Bollywood & Beyond in Auckland

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The Spring Film Festival season continues to accelerate with the final leg of the antipodean Bollywood & Beyond Festival which now crosses the Tasman to Auckland, New Zealand from April 14th-21st. Amongst the more well-known movies on display in the rugby capital of the world, we have Paa – the opening night showcase; New York, Dil Bole Hadippa, Love Aaj Kal, Dostana, Ghajini and Three Idiots.

Festival favourite and Oscar entry Harishchandrachi Factory will be showing, together with Rituparno Ghosh’s Shob Charitro Kalponik with Bipasha Basu. The magnificent Tamil movie about exploitation and corruption in the dying days of the Raj, Kanchivaram, should also leave a mark on the festival. Starring Prakash Raj and Shriya Reddy, it was probably the most significant movie of last year. Meanwhile, Rajendra Prasad demonstrates his versatility in Mee Sreyobhilashi, possibly the most unusual film ever about suicide and derived from the Japanese film Ikinai.

One of the best movies to watch out for, however, is the short Tea & Biscuits made by local resident Sandeep Khurana, who has quit his safe job at the Australian Trade Commission in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a film director. The seven-minute short won a local competition which will see him fly to Mumbai to meet Bollywood bigwigs. “Tea & Biscuits is a ritual that my wife and I started soon after we got married,” he explains, “It reminds me of home in India where tea is such an important part of our day.”

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