Director Ritesh Batra’s debut film Dabba (The Lunchbox),starring Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui,will compete in the official competition section of this year’s London Film Festival.
Dabba,which earlier won the critics week viewers choice award at the 66th Cannes film festival,is the only Indian film to make it to the 13-film shortlist at the fest here.
The film has been jointly produced by Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap among others.
Described as India’s hottest indie film of the year,Dabba is based on the Mumbai’s dabbawalla delivery service known all over the world for its precision.
The film will face tough international competition from Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin” starring Scarlett Johansson as a man-eating alien; “Parkland”,Peter Landesman’s film about events in Dallas,”Texas” on the day former US President John F Kennedy was assassinated; and “Starred Up” from British director David Mackenzie.
Some of the other Indian entries in this year’s line-up of 234 feature films from across 74 countries include “Jeevan Smriti”,Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh’s last complete feature before his sudden death in May. It is structured as a personal docu-drama around Ghosh’s admiration for legendary poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore.
Indo-Canadian production “Siddharth” by director Richie Mehta and Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s “Anwar Ka Ajab Kissa” (Sniffer) have been selected in the Journey category this year.
An Indian village also forms the backdrop of Bhutanese director Khyentse Norbu’s “Vara: A Blessing”,starring actress Shahana Goswami in the lead. It is based on Indian poet and novelist Sunil Gangppadhyaya’s short story and dedicated to Satyajit Ray’s classic ‘Charulata’.
“From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf”,by directors Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran,is a film based on real events and made up of videos of real events. It draws from years of dialogue and friendship between sailors travelling across the Arabian Sea from the Gulf of Kutch between India and Pakistan to the Persian Gulf.
The British Film Institute’s London Film Festival 2013,which will run from October 9 till 20,will be opened by Hollywood actor Tom Hanks with a gala screening of his film “Captain Phillips”.
The biopic,directed by Paul Greengrass,tells the story of Captain Richard Phillips who was taken hostage by Somali Pirates during the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009.
Hanks will also close the annual festival with “Saving Mr Banks”,the untold story of how the Disney classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.
Other big films to be screened across London cinemas next month include the sci-fi thriller “Gravity”,starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock,the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” and the critically acclaimed lesbian drama,”Blue is the Warmest Colour”.
The festival will host 16 international premieres and 29 European premieres. There will also be screenings of 134 live action and animated shorts.