Pune International Film Festival: With films that explore ‘human connection and survival’, PIFF begins Dec 2

The film festival will be held at three venues – PVR Icon at Pavillion Mall on Senapati Bapat Road, Inox at Camp and the NFAI auditorium on Law College Road.

The 19th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) is scheduled to be held from December 2 to December 9. Film enthusiasts can make the most of the opportunity as online registration for delegates will begin from Thursday, while on-spot registration at festival venues will begin on November 22. The film festival will be held at three venues – PVR Icon at Pavillion Mall on Senapati Bapat Road, Inox at Camp and the NFAI auditorium on Law College Road.

“The same week the festival was scheduled to begin, the situation was such that a lockdown was necessary… we continued with our online festival. It was not just our film festival that was affected but many others were affected as well. Some were just online, some a mix of both. Now, with cinema halls and theatres open, we are holding the offline segment. After this, the 11th edition of the Yashwant International Film Festival in Mumbai will be held from December 10 to 16, followed by the festival in Nagpur and Latur later in December,” said Jabbar Patel, festival director of PIFF, at a press conference held on Wednesday.

The opening film of the festival — The Woman — is set in the remote Mongolian mountains. It is about Dagiina, who lives with Eruult, her mother-in-law, and her two young children, Ider and Ujin. Time to time, a local man comes and helps her with difficult tasks, and asks her to move to the nearest town with him, but she is tied to the place.

Some of the films competing under the ‘World Competition Section’ are In the Shadows by Erdem Tepegoz (Turkey), The Alien directed by Nader Saeivar (Iran), True Mothers by Naomi Kawase (Japan), Russian Death by Vladimir Mirzoev and Dear Comrades by Andrei Konchalovsky from Russia. 12*12, a film directed by Gaurav Madan which is creating quite a buzz in festival circuits, is the Indian entry in the World Cinema category.

“While going through all these films, I realised the core of all the films is the human connection and the tenacity of human survival. I am saying this as for the last two years, we as a collective have gone through that,” said Samar Nakhate, creative director of PIFF.

The films to be showcased in the Marathi competition section are Poraga Majetay directed by Makarand Mane, Firastya directed by Vitthal Machindra Bhosale, FUN’ERAL directed by Vivek Dubey, June directed by Vaibhav Khisti and Suhrud Godbole, Godakaath directed by Gajendra Ahire, Kalokhachya Parambhya directed by Makarand Anaspure and Tak-Tak directed by Vishal Kudale.

The non-competition Marathi films are GOTT directed by Shailendra Krishna, Taath Kana directed by Girish Mohite, Kandil directed by Mahesh Kand, MAY FLY directed by Kiran Nirmal and Jeevanacha Gondhal directed by Prashant Dattatray Pandekar.

“The Akhil Bhratiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal (ABMCM) will have five categories of awards in the Marathi competition – best actor, actress, director, cinematography and screenplay. Moreover, ABMCM has aided several of these films with their certification — which they were unable to get during the lockdown — to get selected in the festival,” said Meghraj Rajebhosale, president of ABMCM.


After receiving an overwhelming response for the online segment of the festival, Vishal Shinde, deputy director of programme and film unit, PIFF, said that going forward, they are planning to continue the hybrid format. “We have a large audience base outside the state…,” he said.

Shinde added that as for the offline festival, those previously registered will be able to collect passes at any of the three venues. “For new delegates, they can register and collect passes as well as a mask at the venues. We have seven screens where 50 per cent capacity audience will be allowed following all necessary guidelines. Seating will be on a first come first basis, with due intervals between each screening,” he said.

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