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The Content-ers

Here’s our line-up of the best content-driven, indie films to watch out for in 2018

The New Year already has the audience and industry keenly awaiting the release of certain high-profile films. But if 2017 was anything to go by, 2018 may well also be the year of content-led cinema, with a host of strong films set for theatrical release and screenings on the festival circuit.

Box Office India brings you its list of 10 indie, festival and regional films to watch out for. The list features only films that are gaining great traction.

Ee Ma Yau? Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissary [Malayalam]

Having made a mark with films like Amen and the widely celebrated Angamally Diaries, Pellissary is ready with his latest feature, Ee Ma Yau? (RIP) starring Dileesh Pothan, Vinayakan and Chemban Vinod Jose, among others. Revolving around the concept of death, this could be the breakout film of 2018.

Love And Lust directed by Anurag Kashyap, Dibaker Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar [Hindi]

An anthology film, Love And Lust sees the four directors who gave us Bombay Talkies unite again. The film, produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Ashi Dua, sees the four champions of cinema direct four separate shorts that comprise this anthology. The film stars actors such as Vicky Kaushal, Radhika Apte, Kiara Advani, Neha Dhupia, Bhumi Pednekar, Rasika Duggal and Manisha Koirala, among others.

My Son Is Gay directed by Lokesh Kumar [Tamil]

Presented at major fests in Melbourne and the US, Lokesh Kumar’s debut is touted to be the first-ever LGBT film made in Tamil. The film was screened at the recently concluded Chennai International Film Festival as a special screening and opened to rave reviews. It is scheduled to release in theatres in the first quarter of the year and stars noted Tamil actress Anupama Kumar.

Nude directed by Ravi Jadhav [Marathi]

Having been in the news recently for its alleged ousting from a recently-concluded film festival, Nude by Ravi Jadhav could become one of the most defining films of the year. The film, produced by Zee, is an emotional and powerful tale of the journey of a woman and a career choice she takes that transforms her life and the lives of people around her.

Raakshas directed by Dnyayesh Zoting [Marathi]

Scheduled to release on February 23, Raakshas is being billed as one of the first fantasy thriller films in the Marathi industry. Starring heavyweight actors like Sharad Kelkar and Saie Tamhankar, the film was developed in tandem with the screenwriter labs by NFDC and Drishyam Sundance. The film has already garnered a substantial buzz with its poster launch and is among the most-anticipated Marathi language films of the year.

Balekampa directed by Eregowda [Kannada]

The co-writer of the acclaimed and commercially successful film Tithi makes his directorial debut with this film, the story of which revolves around the life of a couple unable to have a child. This film has festival programmers awaiting its completion.

Ashcharya #uck it directed by Samit Kakkad [Hindi]

Produced by Saregama’s newly founded production outfit Yoodlee Films, the film is directed by filmmaker Samit Kakkad and is based on stories by Saadat Hasan Manto. Bold, content-led and thrilling, the film sees Lion actress Priyanka Bose and noted Marathi actor Santosh Juvekar in the lead, telling a story that brings together a Bollywood star, his driver, a prostitute and a pimp.

Manto directed by Nandita Das [Hindi]

Manto directed by Nandita Das sees Nawazuddin Siddiqui essay the role of Saadat Hasan Manto. A biographical account of the writer’s life, the film also stars actors Rasika Duggal, Tahir Bhasin and Shashank Arora, among others. It was launched at the coveted Cannes Film Festival and the teaser clip presented there has managed to stir great interest among international buyers and film festival programmers.

Pahuna directed by Paakhi A Tyrewala [Sikkimese]

Presented at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Pahuna is among the first Sikkimese language films. Directed by debutant director Paakhi Tyrewala, the film has been produced by actress Priyanka Chopra and her mother, Dr Madhu Chopra. Telling the story of three children separated from their home, the film received a standing ovation at TIFF. Scheduled to release in cinemas in the first quarter of the year, Pahuna could act as a springboard for a stronger North East Indian film industry.

Garbage directed by Q

Having made his mark with films like Gandu and Tasher Desh, Q returns with yet another powerful film. This time around, he has teamed up with filmmaker-producer Hansal Mehta. The film will definitely make a mark amidst festivals and is set to garner international acclaim.

A few more notable films to watch out for this year:

Bhasmasur by Nishil Sheth

Love And Shukla by Siddhartha Jatla

Soni by Iva Ayr

Mehsampur by Kabir Chowdhry

Firkee by Suniket Gandhi

Odds by Megha Ramaswamy

– SANJAY RAM

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