Three generations of the middle-class Phadke family live together under one roof in Mumbai’s city centre. The son’s wedding confronts the daughter with her own reservations about marriage. When their grandfather dies, the family structure begins to shift. The film looks into the constantly changing relationships and power structures within the family. READ MORE
The film explores how with passion, willpower and resolve a man can overcome every adversity and achieve great personal and professional success. Today, Vikas Khanna is an award-winning, Michelin-starred Indian chief, successful restaurateur, author of cookbooks, filmmaker, and humanitarian. His debut feature film as a director,‘The last Color’ is also screened at this year’s Indian Film festival Stuttgart. Born in poverty, he also had the handicap of misaligned feet to bear. He found refuge and comfort in the kitchen of his grandmother who taught him how to cook, and he dreamed about opening his own restaurant one day. At the age of 29, he moves to New York where he fights his way through, until he actually opens his first own restaurant, becomes a Michelin-starred chef, and a TV star. READ MORE
The film team documents their journey with Uma, a certified scuba diver. Together they explore the underwater world, especially the endangered coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar on the south coast of India. Born to a traditional family in Tamil Nadu, 53-year-old housewife Uma is strongly committed to call attention to this alarming environmental problem with her paintings. These corals had in fact inspired Uma to learn how to swim and dive at the age of 50, and to take up painting. READ MORE
The film is about Indian inventor G. D. Naidu (1893 -1974) who survived the bombing of Stuttgart in World War II and was given shelter by a family of entrepreneurs in the region. The resulting friendship continues even today between the grandchildren of both families. READ MORE
This film is about the fragile but stubborn and strong willed Kira Banasinska’s phenomenal struggle to make a home for the Polish war refugees in India. The film is a rare collection of previously unseen archives combined with first hand testimonies from the survivors – a discovery of the extra ordinary in the ordinary. Personal history is seldom the same as projected history. Kira Banasinska did not choose greatness. Greatness chose her. While making a home for them in India, India became her home. Both in films and history books, a lot is spoken and known about the World War II, but little is known about what happened to the Poles who survived Soviet Siberian labour camps and found their way into India. These Poles have different stories to tell but have one common link – Kira Banasinska. The wife of Eugene Banasinski, the first Polish Consul General of Poland in Bombay, was instrumental in seeing that thousands and thousands of Poles found safe passage and home in India. READ MORE
All his life, Kailash Satyarthi has been freeing children from slavery. For this, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. His organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) have saved around 100,000 children in the course of the last thirty years and made hundreds of child traffickers change their way of life. Every day, Kailash’s organisation liberates a large number of children – all over India. An electrical engineer by profession, the seed for him to become a human rights activist was planted early. As a young adult, he gave up his family name, appalled with the attitude of the higher castes towards the Dalit. When he decided to give up his lucrative career to start a crusade against child labour, many shook their heads in disbelief. Again and again, he has been threatened over the years – by law enforcement authorities as well as by traffickers. The film documents his journey and takes a look behind the scenes to witness how he has changed the lives of thousands of children. READ MORE
A personal documentary celebrating Indian classical dancer Shubhada Varadkar's indomitable spirit. In her biographical account, Shubhada candidly speaks about her relationships, her unwavering alliance with dance, and how she survived cancer with the support of her family, her students, and the only weapon she had: her art. She pays tribute to her Guru Shri Kelucharan Mohapatra as she strives to keep his tradition alive. Weaving a delightful tapestry of Odissi Indian classical dance, the audience is slowly drawn into Shubhada’s challenging life story told in her own words and voice. READ MORE
In a world subjected to an onslaught of saleable ideas and product, a world where we indulge beyond our means, is there a possibility of leading a life true to the values we believe in? L. Narayana Reddy is an octogenarian organic farmer, imparting knowledge on environment-friendly agriculture gained from decades of practice to people from all walks of life. His farming methods, the knowledge he shares and the lifestyle he leads are in stark contrast to those of the problem-loaded modern farmer. It is this contrast that the film dwells upon, thus documenting a man who can set an example for present-day society. READ MORE
