There’s something for everyone at DIFF 2014 – thought-provoking documentaries, crossover feature films and stories of youth and childhood. This year’s selection of films from India has all of these and much more. Here’s a quick preview of a few:

Iconoclastic Bengali filmmaker Q will unveil his brand new film Nabarun, based on the life of the revolutionary writer Nabarun Bhattacharya. The film tries to get into the noisy, grimy, scratchy insides of his mind, bouncing between pure documentary and fiction, just like Nabarun, who passed away earlier this year. Q, who produces, writes, shoots and directs himself, won the National Award for his documentary Love in India and his cult film Gandu won him awards in festivals around the world.

After bringing his National Film Award-winning Shahid to DIFF in its first edition, Hansal Mehta will return to the festival, this time with his indie-crossover hit CityLights. Deepak, a debt-ridden young man leaves the quiet of his rural existence seeking a better future in the city of dreams, Mumbai, but his hopes come crashing down very soon. Hansal Mehta, who started his career in 1993 with the TV cookery show Khana Khazana, is also a part of the DIFF Film Fellows Initiative as a member of the jury and as a mentor to the talented young filmmakers who have been selected for the programme.


Winner of the Crystal Bear in Generation KPlus Section at Berlinale 2014, and the Special Jury Award at the Tel Aviv International Children’s and Youth Film Festival, 2014, Killa by Avinash Arun will screen at DIFF 2014. Coping with the recent death of his father, 11-year-old Chinu moves to a small Konkan town from a big city because of his mother’s job transfer. Both mother and son grapple with individual struggles and anxieties, emerging as newer people. Avinash Arun graduated from FTII and his diploma film Allah Is Great was the official entry from India for the Students Oscars and won the National Award in 2012.

DIFF will bring Partho Sen-Gupta’s Sunrise that recently premiered at the Busan International Film Festival to Dharamshala this year. Starring Adil Hussain and Tannishtha Chatterjee, the film follows a grieving father’s harrowing search for his daughter who was kidnapped years ago when she was six. Having started his career as an apprentice in the art department in Bollywood at the age of 17, Partho went on to study film direction at FEMIS, the French institute of film in Paris. His first feature film Hava Aney Do (Let the Wind Blow) premiered in 2004 at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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