Prime Edition

Punjabi art house cinema goes international

A Punjabi film titled Qissa, directed by Geneva-based Anup Singh, will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

JATINDER PREET  Ludhiana | 24th Aug 2013

Anup Singh

Punjabi film will compete with the best in world cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. Titled Qissa, it is produced jointly by Germany, Netherlands, France and India and directed by Geneva-based Anup Singh.

The film has been chosen in the festival for its Contemporary World Cinema line-up. It is also a part of Contemporary World Speakers, an honour extended only to five films for extended post-film discussions. Also, Janice Gross Stein, director of the Munk School of Global Affairs and an internationally renowned expert on conflict management, will speak about the film following the screening.

Qissa promises to bring more international recognition for Punjabi cinema after another Punjabi film, Anhe Ghore Da Daan, directed by Gurvinder Singh received accolades at different film festivals. A Film and Television Institute of India graduate, Anup Singh's first feature, Ekti Nadir Naam (The Name of a River) in Bengali, on the life and art of celebrated filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak, was in 30 festivals worldwide and won several awards.

Born in 1961 at Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, Anup Singh's main inspiration for this film is the forced displacement caused by the Partition of India in 1947. Noted actors, Irrfan Khan, Tisca Chopra and Tillotama Shome feature in the film set amidst the ethnic cleansing and general chaos that accompanied the Partition. Qissa tells the tale of a Sikh, Umber Singh, who attempts to forge a new life for his family while keeping their true identities a secret from their community by bringing up his fourth daughter as a son.

Having tasted commercial success after a long lull, the Punjabi film industry is getting revived and producing serious art-house cinemas. Film theorist Madan Gopal Singh, who has been associated with the film from its inception and has written dialogues and lyrics, feels that although it may be premature to say that the Punjabi film industry has come of age, but these films within the film-industry parlance may well be marginal, though highly significant signposts.

According to the festival's artistic director Cameron Bailey, "Beautiful, timeless, and touching the deepest of human impulses, Qissa carries the spirit of a great folk tale," adding that "Anup Singh, part of a new generation of directors with their feet firmly planted in India and far beyond, has delivered a film immediately accessible to anyone sensitive to the conflicts that drive classic stories: fear versus hubris, individual need versus social codes. Qissa is a Punjabi story for the whole world."

Newer | Older


iTv Network : newsX India News Media Academy aaj Samaaj  
  Powered by : Star Infranet