Filmmakers from across the globe celebrated their Indian roots
“We are like children who have left their mother and gone away. And we keep coming back because the mother is so good and nice that she keeps pulling us back,” said Deepa Mehta, renowned filmmaker, at the inauguration of the first Pravasi Film Festival in the country. The festival that ran at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi, recently, had movies ranging from feature-length films to short films, besides documentaries.
The competitive festival screened around 35 films from different countries and brought a lot of NRI filmmakers together with their Indian counterparts. The discussion revolved around how their work is inspired by their culture. The movies were based on different themes. Some represented the ethos of their birthplace and some dealt with global issues.
Most of the participants were not full-time filmmakers: There were doctors and engineers, like Dr. Nikhil Kaushik, director of Bhavishya : The Future. The festival also supported the Paediatric Kidney Foundation, the official NGO partner of the Pravasi Film Festival.
The Sharmila Tagore and Soha Ali Khan starrer Life Goes On directed by Sangeeta Dutta bagged the Best Film award, whereas the Best Short Film was won by the film by DK Krishna and Raj Nidimoru, Shor, and Navdeep Khandola's Flying Sikh went on the grab the Best Short Non-fiction Film. The NRI actor Saeed Jaffrey was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.
The festival was organised by Pravasi Today, a bilingual monthly for NRIs and people of India Origin (PIOs), which serves as a platform for the Indian Diaspora and is available in 125 countries.MEGHA MISHRA