The Rapist
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Six Indian films will be screened at the Busan International Film Festival this year, including Aparna Sen’s The Rapist, set to have its world premiere, and Natesh Hegde’s Pedro, the first Kannada film to ever premiere at the festival. Bangladeshi production No Man’s Land, directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, features Indian talent Nawazuddin Siddiqui, with music by AR Rahman.

Last year, eight Indian titles screened at BIFF, including Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple and Ivan Ayr’s Meel Patthar. Ahead of this year’s fest, which runs between October 6 and 15, here are the Indian films to watch for:

House of Time

Section: New Currents

Co-directed by Rajdeep Paul and Sarmistha Maiti, the film is one of 11 competing in the festival’s New Currents section, which showcases the debut and sophomore features of Asian filmmakers. A mystery set during the pandemic, House of Time begins with a doctor receiving a blow to the back of his head and awakening in a “swamp of time and space”, an allegory for the times we’re living in.

Pedro 

Section: New Currents

Natesh Hegde’s Pedro, the first Kannada film to ever premiere at Busan International Film Festival, follows an electrician tasked with taking over the management of his village leader’s farm. This development not only upends his life, but also exposes the darker aspects of rural living. 

The Rapist

Section: A Window On Asian Cinema

Among the seven films competing for the festival’s Kim Ji Seok Award, Aparna Sen’s The Rapist is part of the ‘Window On Asian Cinema’ section, which highlights the work of established Asian filmmakers. It follows criminal psychology professor (Konkona Sen Sharma) coping with the trauma of her rape, which inscludes being impregnated by her rapist and him being sentenced to death on the basis of her testimony. 

Deep6

Section: A Window On Asian Cinema

Produced by Shoojit Sircar and Ronnie Lahiri, Deep6 stars Soumitra Chatterjee, Tillotama Shome and Chandan Roy Sanyal. Directed by debutant Madhuja Mukherjee, the film, set in 2011 Kolkata, tells the story of Mitul (Shome), a lonely journalist being stalked by not only her former boyfriend, but also the soul of her deceased grandmother, whose house she is currently living in.

Shankar’s Fairies

Section: A Window On Asian Cinema

Shankar’s Fairies, directed by debutant Irfana Majumdar and based on a novel written by her mother, had its world premiere earlier this year at the Locarno Film Festival earlier. The Hindi-language film explores the caste hierarchy prevalent in Indian society through its protagonist Shankar, the beloved house help of an upper-class family in ’60s Lucknow, 

The Road to Kuthriyar

Section: A Window On Asian Cinema

Director Bharat Mirle aims to illustrate “the difficult lives of India’s poorest inhabitants” through his Tamil-language film that chronicles the unlikely friendship forged between Dhruv, a wildlife researcher from the city, and Dorai, a tribesman helping him conduct a survey of Tamil Nadu’s Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary. When Dorai goes missing in the vast forest, Dhruv’s ensuing search gives him a deeper understanding of life on the margins.

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