Indian films that premiered at the Venice Film Festival

A glance at the Indian films that have shimmered at the prestigious Venice Film Festival over time.

Venice Film Festival is the oldest and one of the most renowned film festivals in the world. Featuring only the greatest movies from various parts of the world, the festival’s single objective has always been to celebrate the art of cinema to the fullest. Our country has a long connection with it as numerous Indian films have premiered here and got worldwide recognition for their exceptional ingenuity. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Sant Tukaram: Vishnupant Govind Damle directorial ‘Sant Tukaram’ depicts the life of Varkari saint and poet Tukaram. The film made it to the 1937 Venice Film Festival and got adjudged as “one of the three best films of the world” there.

Aparajito: The second part of ‘Apu Trilogy’, ‘Aparajito’ by Satyajit Ray was the first film to receive both the Golden Lion and Critics Award at the 1957 Venice Film Festival. The film revolves around Apu in his adolescence at Varanasi.

Uttara: Buddhadev Dasgupta’s ‘Uttara’ is a beautifully crafted film dealing with a very important yet sensitive issue of our society. The film premiered at the 2000 Venice Film Festival and won Silver Lion Best Director award there.

Monsoon Wedding: Mira Nair’s cinematic brilliance ‘Monsoon Wedding’ explores brittle relationship between family members through the depiction of a big Punjabi wedding. The film won numerous prestigious awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2001.

Mathilukal: Based on Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’ fact-based novella, ‘Mathilukal’ by Adoor Gopalakrishnan had a screening at the 2002 Venice Film Festival and received enormous acclaim. Mammootty delivered an unforgettable performance as the protagonist in this film.

Nizhalkkuthu: Adoor Gopalakrishnan directorial venture ‘Nizhalkkuthu’ won the FIPRESCI Prize upon its premier at the Venice Film Festival in the Orizzonti section. The film, reinterpreting an important part from ‘Mahabharat’, was described as “the most poetic film this year in Venice”.

Anhe Ghore Da Daan: Gurvinder Singh’s ‘Anhe Ghore Da Daan’ deals with the problems of working-class people including farmers in the rural areas of India. The film premiered at the 68th Venice International Film Festival in the Orizzonti section (Horizons).

Mukti Bhawan: ‘Mukti Bhawan’, directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani, is a poetic approach towards the dilemmas of human life. The film got a 10-minute standing ovation after its screening at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.

The Disciple: Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’ is an incredible film exploring a Hindustani classical singer’s inner conflicts between his personal and professional life. The film was selected in the main competition of 2021 Venice Film Festival and ended up winning the Best Screenplay Award there.

The list also includes some other Indian films such as ‘Abar Aranye’, ‘Sonchidi’, ‘Court’, ‘Soni’, ‘Chola’, ‘Tumbbad’, ‘Milestone’ and so on.

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