There are approximately 34 million widows in India. In the traditional view, they are physically alive but socially dead. A lot of them are not able to support themselves and become economically and socially dependent on their children, who often face problems in sharing their resources with their mothers. In many cases, the mother becomes a burden and is consequently abandoned. Unfortunately, these thoughts and practices prevail in the society even in the 21st century. Living in oppressive environments, some widows come to the holy city of Vrindavan in order to devote themselves to Lord Krishna and find salvation and peace. Some arrive in Vrindavan willingly; some are forced to leave their homes. Here, they depend mainly on begging, singing devotional songs and charity. Few non-governmental organizations such as Maitri Home are taking measures to empower widows. These organizations run shelter homes for the widows. READ MORE
India, so they say, lives in many times at the same time – and so do Indian women. The documentary is about the daily struggles and challenges, thoughts, hopes, and dreams of Indian women. The stark contrasts between traditions and modernity, religion and digitisation, urban and rural environments, men and women, have made India what it is today: a country developing at a breathtaking pace, with an immense cultural superstructure affecting everyone’s life. While in the Western world a rather pessimistic view on the situation of women in India prevails, the director tries to paint a more nuanced picture. In over 15 interviews, he lets the women of the subcontinent have their say: What is it like to be a woman in India today? How is their life compared to that of their mothers and grandmothers? Is there such a thing as ‘the one India’? In conversations with different NGOs, audiences also learn how organisations try to help women in need. READ MORE
An ordinary night starts to turn wildly dramatic for Ketan, a Maharashtrian migrant, when an anonymous attack on his car congregates excessive attention. Dreadful coldness knocks when the entire locality is calling to Ketan and he is stuck with his paramour in his small rented room – while his pregnant wife is away at her parents’ house. READ MORE
In the fantastical country of Fruitistan, the people are divided – not so different from the world we live in. In this land where people who eat apples and those who eat oranges don't get along, Tulip and Daisy become friends. Their friendship soon turns sour when they discover that one of them is an 'Appler' and the other an 'Orangee'. Can their friendship survive? READ MORE
Set on the unruly outskirts of Mumbai, Bagheera is the determined young leader of an Indian girl scout troop. She teaches her pack everything from snake handling to short wave radio communication, at the same time equipping them with courage and determination. Little does she not know that her own strength and expertise are about to be pushed to their limit in a fight for her life. READ MORE
Unable to rely on her cash-strapped family to further her education, an ambitious and fiercely independent young woman seeks out a scholarship from a conservative Muslim trust. When she discovers that the money comes with strings attached, her liberal values will be put to the test. Based on a true story, the film is an exploration of the patriarchal notion of male agency over female bodies, constructed on a systematic theological idea that requires women to cover up, to be ‘more modest, respectful, and acceptable’ by society. READ MORE
What do young wannabe actors do to succeed in Mumbai, the city of cinema and combat? Sathya is risk-taking – in general, but also when it comes to auditioning for a role. Will she be successful with this approach? What do young wannabe actors do to succeed in Mumbai, the city of cinema and combat? Sathya is risk-taking –also when it comes to auditioning for a role. READ MORE
Mohan and his wife, a woman of short stature, have come to Mumbai from Gujarat for his work. They are a newly-wed couple. Their marriage is a compromise, as they do not see the spouse of their dreams in each other. Mohan who is fascinated with the tall women he sees decides to go to a red-light area to fulfil his desire. But will he really? READ MORE
In the heartland of Tamil Nadu, in a small village away from the noises of the changing world, life remains unchanged. Kanan and his family, like many others in villages across Tamil Nadu, strive to uphold the traditions that have been handed down for generations, in the face of political and societal change. Dharma is raised and nurtured as a part of the family, as many bulls are that are bred with the singular purpose of competing in Jallikattu. This sport that has been practised for millenia tests the bravery of men in the face of imminent danger. It has been criticised for its inherent cruelty towards animals and the debates that ensued since have become deeply politicised and hence have polarised people across the country. To Kanan and his family, Jallikattu is a sport and a tradition that defines who they are. Dharma is their pride and joy. This film explores the psyche of Kanan and his relationship with Dharma, untouched by the perspectives of what they feel is an ever-changing outside world riddled with conflicting moralities. READ MORE
This film is based on a folk story from Rajasthan, India; set in a small village that is stuck in time. The story unfolds the satirical journey of GORU (a naive washer man) who believes that MAATSA (the only teacher in the village) will be able to turn his donkey into a 'Man'. READ MORE
Shutting the world out, even for a few moments is not a privilege all enjoy. The protagonist, Minu, works hard at her job and at her home in a crowded Calcutta slum, she decides she deserves to get a few moments alone, even if it means having to tell a little lie. The film traces a day in Minu’s life and her journey to finding her moment of space and time. READ MORE
