It has barely been a year since Rima Das’s Village Rockstars premiered at the 2017 Mumbai Film Festival. Sweeping the festival, the tiny film from Assam has travelled all over the world, managed a limited release in the country and has been chosen as India’s entry to the Oscars.
Not bad for a film that was shot, directed and edited by (largely) a single person. Cut to a year later, and there’s new hope brimming for the Indian filmmakers. Most of them will be quietly praying for a fairy tale like Rima Das’s, even if the odds of something similar happening are slim.
However, it’s great to see more and more radical voices being heard at this year’s MAMI. Here are 8 filmmakers, who are grabbing the limelight as the next big thing for Indian films:
1. Aadish Keluskar (Jaoon Kahaan Bata Ae Dil)
Widely being termed as an anti-romantic comedy, the film follows a day in the life of two Mumbai lovers. As they discuss everything from politics, to sexual dynamics and even their emotional investment in each other, new things start to reveal themselves.
2. Kabir Chowdhury (Mehsampur)
Based on the life a Punjabi folk singer, Amar Singh Chamkila, the film follows a desperate filmmaker, who drives a neurotic actress and an aging musician to the village of trauma.
3. Ivan Ayr (Soni)
The film follows the story of an honest, upright policewoman from Delhi. And how she overcomes everyday sexism to help reduce the overall crimes against women. It’s already being considered as one of the strongest debuts of the year.
4. Dominic Sangma (Ma.ama)
An Indo-Chinese production, the film revolves around the life of Philip (85) who lives for nearly 30 years in the hope that he will be reunited with his wife in afterlife. This is the first film from Meghalaya to be selected the Mumbai Film Festival.
5. Ridham Janve (The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain)
This Pahari film is set in the Himalayan mountain is about an old Gaddi shepherd who sets out to find a pilot who crashed near the mountain. Many critics managed an early glimpse of the film, have praised the film’s pristine visuals.
6. Kabir Mehta (Buddha.mov)
The documentary follows the life of a young, flamboyant cricketer from Goa who loves the high life – his privileges, pool parties, exotic girlfriends, selfies-with-A-listers, flourishing real-estate empire. And it’s all meticulously documented on his social media, which is probably a director’s way of commenting on digital voyeurism.
7. Anamika Haksar (Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilaane Le Jaa Riya Hoon)
Set in Old Delhi, the film follows the lives of a few immigrant in Shahjahanabad. According to Haksar, the film aims to ‘incorporate inclusivity of people and their ethos, without discriminating against them on the basis of social class or other distinctions.’
8. Vasan Bala (Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota)
The opening film of this year’s MAMI was met with a thunderous applause, much similar to its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, earlier this year. This could change things for the desi superhero movies!