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First Punjabi film picked for Cannes festival

entertainment Updated: Apr 17, 2015 09:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

A Punjabi film set in the days of terrorism of the 1980s, ‘Chauthi Koot’ (The Fourth Direction), directed by award-winning director Gurvinder Singh, has been selected for next month’s Cannes film festival. This is the first Punjabi movie to make it to the prestigious festival. It is expected to be released in India by the year-end.

The film, largely based on Jalandhar-based writer Waryam Singh Sandhu’s eponymous story, was shot in villages around Amritsar and Ferozepur last year. It is also adapted from another short story by Sandhu, ‘Main hun theek thaak haan’. The film attempts to capture the atmosphere of fear and insecurity that prevailed in Punjab during the 1980s.

According to the Cannes announcement made on Thursday, the movie will be screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival. This section is devoted to work by emerging talents as well as established filmmakers.

When contacted, Sandhu said films based on writers’ creations were rare. “The idea should be promoted because any creative piece of writing is more close to the human truth than the themes on which films are generally made,” he said. Sandhu, who retired as a teacher from Jalandhar’s Lyallpur Khalsa College, is yet to watch the film.

Talking to HT, Delhi-based Gurvinder said the section in which the film would be screened was known for strong cinematic language and a personal style of film-making. “I feel the film is a continuation of ‘Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan’, but has its own rhythm and a different narrative. I would have hated to repeat myself anyway. I got the confirmation last month and the selection committee loved the film,” he said.

Gurvinder’s 2012 Punjabi film ‘Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan’ (Alms for a blind horse), based on Gurdial Singh’s novel, had won the Golden Peacock award at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012) and the national award for best direction.