More than 13,000 people attended the successful ‘Bollywood and Beyond’ film festival in Stuttgart, Germany from 16th-20th July. It was attended by talented composer/singer Himesh Reshammiya and by gossip columnist/author Shobhaa De.
The festival contained big Bollywood films such as the epic Jodhaa Akbar and the kid friendly Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic but also minor classics from Marathi cinema such as Valu — the Wild Bull, a side-splitting tale of village life and the desperate events that follow when a sacrificial bull runs riot through the streets. The film, which opened the festival, was also shown in Berlin and Rotterdam earlier this year. The closing film was Shoot on Sight made by London-based film-maker Jag Mundhra about the London tube and bus bombings of 2005.
One of the most interesting documentaries was The Legend of Parvati and Shiva, made by film student Khrishna Saraswati tells the tale of his birth and upbringing as the son of a German mother and an Indian yogi in the Himalayas.
The festival, however, is not just about the movies but also about celebrating the 40-year-old twinning arrangement between Stuttgart and Mumbai. It includes choral singing, documentaries and a ‘shorts’ competition as well as the main features. It is the fifth year of the successful festival.