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Habitat Film Festival 2016

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The India Habitat Centre’s annual film festival always throws up some powerful screenings and this year’s lineup is interesting no less. The eight-day fest, starting 7th May, showcases an assortment of films from the early classics to new avant-garde styles, as well as acclaimed films from mainstream Indian and world cinema. Here are five films we think you must watch.

The Violin Player 
(Hindi/74mins)
Directed by: Baudhayan Mukherji
Screening: 9:00 pm, Sunday, 8th May
The Violin Player is the story of one day in the life of a Bollywood session violinist who finds expression in an unlikely place. His day unfolds to reveal startling truths about music, art, life and survival. The movie has featured in festivals like the MAMI 17th Mumbai Film Festival and the 20th IFFK, Kerala, 2015.

Chauthi Koot
(Punjabi/115mins) 
Directed by: Gurvinder Singh
Screening: 6:30pm, Tuesday, 10th May
Chauthi Koot evokes the atmosphere of suspicion, fear and paranoia of the Punjab in 1980s. It considers two loosely connected incidents and one story flows into the other and back, like a relay race one character passing on the baton to another. What binds the two is the condition of the common man trapped between the excesses of the military on one side and the militant movement for greater Sikh autonomy on the other.
It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It won the Singapore International Film Festival Silver Screen Award for Best Asian Feature Film in December last year while also bagging the National Award for Best Punjabi Film and the India Gold at the Mumbai Film Festival

Lens 
(English /Tamil/Malayalam/Hindi/109 mins)
Directed by: Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan
Screening: 9:00pm, Tuesday, 10thMay
Aravind gets a friend request from ‘Nikky’, a complete stranger.  He accepts and they begin to video-chat. The new friend now has a bizarre request- to commit suicide, while Aravind watches live. Does Aravind have a choice? 
The film is a hostage drama set in the world of video chat-rooms. Thematically, the story revolves around the voyeuristic art in the digital world and its consequences. What makes it interesting is that the film was shot live while the actors lived their parts over Skype. The film was screened at the 13th Chennai International Film Festival, the 14th Pune International Film Festival, the 8th Bengaluru International Film Festival and the 13th CLAM International Solidary Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain.

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