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Gala Filmotsav kicks off in Lonavla on Dec 12

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Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) The third edition of LIFFT India Filmotsav is slated to screen over 250 films in various categories and from 40 countries between December 12 and 16 at Fariyas Resort in Lonavla.

The Filmotsav received various film projects from over 53 countries in different languages. Incidentally, works of 82 debutant directors will be featured at the event, who will be at the event looking for marketing avenues. LIFFT India Filmotsav is therefore emerging as the new platform for new talents in the entertainment industry. Over 150 films will be having their Asia premiere at the Filmotsav this year.

Over 60 student short films from 42 film institutes from across the world will also be screened, December 13 and 14.

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That apart LIFFT India fashion show marks the display of mesmerising designs by Mumtaz Khan on December 14. Omkar Kapoor, Nayani Dixit, Taranjit Kaur and Meeta Vashishth are slated to walk the ramp.

The Filmotsav will showcase four feature films of Ashish Avikuntak in the aDirector In Focus’ segment on December 15. Ashish completed his PhD from Stanford University and has taught filmmaking at Yale University. Ashish is currently an Associate professor of film and media at University of Rhode Island in America and will be attending the fest.

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Iran is the Country in Focus this year and 15 films from that country will be screened at the fest. A couple of Iranian filmmakers will also attend the fest.

The opening film on December 12 is “Nakkash” directed by Zaigham Imam, followed by the solo play “Nari Baia by Sushmita Mukherjee. A felicitation for ace editor Vikas Sharma with the Liftetime Achievement LIFFT INDIA Award 2019, for his overall contribution to Indian television in the field of editing, will follow. Sharma has edited over a hundred serials and 25,000 episodes and also films made under the Balaji Telefilms banner over 22 years. The award will be presented to him by chief guest Subodh Tiwari, CEO of Kaivalyadham, an iconic yoga centre in Lonavla.

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There will also be a book reading session, stage play and master class, and panel discussions daily. The conversation sessions and master classes will be conducted and moderated by Nandita Puri and Riju Bajaj. There will be Conversation Sessions with Tannishtha Chatterjee and Vinod Mankara, Ritam Srivastav, Raj Gupta, Sandeep Sawant, Inamul Haq, Deepak Dobriyal, Rajesh Touchriver, Barnali Ray Shukla, Chitranjan Giri, Subrat Dutta, Meeta Vashishth, Shalaka Ranadive and many other filmmakers and actors after the screening of their films and performances.

There will be readings by ace television serial writer-director Ravi Rai’s book “The Taoo On My Breast”, Abhiram Bhadkamkar’s new novel “Astikachi Goshta” and excerpts from Nandita Puri’s under publication book titled “Jennifer”.

Live stage plays by Wecandoit group of Singapore will present best of its Dastak festival plays. The group has specially traveled from Singapore to perform at the fest, which will also host a performance by Rituparna Biswas from Kolkata, A short play featuring Jayant Gadekar from Mumbai and a master class on designing by Parthiv Shah will spice up the festival.

The conversation sessions and master classes will be conducted and moderated by Nandita Puri and Riju Bajaj.

Special screenings of children’s films are slated for December 15. All films will be screened at Regal, Monarch and Society banquet halls, inside Fariyas Resort.

LIFFT India will also showcase a painting exhibition of legendary painter Late Haku Shah as a tribute to his work and to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150 years by displaying Nitya Gandhi series of paintings.

The closing ceremony will begin with screening of the film “Patnagarh” directed by Rajesh Touchriver on December 16, followed by “Qissebazi” performed by inimitable actor Danish Hussain, a live musical concert by Vidya Shah and a short play by Vinay Sharma before the LIFFT India Award announcement.

The LIFFT India jury this year includes Dolly Thakore, Ram Gopal Bajaj, Gyan Sahay, Atul Tiwari, Parag Chhapekar, Shefali Bhushan, Nayani Dixit, Vivek Sharma, Abhimanyu Ray.

Shruti Bharadwaj has stepped in as brand ambassador of LIFFT India Filmotsav. She features in the Netflix series “Bahubali: Before The Beginning”. Shruti and Sahitya Sahay are also the part of the film selection panel and they will conduct Q&A sessions with the filmmakers post screenings of their respective films.

There are over 50 categories of LIFFT India Awards and some are specially dedicated and named after eminent film personalities as a mark of tribute, such as Renu Saluja, Ismail Merchant, Khemchand Prakash, Samir Chanda, V.K.Murthy and Om Puri. The Om Puri award for Best Actor is in conjunction with Om Puri Foundation.

LIFFT INDIA has produced a short feature film “The Re-Bell” based on a screenplay submitted to the festival. The film is directed by Riju Bajaj and written by Supriya Parulekar, and it features Vivaan Shah and debutant Shruti Bharadwaj. The film is exclusively available on LIFFT India YouTube channel.

The first short film to be produced under LIFFT India Repertory, “Fallen In Love” features Jenifer John, Sahitya Sahay, Sumit Bhardwaj and Simmi. The film is exclusively available on LIFFT India You Tube channel.

LIFFT India Repertory has also commenced principal shooting of its first feature film “Kesroa, featuring Shruti Bhardwaj and Sahitya Sahay in lead roles. The film is directed by Riju Bajaj who has also written the story and screenplay. The dialogues are written by Tripurai Sharma.

The festival will 20 students of Lalit Kala Kendra, Pune, to witness the fest to help them and give them international exposure in cultural exchange.

LIFFT India also announced launch of its film academy to begin with acting classes under the flagship of Ram Gopal Bajaj Acting Studio. The academy is schedule to open in early 2020. Interested students can apply now.

Hosting a film festival is very important tool in educating and spreading social awareness because it brings the films and filmmakers on one platform to reach out to people of a given place who are possibly the catalysts to bring social change. LIFFT India Filmotsav intends to travel around the world with its bouquet of films.

LIFFT India will also invite children from orphanages and schools to attend the children’s film screenings.

Any ardent film lover who is interested in savouring 110 hours of over 250 fantastic films from 40 countries in various languages, spiced with 20 hours of live shows and interactions with the filmmakers, can book free delegate season online on www.lifftindia.com or simply walk in at Fariyas Resort, Lonavla between December 12 and 16.

The Filmotsav announced its list of officially selected films on October 15 on its website www.lifftindia.com.

–IANS

vnc/vnc/rt

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