The film is set in Italy during World War II and is about a young soldier from British India: Dev Pandit, who carried no weapon, drove no tank and dropped no bombs. His job was to read letters. The film gives insight into the letters written by soldiers to their loved ones back home, and the implications of censorship. READ MORE
Nestled in the Kashmir valley is a small village on the India-Pakistan border, always caught in the crossfire between the two warring nations. One night, the eight-year-old girl Nooreh discovers that the gun battle rages when she sleeps and the bloody duel stops when she keeps her eyes open. READ MORE
Sikandar has just moved to a big city in the hope of finding a better life. His day includes impersonating Hindu gods and entertaining everyone he meets – the migrants living on the railway tracks, the children near the banks of the holy river Ganga, even his wife back home. Little does he know that in volatile new India, religion and art don’t mix well together. READ MORE
Caught in a maze of unspoken memories, young Anand Sehgal sets out on a journey to salvage the truth, jammed inside an 8mm camera. Young Anand Sehgal returns home to India after his graduation ceremony in the USA. A bit lost and unsure of his environment, he receives a loving welcome gift from his grandmother, a box of precious knick-knacks from his childhood. Anand finds a rush of memories tumbling in his mind. Things that enable him to reconnect with his past, foggy from the temporal and geographical distance. In a clutter of memorabilia, he discovers an 8mm film camera, lying unused since his parents’ death. With the possibility of discovering footage in the jammed camera, he goes on a hunt to find someone who can salvage the film. The hunt comes to fruition when he reaches a century-old studio located in the heritage precincts of old British Bombay, now Mumbai. However, the octogenarian studio owner and Anand have something in common. READ MORE
This short documentary observes a week in the peculiar lives of a middle-class household in Mumbai, which turns topsy-turvy when the eccentric patriarch brings home a baby chick for his cats to play with. What follows is an alternately absurd, nerve-jangling, and heart-warming set of accounts about the latest addition, from each member of the family. The once adorable chick has survived his early days and grown into a tyrant, wilful bird – forever taking up too much of their space and generally making life in the apartment unlivable. The film follows the thoughts of each person to their inevitable conclusion – the rooster’s got to go. And as his fate hangs in the balance, the family debates the question that lingers in the air: should he be given the gift of life, or served for dinner? READ MORE
Paresh is excited to go home for his vacation. He is waiting to be picked up by his father who fails to show up. Hopeless and upset, Paresh returns to his hostel to find a companion in Vinya, who has no plans to go home. The next morning, Paresh’s father arrives, and Paresh prepares to go home. But what will happen to his new friend now? The film explores boyhood and the relationship between the two boys. READ MORE
All her life, Meera has been told: Be honest, and good things will happen to you. But now that she is a grown and attractive woman, her mother all of a sudden wants her to lie and cheat – so as to perfectly meet a marriage candidate’s expectations and thus get her married quickly. Although she would do anything for her family, Meera won’t allow her family to change her. She doesn’t give up her hope to find Mr Right who will love her as she is: courageous, strong, beautiful, and always ready to help.
Episode 1: Meera dislikes the Soni Kudi Academy, a school teaching women how to be the perfect wife. But then she has to deliver a cake to the school. Things don’t go as planned and Meera comes home much too late. Her whole family is already waiting for her: Meera is up for the final rehearsal of her meeting with the latest marriage candidate. But Meera fails miserably. Annoyed, she tells her family that she does not want to pretend and lie to get a man to propose. Particularly her mother feels hurt by Meera’s conduct.
Episode 2: Although Meera is grounded, she sneaks away from home to practice her favourite sports, kabaddi. But her team mates have bad news for her: The team will probably have to be dissolved because some of the girls have to focus on their upcoming wedding. Meera will not accept this and decides to fight for the team’s continued existence. READ MORE
Mehek loves to cook – and her family loves Mehek for her cheerfulness and honesty. But cooking is more than just a passion for the young woman: it connects her with her late mother like nothing else does. She firmly believes that good food and a sunny disposition make life worth living. When Mehek meets rich yet rude Shaurya at a cooking competition, they fight like cat and dog. But the heart wants what it wants: Over time, their clashes turn into infatuated and playful banter and finally result in a romantic relationship.
Episode 1: Mehek does everything for her family – she even cooks for them at the crack of dawn. All she wants in return is to see an appreciating smile on the lips of her Aunt Karla. However, when Mehek meets sleazy marriage candidate Ajay, her dislike for him is blatantly obvious. She talks to him only for her family’s sake. But will she also fulfil her family’s wish and take Ajay into serious consideration as her future husband?
