DEC 6-11, 2018
River to River Florence Indian Film Festival was launched in October, 2001 in Florence and was founded by Selvaggia Velo. It aims to showcase less prominent, independent and low-budget Indian films while also giving its audience a taste of Bollywood’s splendour. The festival is supported by Mediateca Regionale Toscana-Film Commission as part of the Cinquanta Giorni di Cinema Internazionale a Firenze. It is one of the few film festivals in the world that are completely dedicated to Indian films.
The 18th edition is themed on breaking social taboos, the importance of women’s liberation, aspirations of young people and the battle for elementary education. A total of 35 events will take place including world premieres, European and Italian screenings, exhibitions, talks, cooking lessons and other events.
Rohena Gera’s debut feature is based on the themes of class divide and women’s independence. It portrays the story of a wealthy man, Ashwin, and his domestic help Ratna, who fall in love against societal norms. The film features Tillotama Shome, Rahul Vohra, Geetanjali Kulkarni and Vivek Gomber in important roles.
Set in Punjab, this Anurag Kashyap directorial is a modern-day, complicated love triangle that follows the journey of three individuals. It also has themes of societal and familial pressure. Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu lead the cast of this romantic drama.
Other feature films being showcased at the festival include:
An Engineered Dream
The Lift Boy
Meditazione con i Beatles
Everything is Upstream
Grandir au Ladakh
Kalachakra: The Enlightenment
T For Taj Mahal
Two sections have been allotted to short films. The first section will be dedicated to films that have bitter-sweet endings and give hope of a happier future. The films to be screened under this section include:
A Cold Summer Night
The second section will screen films that revolve around the theme of food as a symbol of self-discovery.
Forbidden Tikka Masala
Roz Khaao Ande
Advantage India is a short film competition organised by Pocket Films in partnership with River to River Florence Indian Film Festival. The first winner, Ludo, is included in the official short film competition. The other films that will be screened are Dayalu and Surprise
Following the screenings of a few films, the floor will be opened to Q&A sessions with the makers of the films. This segment will see interactions with filmmakers Rohena Gera, Arjun Mukerjee, Furio Colombo, Akarsh Khurana, Christiane Mordelet, Kireet Khurana and Vibha Gulati. Lyricist Anant Mutreja and actor Taapsee Pannu will also be a part of the session.
Curiosity And Imagination: A Dialogue Between Cultures
Following the screening of Martin Ponferrada’s Everything Is Upstream based on Buddhist monks, a discussion will take place themed on Curiosity And Imagination: A Dialogue Between Cultures. A dialogue will be held by speakers Svamini Shuddhananda Ghiri, a Hindu nun, and Anna Maria Shinnyo Marradi, a Buddhist nun and Zen Master.
– Titas Chowdhury