The public screenings of Indian Panaroma 2009 is going on at Siri Fort Audotorium from 24th May to 6th Jun 2010. Its an amazing line up of films. Below is my list of the must watch films. My list is based on a random google search, of course there is hardly any quality content available on the web on these films. Simply because no one bothers to watch them when there are such meaningful cinema as Rab De Bana Di Jodi available in the market (Hope you got the Sarcasm).

27th May, Thursday, 3.30 pm: ‘Ijjoduby Director MS Sathyu, Kannada 90 mins

I found an outlook review of this film which only gave it 2 stars I still think the plot is very interesting.

Ananda (Aniruddha Jatkar), a photojournalist, accidentally runs into Chenni (Meera Jasmine), a devadasi, in a village dotted by Hoysala temples. Like in the case of most devadasi women, here too, Chenni is pushed into prostitution behind the euphemistic veil of custom and her father, the village headman, is running a clandestine economy capitalising on his daughter’s innocence. Running parallel to this is the story of another woman, Kempi, who, when war-widowed, takes a bold decision to remarry a person younger to her. While Chenni leads a choiceless life, Kempi exercising her choice is a ready contrast.

Here’s a better review of the movie. I wanna watch it purely for being a women centric film though the protagonist remains a man.

27th May 2010, 6 pm: ‘Paltadcho Manis’ directed by Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, Konkani 96 mins

Titled ‘Man beyond the Bridge’ this film is an unusual love story between a widowed lone forest ranger and an apparently insane woman. Read the detailed synopsis on Toronto International Film Festival website (Link). I shall quote a snippet here,

Vinayak is a forest ranger. His wife has died, leaving him lonely as he patrols vast areas of protected landscape. One day, he finds a madwoman cowering behind his house. He offers her shelter, and slowly, a tentative relationship begins to form. Each night he leaves out food for her, and each night she returns to eat and sleep in his yard.

28th May 6.30 pm: Ek Cup Chya Directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar, Marathi 120 mins

This film is based upon the Right to Information Act would you believe that. I mean what an incredible idea. From the Punekar website,

The nearly two-hour long film, which is produced by city-based Schizophrenia Awareness Association (SAA) and KS Wani Memorial Trust, Dhule, narrates the story of a bus conductor who successfully takes up the issue of an inflated electric bill with the authorities using the power of RTI.

“By mean of ‘Ek Cup Chya,’ we have attempted a film in which the importance of Right To Information Act for a common man to overcome the injustice caused by government machinery is being focused,” producer of the movie and president of SAA Yeshwant Oak told Sakaal Times.

If you are in Delhi, don’t miss this one. And here are some links for you to read up. (Link1 Punekar,Link 2 Reuters, Trailer on Youtube)

2nd June 6.30 pm: I am the Very Beautiful, Bengali Non Feature Film directed by Shymal Karmakar

This one by far is the most interesting of all the films. Based on the life of a beer bar dancer in Mumbai, her past, her relationships, her romantic and sexual escapades and the filmmaker’s personal relationship with her. The film is a compassionate view of the struggles and dreams of a woman perceived as an outcast and also in which the filmmaker dares to bare his own dilemmas.There’s a nice story on it in Open Magazine on it and a 9 min long video. (Link)

2nd June, 6.30pm: Superman of Malegaon, Directed by Faiza Ahmad Khan, Hindi

Made at a very low budget, this film is a hilarious account of recording the making of a feature film. Here are some links for you to read. (Link 1 Times Online UK, Link 2 Passion for Cinema)

5th June, 10.30 am: ‘Haat’ directed by Seema Kapoor

A social drama set in Rajasthan based on women empowerment starring mainstream actors Divya Dutta and Archana Puran Singh in lead. Based on a custom called ‘Natha Pratha”, which states that for any reason if a woman wants to leave her husband, her father or any other person who supports her has to pay compensation to her husband. The amount of compensation is decided by the people who hold judicial post (‘Panchayat’). If the said amount cannot be paid for whatever reasons the said woman is punished by villagers for leaving her husband.  And the punishment can be as degrading as stripping and parading her naked in front of the whole village. But on the contrary if husband wants to leave a woman, he need not give any reason or explanation for doing so.

5th June, 6 pm: ‘Land Gold Women‘ directed by Avantika Hari

Dealing with the issue of honour killings, ‘Land Gold Women’ won the National Award for Best Feature Film in English and followed it up with two gongs at the Asian Film Festival of First Films, Singapore. It won the FCA Purple Orchid Award for Best Film and the Best Screenplay Award at the fest.

6th June 10.30 am, ‘Gabhricha Paus’ directed by Satish Manwar

Based upon the farmers suicide in Maharashtra. Here’s what some of the critics have to say about the film.

“The spirit of auteur Satyajit Ray suffuses this debut by writer-director Satish Manwar. Like Ray’s debut “Pather Panchali”…Manwar’s “The Damned Rain” portrays a family’s plight with a naturalist style of storytelling, a humanist agenda and a lyrical eye on nature.” – CHICAGO SUN TIMES

“What lifts the film above standard ethnography is its tone. The life we see in (the film)…may be unforgivingly harsh, but the story is told delicately, with some unexpected, light-comic touches.” – CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“Powerful tale…with a keen understanding of the human dependence on nature, full of hope one moment only to be crushed the next.” – VARIETY

Check out the films very nicely done official website.