UMA DA CUNHA | 7 AUGUST, 2015
Marathi Cinema All The Way!
12thIndian Film Festival, Stuttgart
For 12 years now, the Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart has been quietly and steadily promoting independent and popular Indian cinema in Stuttgart, Mumbai’s twin city in an agreement signed in 1968.
The film festival is the brainchild of one person who has very strong ties with India. Its sole sponsor is entrepreneur extraordinary Andreas Lapp, Chairman of the Lapp Group (operating in 36 countries including India with a turnover of over Euro 1 billion). A global cable brand, the Lapp group started their Indian operations in Karnataka in 1997. Mr. Lapp has been regularly organizing the India Summer/Week in Stuttgart and actively supports the City authorities in organizing Stuttgart meets Mumbai events. He is the Convener of the Stuttgart chapter of German India Round Table (GIRT). As part of his Stuttgart establishment in Stuttgart, he operates an India Business Centre with his brother. Mr Lapp is the Honorary Consul of the Republic of India for the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Stuttgart has attracted most of India’s finest independent film talent over its dozen years of existence. From Anurag Kashyap, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Prashant Nair, Sanjay Suri, Paromita Vohra, Revathy, Suhasini Ratnam, Monisha Koirala among a choice few. They have all enjoyed the friendly, understated intimacy of the festival which takes place in one walk able area in the centre of the city. The attendees all club together, see films in the art-house Metropol cinema and eat at the same festival restaurant. Besides, Stuttgart offers tempting tourist attractions. Both the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museums are favourites, while the countryside and its palaces, buildings and forests are as inviting. Stuttgart is also the cinema hub of the animation and special effects industry.
The Indian Film Festival, Stuttgart offers two German Star of India awards: the best feature film award carries 4,000 Euros and 1,000 Euros each goes to the Best Documentary, Best Short and Audience Choice Award. In addition, there is a Director’s Vision Award to the film that shows creative insights.
This year the delegates included Dr Mohan Agashe as jury member (his film “Asthu” won the Audience Award here the previous year). He also delivered a well attended talk on Marathi Cinema as did Mumbai actor Vipin Shah on the intricacies of acting for the cinema. Others present were directors Archana Borhade, Satinder Singh Bedi, Will Sankhla, Leslie Udwin, Sagar Shiriskar, Parabeet Singh and German director Tom Uhlenbruch.
Present at the opening film screening of Prashant Nair’s Umrika was India’s Ambassador for Germany, Mr Vijay Gokhale.
Award winners at 2015 Indian Film festival, Stuttgart
*German Star of India for Best Feature
Chaitanya Tamhane’s debut film Court
* Director's Vision award
Marathi film The Silence by Gajendra Ahire
* Director’s Vision Special Mention:
Marathi film Ringan (The Quest)
by debut director Makarand Mane.
*German Star of India for Best Documentary
Megha Ramaswamy’s NewBorns
*The German Star of India for Best Short Film
Safar (Journey) by Pratyusha Gupta
Satindar Singh Bedis for his short film Kamakshi.
India's Daughter by Leslee Udwin.
Prizes worth of 7000 Euros were awarded to the filmmakers. ________________________________________________________