Cinevesture International Film Festival

Cinevesture International Film Festival

Chandigarh’s first International film festival, Cinevesture International Film Festival announces 20 projects selected in the CIFF Market to be held from  27– 31 March 2024, on the sidelines of the festival. The 20 curated projects by creators who have made a significant mark in the Indian film industry —  17 features and 3 web series – are an eclectic mix of stories in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Chhattisgarhi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Kinnauri.

The projects include six fiction feature debuts such as Sacred by Deepa Bhatia, 19 by Vikas Chandra, LalitA by Disha Rindani, Tigdi aka 3-SUM by Roopal Kewalya, Laali by Fahad Mustafa, and Dhundh Saleti by Jasmine Kaur and Avinash Roy. Three projects have been selected for the Mentorship Program at the CIFF Market. 

Cinevesture International Film Festival  Roopal Kewalya

Roopal Kewalya

Namrata Joshi, CIFF Market curator says, “To borrow a popular phrase our selection is Fun Fearless Female and full-on Punjab. We have projects in various stages of development. From those requiring funding for research and script development to those with scripts locked and ready to roll. The majority of the projects are by women. And/Or women-focused. A bunch of them are by filmmaking talent from Punjab and/or set in the state that’s hosting the festival and the market. Class divides and conflicts, an unfortunate contemporary reality, is a running theme through some of the selected projects. Queer identity issues also find space.”

She adds, “The selection cuts across genres—there’s action, thrillers (corporate, police procedurals), drama (human, social, political, coming of age), a folk and mythology-based tale but with a modern spin, epic narrative spanning decades, whimsical romance, and comedy too. Horror makes a striking presence in the selection. That too imagined and created by women. With profound underlying thematic layers.”

Cinevesture International Film Festival  Deepa Bhatia

Deepa Bhatia

List of Selected Market Projects:

1. Girls of Orlem by Alankrita Shrivastava (Drama)
English & Hindi
Logline: An adaptation of Lindsay Pereira’s Gods and Ends, Girls of Orlem is set in the Goan Catholic ghetto of Orlem in Mumbai. An intimate and piercing portrait of a mother and daughter, the film also tells a larger tale of the claustrophobia and broken dreams of the ghetto.
Producers: Vikesh Bhutani and Shujat Saudagar (Chalkboard Entertainment)

2. Encounter by Anurag Singh (Drama/Thriller)
Punjabi & Hindi
Logline: A newly appointed Punjab Police DSP Zorawar Singh is emotionally sucked into a case when he finds out that a killer is targeting the former colleagues of his deceased father, an officer highly respected for his bravery during the period of militancy in Punjab. 

3. Husky by Atika Chohan (Drama)
Hindi Chhattisgarhi & English
Logline: Jordon, a pet husky of Mumbai rich, Shivani and Ahaan, dreams of running away from the heat, back home to Serbia while his sprawling coop becomes a cover up for secrets and lies, human bondage and exploitation involving, among others, Kujur, a 19-year-old tribal girl from Chhattisgarh. An eat-the-rich drama that lays bare the deep class divides and apathy that propulsively drive every crime of envy in the country.

4.  Peach No. 15 by Ayappa KM (Thriller)
Web Series
Hindi & English
Logline: A tense, darkly funny thriller about Indra, a conscientious workaholic woman caught in the middle of a massive clusterfuck of corporate gluttony that will fracture her morality to the core.

5. The Bookkeeper’s Wife by Bauddhayan Mukherji (Drama)
Logline: Through an unexpected discovery at her deceased husband’s office, the wife of a bookkeeper is sent on a trail of heartbreaks, revelations, and introspections. The Bookkeeper's Wife is about an ordinary woman’s extraordinary journey to know more about a person she thought she knew. It leaves her questioning the life-long duality of a man's private and social life.

6. #JACK by Bhaskar Hazarika (Thriller)
Logline: An unmarked grave. A missing groom. And a cop who won't give up.

7.  Sacred by Deepa Bhatia (Drama)
Debut Feature
Logline: Spanning the late sixties to present-day India, Sacred is an epic narrative of four dramatically different women, on the cusp of motherhood. Set against a rapidly changing India, the film traverses the social, spiritual, and personal choices of the protagonists to weave together a film on the complexities of motherhood.

8. LalitA by Disha Rindani (Drama)
Debut Feature
Logline: Based on the true story of Police Constable Lalit Salve who was mistakenly assigned the female sex at birth and took on the arduous journey to reclaim his identity, challenging the norms of the Maharashtra Police Force and society at large. 

