The Pune International Literature Festival (PILF)’s eighth edition will be held online from December 11 to 13. The theme, ‘Power of Social Media’, is contemporary as the pandemic accelerated people’s exposure to social media and helped define its capacity, said novelist and festival director Manjiri Prabhu.
“When we were assessing the situation with the virus in the city, we had to take the decision to move the 8th edition of PILF online. It was relevant to have this theme as the entire festival became an online affair. Although many of our on-ground elements such as the author exhibition, book stalls and author book signing will surely be missed, the festival is now global because of the online format,” said Prabhu.
This year, the festival also has special sessions for debut authors like ‘WhyBuyMyBook’, in which authors can pitch their books to readers.
Another new section introduced this year is ‘Featured Authors’, where established authors talk about their latest books. “Literature festivals are a space for authors and readers to come together to discuss written words. Our sessions strive to help writers and authors talk about their books despite the limitation the current circumstances have put on us,” she said.
English primatologist and anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall, Martin Edwards, Jennifer Croft, American author Scott Eyman, British writer Daniel Hahn, actor Sarah Ward, theatre producer Denise Silvey, MP Shashi Tharoor, Meghnad Desai, composer Louis Banks and Vikas Swarup are some of the key faces of the festival.
“The festival will commence with the performance of the John Lennon song Imagine by Vineet Alurkar. Our team has prepared itself to host the audience online. Two sessions will run parallel and patrons can watch them without any registration on our official website, Facebook and YouTube pages. The sessions will be available online,” said Prabhu.
Other festival events include Master Classes and sessions on a wide range of topics like mental health and suicide prevention, creative writing and sleep, to name a few.
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