As Punjabi cinema is increasingly taking on the mantle of a cult that catches the present generation’s fancy, institutes and academies are becoming eager to use the moment to organise film festivals that celebrate successful Punjabi films.
One such would be the Punjabi Film Festival which will be held at Punjabi University in Patiala, and organised by the university’s World Punjabi Centre and Youth Welfare Department in association with Punjabi Academy, Delhi.
The festival will screen nine Punjabi feature films and six Punjabi short films in a span of three days, starting from February 27. Besides this, a seminar will also be held on the topic of changing realities of Punjabi cinema.
Rawail Singh, secretary of Punjabi Academy, Delhi, says there will be diverse films that will be screened at the festival. “For instance, in the commercial category of movies, there will be screened Chitrath Singh’s Chann Pardesi that opens the fest on February 27.
Then there will be Waris Shah that was directed by late Manoj Punj. These are some that have defined Punjabi cinema,” he shares. There are also theme-based short films such as Naqqal that will be shown and which investigates Punjab’s dying culture, as well as Aatu Khoji, which explores countryside wisdom.
Rawail adds, “This film fest will be very similar to the Punjabi film festival that we had organised last month in Delhi. In Punjab, this will help capture the young generation’s interest, which is already growing with every new film released.”
Meanwhile, the director of World Punjabi Centre, Deepak Manmohan Singh, also believes that the festival will offer a glimpse into how Punjabi cinema has grown over the years and the various challenges it is poised to face in the future.
Some of the films that will be shown in the commercial category include Tera Mera Ki Rishta by Navaniat Singh, Khamosh Pani by Sabiha Sumar, Waris Shah by late Manoj Punj, Jee Aayan Nu by Manmohan Singh, Mannat by Gurbir Grewal, Mitti by Jatinder Mauhar, Apni Boli Apna Des by Ravindra Peepat and Yaar Anmulle by Anurag Singh.
The short films to be screened are Ada Khada by Paramjit Kutt, Ghutween Saan by Lakhwinder Singh, Devinder Satyarthi by Captain AS Bedi, Maan Te Preet Da Qafila by Indu Bala, Naqqal by Parveen Kumar and Aatu Khoji by Rajeev Sharma.
During the seminar that will be held on the second day, personalities such as Gurbir Grewal, Amrik Gill, Dr Manjit Singh, Rana Ranbir and Navtej Sandhu will discuss the past and future of Punjabi cinema. Says Rajeev Sharma, a director, “This is a step in the right direction. Such festivals should be held in other parts of Punjab as well, so that discussions based on the region’s cinema’s strong and weak areas can be initiated.”