Cinevesture International Film Festival  Viraj Selot

Viraj Selot

9.  Chhaal (The Skin) by Don Palathara (Folk/ Drama)
Logline: Based on Vijaydan Detha’s story. Having injured his father’s wrath, Jayanta, the son of God Indra, is condemned to live on earth as a donkey. He must confront the realities of earthly life before he finds his final redemption.

10. Laali by Fahad Mustafa (drama/thriller)
Debut Fiction Feature
Logline: Lives in an upscale Delhi neighbourhood are rattled by a domestic worker who insists on digging up their precious patch of green to retrieve the body of her murdered child.

11. The Trials by Gurvinder Singh (Historial Thriller web series)
Hindi, Punjabi, English
Logline: 1930, Lahore, as Durga Devi and her husband prepare a bomb that will set their comrade Bhagat Singh free, we see the story of the trials, tests and tribulations of these heroic revolutionaries as they take direct action against British rule.

12. Dhundh Saleti (The Whispering Fog) by Jasmine Kaur and Avinash Roy (Drama)
Debut Feature
Hindi & Punjabi
Logline: In the highly volatile, terror-stricken Punjab of the late 1980s, Roop Sandhu, a radio programmer and a single mother, struggles to balance her personal and professional life. An unexpected letter addressed to her turns her life upside down as fear takes over her life, pushing her to fight the demons of her mind.

13. Schooled Abroad by Kimsi Singh/ Web series (Hybrid docu-drama)
Hindi, English, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu
Logline: Five students from different parts of India with diverse backgrounds and cultures, live, study and work in Toronto, Canada, where they’re hit by a rapid-fire onslaught of first-time experiences, discover new friendships and conflicts while learning how to cope with their newfound freedom in an environment far removed from their homeland.

14. To Hell With Love by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki (Romance)
Hindi & English.
Logline: Saahir loves Disha. She, in turn, loves Theo. Saahir’s unrequited love and Disha’s complex emotions compel them to step away from age-old perceptions about relationships, resulting in a somewhat unconventional but heartwarming journey.

15. Feral by Nihaarika Negi (Elevated Horror)
English & Kinnauri
Logline: In 1950s India, a sadomasochist English Madame has raised two indigenous community sisters to be her servants on a withering colonial estate. But the arrival of Madame’s latest lover – a singer/shaman scholar - changes the alchemy of the estate, as the sisters slowly transgress - reclaiming their wild, mystical selves. 

Cinevesture International Film Festival  Atika Chohan

Atika Chohan

16. April Mein Shootout by Randeep Jha (Thriller)
Logline: When his older brothers are killed in a farm dispute, a placid academic turns to revenge only to uncover the sinister truths about his own family.

17. Tigdi aka 3-SUM by Roopal Kewalya (Un Chick flick)
Debut Feature
Logline: Their first brush with sexuality and freedom spells doom for three completely filmi girls from 1990 conservative middle-class homes of Malviya Nagar in Delhi. The jolt of a car crash spins things out of control and their chaotic friendship is challenged as they find themselves alone and defeated against their controlling families. Until they realise that their only option is to lean into each other and the joy of friendship and films to overturn every limiting idea they have ever known and rewrite their ‘happy’ endings.

18. Miss Kumari by Sona Jain (whimsical romance)
Hindi, Hinglish
Logline: A whimsical romance between a Sales Lady at the Cottage Emporium and a Baker from Lakshadweep, complicated by the presence of an enigmatic mystery man, leads to a journey of unexpected thrills, tragedy and transformation.

19. I.T.A. by Vandana Kataria (Horror)
Logline: Shortly after her marriage, a repressed young woman arrives at her husband’s estate to discipline her unruly stepchildren only to confront her worst nightmare — Ita, a ravenous demon who will take them all as its victims if she fails in her duty. 

20. 19 by Vikas Chandra (Coming-of-age drama)
Debut Feature
Hindi, Telugu, English
Logline: Living the challenges of friendship, academic pressures, and self-discovery, Varun, Vasu and Shravani are negotiating the last year of their teens. When Varun's infatuation with his best friend Vasu clashes with Shravani’s feelings for Varun, it leads them all to a moment of truth that reshapes their lives. As the trio grapple with their emotions, they must find the courage to accept themselves and confront the complexities of love and acceptance.

Words Platform Desk
Date 28.03.2024