Episode 2: Ajay has only agreed to meet Mehek to advance his career. But when Mehek reveals that she does not have the contacts he had hoped for, Ajay quickly loses all interest in her. Mehek’s family is disappointed and worries about her future. But when the young woman cooks and serves them a treat, their frustration soon evaporates. Mehek then finds an interesting profile online – but who is this Bitter Melon King? READ MORE
For six years, King Rana Indravadhan has bravely fought in World War II with the Brits. When he comes home in 1945, his mother and the lady of the palace Queen Rajmata hopes that his return will bring the palace back to life. Beautiful Gayatri is also glad about the King’s return, and soon Rana succumbs to her charms. But if Gayatri wants to live happily at his side, she has to conquer the hearts of the King’s people, too. She realises that life as a queen is not a non-stop fairy tale.
Episode 1: King Rana Indravadhan comes home after six years at war. He had fought with the Brits for the liberation of Europe. Everyone in his kingdom is looking forward to his return. This is particularly true for pretty Gayathri who is attracted by the King. His mother Rajmata is also impatiently awaiting his return. But when the royal convoy approaches the palace, the King’s vehicle explodes and goes up in flames. Will the kingdom’s hopes go up in smoke as well?
Episode 2: When Gayatri steps out on the balcony to watch the parade, a misfortune happens to her: Overjoyed to see the King, she accidentally knocks down a flower pot. When this lands directly in front of the draught horses, panic ensues. However, the King manages to control the horses. Looking for the culprit, soldiers want to search Gayatri’s home. But the young woman stands in their way. She doesn’t realise that the King, unrecognised, is watching the spectacle and can hear her objections, too. READ MORE
The satirical comedy is about the pacifist Gadhvi who resembles Mahatma Gandhi not only in outward appearance, and the social media celebrate Gadhvi as Gandhi’s reincarnation. Gadhvi comes to the aid of a farmer whose land was expropriated by ruthless industrialist Omkar with the help of a corrupt politician. Omkar wants to set up a building site on the land and sends construction vehicles, but Gadhvi stands in their way. Gadhvi is celebrated as a hero on the internet and becomes the face of an anti-corruption movement. The film deals with the question of how powerful sudden trends and opinion makers are in the age of social media. While it is a satire, the film keeps throwing audiences off the scent just like a thriller. Is Gadhvi really a reincarnation of Gandhi? Will Omkar succeed? What is the truth? What is reality– and what just an illusion? Are we what we are meant to be? Or can we create our own destiny? READ MORE
Mahendra Kumar Choudhuri is the second eldest prince and heir to the Bhawal Estate. When he contracts syphilis, he is taken to Darjeeling for treatment. His wife Chandrabati Devi, his brother-in-law Satya, and the family doctor go with him. Officially, this is where he died and was cremated. Twelve years later, a monk shows up at the estate. Soon rumours spread that Prince Mahendra has returned, as the monk resembles him in many ways: They share various habits and even their birthmarks are identical. Eventually, the monk admits to being Mahendra Kumar Chaudhuri. However, Chandrabati Devi and Satya accuse him of trying to obtain the estate by fraud. In 1933 begins a long and extended court case, until the supreme court of appeal delivers the final verdict. READ MORE
Based on a true story, the film is about seven-year-old Hamid, whose father suddenly disappeared – like many men in the region of Kashmir since the conflict started in 1989. From one day to the next, the boy’s life is turned upside down. He looks for his father everywhere. Desperate, sad and deeply disappointed by life, Hamid’s mother responds with numb resignation and ignores her son’s questions and concerns. Eventually she tells him that his father is with God. Lonely and tormented by his loss, the boy continues his search until one day he learns that 786 is God’s number. Again and again he dials it on the phone, hoping to get in touch with God so as to ask him to bring his father back. One day his call is finally answered. READ MORE
This film about growing up is told as the story of a single night in Kolkata. Seen through the eyes of a child, a world full of wonder unfolds with enchanting conversations and impressions against the backdrop of harsh everyday life on the streets. When ten-year-old Chippa is given a letter from his father who disappeared years ago, he is determined to find out more. Unfortunately, the letter is written in Urdu, a language foreign to him, so he needs help to read and understand it. After a quarrel with the grandaunt he is staying with he decides to run away. At midnight Chippa grabs a bag with a few belongings and heads off. As he tries to find someone who can translate the letter for him, he has odd encounters with a policemen, a taxi driver, a newspaper man – and meets a faithful companion. READ MORE
