India is the land of the cinemagoer. Daily, around 10 million people flock to cinemas of the subcontinent. Annually, hundreds of films are produced there in one of the country’s most important economic sectors.
Also growing is German interest in Indian films, whose cinematic offerings have proven to be far more than typical Bollywood films and comprise of several genres and exhibit an unbelievable myriad of features. Around 5,000 visitors per year – a number which is increasing – come to the Indian Filmfestival Stuttgart, one of the biggest in Europe.
A city partnership between Mumbai, a hub for the Hindi film industry, and the capital of Baden-Württemberg has existed since 1968. During a visit to Mumbai of the delegation of the then-new honourary consul Andreas Lapp in 2004, the idea of providing a stage for Indian cinema in Stuttgart was born. In the same year the Filmbüro Baden-Württemberg established the first Indian Filmfestival with around 40 films, which at the time was called ‘Bollywood and Beyond’.
As always, the focal point of Indian Filmfestival Stuttgart is films in which the subcontinent’s scope is reproduced by its film production companies, while the multilayered range of films reflects the country itself. Alongside expensively-produced blockbusters, there will be an array of ambitious independent, documentary and short films to view, all of which offer an insider’s view of India, whilst often looking at current and critical themes.
The film programme is accompanied by a considerable and multifaceted supporting programme, made up of music and dance presentations, art and craftwork exhibits as well as an offering of typical Indian foods and drinks.
Tea Talks have been ever-present attendees since the foundation of the festival. With the help of lectures and presentations, experts will speak about economic, societal and cultural connections. The school day is organised specially for children between the 9th and 13th classes. Beforehand, material will be distributed to provide the children with the knowledge required. After the screening, students will be able to ask the filmmakers and specialists questions.
Everyone who wants to get up close and personal with an alien culture, best achieves this with all senses. Dance workshops whisk interested participants off to Bollywood, where typical moves and dances can be learnt. Visitors can meet stars and new talents on the red carpet in front of the Metropol Cinema and enjoy music and dance acts as well.
Why not take the opportunity to let yourself be amazed by India’s allure underneath palm trees in the middle of Stuttgart!