Dev Anand, 87-years-old and still full of enthusiasm for his profession, launched the 2010 Pune International Film Festival. “I am very emotional about Pune,” he said, “Though I was not born here, this city gave birth to an actor called Dev Anand. It was here that I started my journey in 1945.”
Artists such as Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen Sharma and Jackie Shroff were in attendance as Rajesh Khanna and Shreeram Lagoo were given Lifetime Achievement Awards. “Forty years and 160 films later, I’ve reached this stage in life where I was considered worthy of a lifetime achievement award,” said Rajesh and Shreeram added, ““Without doubt, this is one of the finest days of life. When I was born, I was crying like all babies. But then someone shouted at me and asked me to shut up. I did so and started smiling. That was when I started acting!”
The Festival has gathered a remarkable group of movies together, providing a treat for all movie fans. In the World Competition section is the hilarious Romanian movie The Happiest Girl in the World – a satire on the new consumer society in Romania; and the sensitive Indian movie in Konkani, The Man Beyond The Bridge about an abandoned mentally ill woman looked after by a forest ranger in the Western Ghat rainforests was also shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The interesting Marathi section shows that Maharashtra has more than one movie industry. The lovely Rita has Pooja Shetty Deora and the intriguingly named Aarti Shetty Almodovar and is about the struggles of a young woman to survive. Atul Kulkarni’s Natrang is about gender identity, personal success and the traditional art of tamasha – not bad for one movie!
Showing that not every industry has forgotten the power of film as a force for social change, Paangira looks at the problems facing India’s farmers, still 70% of the economy – it’s a long way from the vacuous glamour of Bollywood. Similarly Ek Cup Chya lambasts the wall of bureaucracy that faces the ordinary person in the country.
The World cinema section, which includes Lars Van Trier’s extraordinary Anti-Christ; Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces and the poignant Japanese movie Air Doll about a lifesize love doll (candy girl in Japanese) that comes to life and seeks true love, has so many brilliant and amazing films, it would be possible to write a book about it. As well as the lighter movies such as the German 9 to 5: A day in Porn which takes a down-to-earth look at the world’s second-biggest entertainment industry, there’s also the harrowing The Day God Walked Away about the Rwandan genocide and the amazing period drama Mei Lanfang about the legendary 1920s Chinese opera singer.
The country focus this year is on Cuba, the retrospective on French New Wave and Indian Focus explores all of India’s regional cinemas with Mammootty’s Kerala Caf