We all have seen how massively Indian cinema has evolved over the years. The biggest form of evolution the Indian cinema has seen is in the portrayal of genders. Gone are the days when the hero used to come to the rescue of a woman in danger. The male-centric films have now become female-centric. There has been a drastic shift from movies like Baazigar, Shehensha, Dabangg, Rowdy Rathore, to Pink, Dangal, Piku, Queen, Veere Di Wedding, Mardani and so many more. What’s important about this evolution is how it has been wholeheartedly received and accepted by the Indian audience.
Another noteworthy fact is the issues that have been picked up and spoken about through the movies. Our cinema shifted from the typical romantic stories to more critical and pressing issues existing in society. From making movies like Veer Zara, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam to making movies like Udta Punjab, Uri, Masaan, Dhrishyam, Vicky Donor, Badhai Ho, Shuhb Mangal Savadhan, etc.
Currently, out of the box and authentic content is been encouraged to a greater extent. Filmmakers are emerging with great story ideas from every corner. Such unique minds need a platform to showcase their talent. For this purpose, various bodies and organizations organize film festivals and enable the filmmakers to show the best of them.
India is home to many such film festivals. Some of the most known and reputed ones are:
Jio MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival):
One of the most well-known film festivals and the biggest in India, the Jio MAMI film festival usually takes place in the month of October every year. It is organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI). This film festival has something or the other to offer to those even remotely interested in films. It goes on for a week and apart from screening films, also organizes workshops, masterclasses and panel discussions on various topics that fall under the umbrella of film making. Right from big production houses to individual aspiring filmmakers from across the country participate in this festival and submit their made films which include films, short films, documentaries, etc. This year the festival is going to take place from 17th – 24th October.
Blued Queer Flicks
India is having one more newbie to its amazing list of film festivals. It is worthy of noting that this is not just any film festival but a queer film festival named the Blued Queer Flicks. What makes Blued Queer Flicks unique from all the others is that it held its first ever queer film making a contest, online. The purpose of starting this contest was to provide a global platform to everyone, where, short film makers or anybody interested in creating content related to LGBTQIA can showcase their short films on Blued, a gay dating social media app. The submissions of films were open from March 5th till May 15th. The selected movies were featured to receive online votes from May 16th till June 3rd 2019. BQF had received 50 entries out of which 10 have been selected for screening purpose on the main event which is going to take place on 8th June in Delhi.
By launching the Blued Queer Flicks, Mr. Sanyam Sharma, Marketing Director at Blued, states that they intend to highlight the issues LGBTQIA the community faces via a visual medium as it’s the one that has the potential to create a strong impact. “We want to motivate budding filmmakers in India to create more and more content related to LGBTQ in India to spread more awareness in society” says Mr. Sharma.
Kashish Film Festival:
Started in the year 2010, Kashish Mumbai International Film Festival is the biggest queer film festival in South Asia and the first of its kind in the country. Through this film festival, the organizers, Kashish Arts Foundation and Solaris Pictures aim at creating awareness among Indians about the LGBTQ community via movies. The festival is not just about bringing to the forefront issues and challenges faced by the community but also about entertaining the audiences through movies, short films, documentaries and musicals. Since its inception, Kashish has attracted the attention of many including the Bollywood celebrities. The festival is held annually in the month of June. This year it is starting from the 12th of June and is going to last for 5 days, ending on 16th June.
International Film Festival of India
Conducted in the month of November, the International Film Festival of India is one of the most prominent film festivals in Asia. This film festival is organized in November in Goa. This festival came into being in the year 1952 and since then has been attracting participants and audiences from across the world. The International Film Festival of India is organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This year the festival is scheduled to begin on 20th November and go on till 28th November.
ViBGYOR International Film Festival
Held in Thrissur, Kerala, the ViBGYOR Film Festival is known to celebrate identities and diversities through documentaries and short films. The main focus on this film festival is to highlight identities and issues revolving around environment, development, sexuality, human rights and culture. The festival is held for a time span of 5 days.
With immense talent, ideas, and stories popping out from every little corner of the country, it is impossible for us to turn a blind eye to such creative content that leaves us thinking and more accurately astounded with the amount of issues India and the world as whole deals with. It is festivals like these which drag our attention to crucial issues.
If you are interested to gain more knowledge and be informed about things going on around you without getting bored, attending such enriching film festivals is one and the right way to go about it.