The 20th edition of the Busan International Film Festival, arguably one of the most prestigious fests in Asia, will sport a stronger Indian flavour this year than usual. For starters, as reported by Variety, the opening film will be Zubaan, directed by debutant filmmaker Mozez Singh and starring Vicky Kaushal, who was recently seen in Masaan, as well as former VJ Sarah-Jane Dias.
This is the second time an Indian film will be opening the festival, to be held in Busan, South Korea, from October 1-10 this year. In 2000, Buddhadev Dasgupta's Bengali film Uttara aka The Wrestlers had been the opening film.
Zubaan, which has been produced by Guneet Monga, tells the story of a young folk musician named Dilsher (Kaushal), who moves from Punjab to find success in the big city, before proceeding to deal with its fallouts.
Aside from that, Hansal Mehta's upcoming film Aligarh — starring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao — will be having its world premiere at the festival as part of the section 'A Window On Asian Cinema'. The film is reportedly based on the life of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras (played by Bajpayee), a professor at Aligarh Muslim University who was fired from his position on the basis of his sexual orientation.
Manoj Bajpayee in the first look from 'Aligarh', directed by Hansal Mehta
The same section is also showcasing a number of other Indian films, including Meghna Gulzar's Talvar (under its international title Guilty), a crime drama based on the infamous Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj double murder case that took place in Noida seven years ago. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Neeraj Kabi and Konkona Sen Sharma.
Aside from that, films like Masaan (which won two awards at Cannes in May this year) and Mani Rathnam's O Kadhal Kanmani will also be featured in this section. Meanwhile, Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, currently the biggest Bollywood hit of 2015, will play in the festival's 'Open Cinema' section.
Aside from these, here are the other Indian films playing at the festival under various sections, as per its official website:
A Window On Asian Cinema
1. Kothanodi, directed by Bhaskar Hazarika (Assamese)
Adapted from old fables, Kothanodi is a film about four shades of motherhood: a mother who puts her daughter’s life at stake for her pride; a woman who has given birth, but still isn’t a mother; a mother who makes a stand for her child; and a mother who never wanted to be one in the first place.
2. Orange Candy, directed by Biju Viswanath (Tamil)
Satya, a young paramedic full of remorse about not having made peace with his deceased father, meets Kailasam, an ailing, obstinate man who reminds him of his dad. Their long ride to the hospital reveals that sometimes it’s the journey that imparts the greatest wisdom.
3. Peace Haven, directed by Suman Ghosh (Bengali)
Three septuagenarian friends embark on a journey to build their very own mortuary. As they work on building their “Peace Haven,” they also embark on a spiritual quest for meaning in their lives, rediscovering through the past, present, and future the holistic experience life bestows.
1. Radio Set, directed by Hari Viswanath (Tamil)
Elderly Arunachalam finds comfort in his past, a past he connects to through his vintage radio. A personal crisis erupts when Arunachalam is forced to choose between a loving family in the present and the specter of history when the radio disappears.
1. Jai Ho, directed by Umesh Aggarwal (English/Hindi)
Allah-Rakha Rahman —AR Rahman to fans worldwide— is, arguably, the man responsible for catapulting Indian movie music to global prominence. Jai Ho tracks Rahman’s 20-year career, breaks down his style and explores the influences that have impacted one of the world’s great living musicians.
2. Fireflies In The Abyss, directed by Chandrasekhar Reddy (Indo-British) (Hindi, Khasi, Garo)
India’s Jaintia Hills are home to a rabbit warren of illegal coalmines that hundreds of poorly equipped men and boys descend into each day. While tracking 11-year-old Suraj, the film exposes both the brutality of life and the astonishing lives reliant on the mines.