokkho-Poth) and Anand Patwardhan's Jai Bhim Comrade, filmed over 14 years, which follows the music and the tradition of Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet and singer, who hung himself in protest. Both films will be screened in the Middle East for the first time at DIFF.