‘The Taste of Things,’ ‘Exhuma’ to Bookend India’s Cinevesture Fest

India premieres of France’s “The Taste of Things” and Korea’s “Exhuma” will open and close respectively the first edition of India’s Cinevesture International Film Festival.

Tran Anh Hung won best director at Cannes 2023 for “The Taste of Things,” which was subsequently submitted as France’s official entry to the Oscars’ international feature category. Jang Jae-hyun’s “Exhuma” is Korea’s biggest box office hit of 2024.

International highlights of the program include Jonathan Glazer’s Oscar-winning “The Zone of Interest,” Kore-eda Hirokazu’s “Monster,” Darren Aronivsky’s “The Whale,” starring Brendan Fraser, Steffi Niederzoll’s Berlinale winner “Seven Winters in Tehran,” Anthony Chen’s Singapore Oscar entry “Breaking Ice” and Prasanna Vithanage’s Busan-winning “Paradise.”

Indian films include Jayant Digambar Somalkar’s Toronto winner “Sthal,” Karan Tejpal’s Venice title “Stolen,” Rima Das’ Toronto title “Tora’s Husband,” Gurvinder Singh’s Rotterdam film “Adh Chanani Raat,” Lijo Jose Pellissery’s “Malaikottai Vaaliban” amd Sreemoyee Singh’s Berlinale title “And, Towards Happy Alleys.”

Open air screenings are scheduled of Satyajit Ray’s “Jalsaghar” (1958), Guru Dutt’s “Kaagaz Ke Phool” (1959) and “The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone,” a recut of “Godfather 3” by Francis Ford Coppola to mark the 30th anniversary of the film. The festival will also feature a cinema exhibition to celebrate the centenary of late Indian actor-directors Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand.

Talent attending the festival include Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Roshan Mathew, Gulshan Devaiah, Varun Grover, Rasika Duggal, Rashmeet Kaur, Hansal Mehta, Shekhar Kapur, Sudhir Mishra and Tahira Kashyap Khurrana.

The festival has a focus on producers. Former Cannes film market director Jerome Paillard, Indian actor and producer Rana Daggubati and Nicole Guillemet, who was co-director of the Sundance Film Festival, are on the advisory board. It also includes Indian filmmaker Ajitpal Singh (Sundance title “Fire in the Mountains,” SonyLIV series “Tabbar”), Bangladeshi director Nuhash Humayun (SXSW winner “Moshari,” Raindance winner “Pett Kata Shaw”) and “Make Money Screenwriting” series author Julian Friedmann.

Bina Paul, who was artistic director at the International Film Festival of Kerala for more than a decade, will fulfil that role at the Chandigarh event. Film critic Namrata Joshi serves as market curator. V.S. Kundu, former head of the National Films Division of India, is the festival director.

The festival is the brainchild of Nina Lath, who previously headed Film Bazaar, South Asia’s largest co-production market, from 2006 to 2018.

Lath said: “Cinevesture International Film Festival is envisaged as a platform for the two key stakeholders, namely audiences and producers. Its various verticals have been designed keeping the same in mind. We trust that in time, CIFF will serve as a reliable festival offering high-quality content for audiences and enhanced business opportunities for the film industry.”

The festival will take place in Chandigarh, northern India, March 27-31.

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