Pyaasa and Ruchika Oberoi's Island City in Venice fest sidebars

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2015 17:04 IST

Two Indian films will be screened in the sidebars of the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival, beginning on September 2. Ruchika Oberoi's Island City will be part of the 21 titles -- 18 world premieres included -- in Venice Days, an important festival sidebar often compared to Cannes' Directors' Fortnight.

Guru Dutt's immortal love story, Pyaasa, will be screened as part of Restored Classics.

Starring Vinay Pathak, Amruta Subhash and Tannishtha Chatterjee and produced by the National Film development Corporation of India, Island City is a string of three stories set in contemporary Mumbai's uneasy times.

The first focusses on a middle-aged man who wins an office prize that entitles him to a day of fun. There is no question of not accepting this award, for the company he works for feel that its profits are diving because of dispirited employees.

The second segment traces the life of an autocratic man, whose family brings home a television set when he is critically ill and away in a hospital.

Pyasa is arguably one of the best films India has produced. The film stars Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman.

The third part narrate the listless life of a woman, who one day finds it all changing with the arrival of a love letter.

This year's Venice Days offers a rich variety. The section will open with Spanish Director Dani de la Torre's car-chase drama, Retribution, and close with The Daughter (based on Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck), the feature film debut of the noted Australian theatre director, Simon Stone.

Some of the other promising titles in Venice Days will include Matias Bize's The Memory of Water, a plot about a young couple trying to rekindle their relationship after the death of their 4-year-old son; Vincenzo Marra's fourth feature La Prima Luce, which stars Italian A-lister Riccardo Scamarcio as a lawyer tracking down his young son in Chile after an acrimonious divorce; Australian director Michael Rowe's intergenerational love drama Early Winter; and Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid's As I Open My Eyes, set against the backdrop of Arab Spring.

A still from Guru Dutt's Pyasa.

Carlos Saura will be on the Lido (the island off Venice where the festival takes place) with Argentina, a documentary about tango. So too Turkish Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk for the world bow of British director Grant Gee's Innocence of Memories, based on the author's acclaimed novel, The Museum of Innocence.

The festival will run from September 2 to 12, and the entire official selections will be out in Rome on July 29. There are chances of some more Indian pictures being on the lists.

Last year, Aditya Vikram Sengupta's Labour of Love and Chaitanya Tamhane's Court screened at Venice.

(Come September, Gautaman Bhaskaran, who has covered the Venice Film Festival for over a decade, will be back on the Lido.)

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