The Habitat Film Festival is back this year, and it has a bunch of some really interesting films. From Rima Das’s next (director of Village Rockstars) to Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s next (director of S Durga), the festival has some of the most exciting films lined up. Picking up the odd masala film in Vada Chennai (starring Dhanush), which was arguably the best reviewed Tamil film from last year, the festival even includes Ridham Janve’s The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain – set in the rocky terrain of Himachal Pradesh.
Starting tomorrow (May 17), the Habitat film festival goes on till the next weekend (May 26th). And here are our top choices from the festival, that you absolutely cannot miss:
1. Death Of Insane (May 17, 8.30 pm)
By the same director who made the potent S Durga, this film also stars Rajshri Deshpande. And it is reportedly inspired from the censor horror that Sasidharan had to go through during the release of S Durga (many took objection to the word ‘sexy’ being placed next to the name of a deity, Durga).
2. Bulbul Can Sing (May 18, 11 am)
After the globe-trotting Village Rockstars, Rima Das is ready with her next film. Premiering at last year’s Mumbai Film Festival amid much fan-fare, Das’ film follows the life of a teenage girl. Set in rural Assam, much like her debut film, this is one of the most awaited regional films of the year.
3. The Gold-Laden Sheep & the Sacred Mountain (May 18, 4 pm)
Set in the rocky terrain of Himachal Pradesh, Ridham Janve’s film features the Gaddi dialect. The film is described as a ‘mystery’ that deals with the myths and mysticism of the mountains.
4. Vada Chennai (May 19, 11 am)
Vetrimaaran’s film starring Dhanush was arguably the best reviewed Tamil film from last year. Springing up conversation around Dalit identity, the film was reminiscent of Rajeev Ravi’s Kamattipadam starring Dulquer Salmaan.
5. Jonaki (May 19, 8.30 pm)
Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s film was all set to begin streaming on Netflix, however the release had to be postponed for unknown reasons. Starring (late) Lolita Chatterjee and Jim Sarbh, the film grapples with the ghosts of old age. This is Sengupta’s second film after his spectacular debut with Asha Jaoar Majhe (also streaming on Netflix).
6. Hamid (May 20, 6 pm)
Having gotten a commercial release very recently, this film starring Rasika Dugal barely survived two weeks in the cinemas. The film views the complex nature of the Kashmir conflict through the idealistic eyes of a young boy, whose father went ‘missing’ one evening.
7. Mehsampur (May 21, 8.30 pm)
Competing with the likes of Bulbul… and The Gold-Laden Sheep... Kabir Singh Chowdhry’s Mehsampur won the Golden Gateway award in the Gold competition category of the 2018 Jio MAMI Film Festival. A meta-fiction mockumentary on the life of a folk singer, Amar Singh Chamkila, the film follows him around on the day he was shot dead.
8. Widow of Silence (May 24, 2 pm)
Another one from Kashmir valley, even Praveen Morchhale’s film deals with the devastation of Kashmir’s ‘half widows’. It follows the life of a local woman (played by Shilpa Marwaha) struggling to get the death certificate for her ‘missing’ husband.
9. Nagarkirtan (May 26, 4.45 pm)
Starring Riddhi Sen, who won the National Award (Best Actor) for his performance, Kaushik Ganguly’s film follows the romance between a transwoman (Sen) and a flautist (Ritwik Chakraborty). It primarily wishes to address the daily discrimination faced by the transgender community.
10. Bhonsle (May 26, 7.30 pm)
Devashish Makhija’s second feature film after the hard-hitting Ajji (2017), Bhonsle starring Manoj Bajpayee, tries to examine Mumbai’s xenophobia through the eyes of a retired police official.
*All films will be screened at the India Habitat Centre. You can book your tickets by clicking here.