The film is a touching tale of a mother and her son, recounting a relationship which has not always been free of tension in the past. It is about Indra’s journey from his childhood to his adolescence and adulthood. One day, Indra has to help his mother with an estate matter. At that point, the young man lives in another town together with his girlfriend, and is rarely in touch with his mother. While he spends time with his mother, a family secret is revealed: Years after his father’s death, Indra now learns that his father had been homosexual. When Indra talks to his mother and a long-time friend of his father’s, the taboo issue is being addressed for the first time. All of a sudden, many of Indra’s memories take on a whole new meaning. Director Arjun Dutta’s feature film says a lot about the way today’s Indian society relates to the issue of homosexuality. READ MORE
Smita is looking for an apartment in the metropolis of Mumbai. Actually, she would be the ideal tenant, except for an obvious flaw. She is a bourgeois Indian – but without a husband. An intimate perspective on the "ideal Indian woman" in urban India. READ MORE
The four youths Kabir, Dhruv, Angad and Anahita are close friends who spend a lot of time together and are still looking for their place in life. While their parents only ever have their children’s “best interest” in mind, most of all safety and stability, the youths have goals of their own. With the focus on parent-child-relationships, the film portrays the often difficult relationship between generations, and shows again and again how important it is to maintain communication within the family and to not stop talking to each other – even and particularly at times when there is really nothing much to say. READ MORE
The 65-year-old chauffeur Namdev Bhau is tired of the noise in the lively metropolis of Mumbai. The constant blaring of the car horns, the engine sounds, the gibberish of his boss, the nagging of his wife – all this is too much for him. The logical consequence for him: He stops talking himself, with an occasional grunt being the only sound he makes. One day, Namdev reads a newspaper article about a “Valley of Silence” – a place where, apparently, utter silence reigns, with a noise level of zero decibels. Without a word, Namdev packs his suitcase and sets out to find that place. On his journey, he happens to meet 12-year-old Aaliq, who travels alone and is on a quest for the mystical 'Red Castle'. Will either of them find what they are looking for? READ MORE
After a fighter jet has crashed high up in the Himalayas, an old shepherd leaves his flock to find and save the pilot, if possible. However, the jet has crashed in a mountain area considered to be sacred and the shepherd does not dare to advance to the accident site. He fears that it might mean bad luck for his animals if he entered holy ground. The film tells the story with impressive and poetic images and takes audiences to a remote, mystical place. READ MORE
Nine-year-old tightrope dancer and flower seller Chhoti has a dream to pursue: She wants to save 300 Rupies, about four Dollars, so that she can go to school. The film shows Chhoti and her best friend Chintu's daily struggle for survival in the streets of the historical city of Banaras. Chhoti befriends Noor, a widow dressed in white who suffers a life of total abstinence and is not allowed to take part in any festivities. Holi, the Indian festival of colours is a taboo for her, too. Noor encourages the little girl to aim high in life and be ambitious. And Noor shares her childhood memories of playing with colours at the Holi festival. Chhoti promises Noor to colour her with her favourite pink this Holi. But Noor dies the evening before, and Chhoti is imprisoned by corrupt police. 24 years later, Chhoti is an advocate fighting for societal reforms. The film is a story about kept and broken promises, friendship across boundaries, the desire for freedom, and the triumph of the human spirit. READ MORE
Dolkar is a 26-year-old exile Tibetan. She escaped from Tibet with her father 18 years ago, by making a perilous trek across the Himalayas that ended in tragedy. Dolkar has since suppressed all recollection of that traumatic incident. But when she unexpectedly encounters Gompo, the guide who had abandoned them when they made their escape, it brings back long suppressed, traumatic memories. Driven by her desire to finally find the truth and thus peace inside herself, she sets out on an obsessive search. She follows Gompo through the claustrophobically narrow alleys of the Tibetan refugee settlement in Delhi, until they finally face each other. READ MORE
The story is told from the perspective of young Ismat. When she joins the Begum's household she notices inexplicable and frightening things going on that she cannot understand: At night, there are strange noises and movements underneath the quilt in the Begum's bedroom. Only years later, when she begins to understand, does she write the story down. It contains allusions to the topic of female sexuality, which cause public controversy that eventually lead to a court case where the writer has to defend herself. She refuses to apologise for what she has written – yet she still wins the case. The film is an adaptation of the comprehensive anthology by Ismat Chughtai, one of the best-known Muslim women writers of the 20th century. She is considered to be one of the most powerful voices in Urdu literature, famous for her courageous exploration of and writing about female sexuality and middle-class morality. In 1976 she was honoured with the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards of the Indian government. READ MORE