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Indian Cinema, Abroad: Sundance

The movies which made India abroad, at the Sundance Film Festival!

January 4, 2017

Sundance is big. This is the one place where you actually stand a practical chance of submitting a good film, getting noticed and then making it big. Among its alumni it counts Steven Soderbergh (also the youngest Palme d’Or winner at Cannes; he made Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Thirteen), Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive; will cure you after Twilight) as well as Quentin Tarantino (are you serious?! Kill Bill, Django Unchained, Inglorious Bastards!). Just to drive the point in, these now much-awarded and loved directors were first, awarded and loved here.

There. Now we come to the Indian entries.

Basically being an American film festival (screened in Utah), it has one section for US films, and another for all ‘World’ films. To give you an idea of the competition, 123 feature films and 72 films were screened from 12,793 total submissions, in 2016. From these, the award-winning entries are selected.

In 2011, Sundance introduced the first Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, ‘in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world’. Basically, it is given to the specific director, judged and based on their next project. Since then, a number of Indian projects have been selected for this honour:

In 2012,

Shonali Bose, Margarita With a Straw

In 2013,

Sarthak Dasgupta, The Music Teacher

In 2014,

Neeraj Ghaywan, Masaan

In 2016,

Geetu Mohandas, Insha’ Allah

And, the award goes to:

In 2012,

Valley of Saints (Director: Musa Syeed) [Hindi]


Valley Of Saints

The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic

In war-torn Kashmir, a lakeside city is plunged into a military curfew. Stranded together on breathtaking Dal Lake, a working-class boatman and a beautiful young scientist form an unlikely bond. But as violence spills in from the city, their budding romance may not survive.

Trailer: Here






In 2015,

Umrika (Director: Prashant Nair) [Hindi]



The Audience Award: World Cinema Dramatic

When a young village boy discovers that his brother, long believed to be in America, has actually gone missing, he begins to invent letters on his behalf to save their mother from heartbreak, all the while searching for him.

Trailer: Here

About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both. | Get Tech Addicted...
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