The eighth version of the Pune International Literature Festival (PILF) will take off on Friday with a mixed bag of online sessions, master classes and interactions. The three-day fest has an interesting concoction of themes that explore all spheres of the past, the present and where we are headed in the future, said author and festival director Manjiri Prabhu.
“The festival has always aimed at involving emotions and being a festival with a difference. This year, our core theme explores the realms of understanding the power of social media as the pandemic has compelled people to communicate and reach out to each other on digital platforms. On day one, we have a session titled ‘The Power of Social Media’, where we will try to understand how socially connected we have become amid the physical distancing. Another session, ‘Intimacy of the Internet’ on day three, will explore how social media has invaded our lives and how to use it to the best of our capacity,” said Prabhu.
The festival is scheduled to begin with a performance of the iconic John Lennon song Imagine by Vineet Alurkar. The next session, ‘Calling Elvis – Heritage of the Legends’, will have Alurkar in conversation with author Shantanu Datta and music maestro Louis Banks, to dive deep into the genre of rock.
One of the highlights of the festival is the ‘Yours Truly; sessions with English primatologist and anthropologist Dr Jane Goodall, American author Scott Eyman and Lord Meghnad Desai. “These are the sessions we are thoroughly excited about. Dr Goodall is renowned for her long-term research on chimpanzees. She is a person who is made out of a different fabric… it becomes crucial to understand and be inspired by a life like Jane Goodall’s,” she said.
While the session ‘Femme Power – Behind the Scenes and Screens’ on December 12 will try to discuss the role of women in the backstage of the world of film-making and cinema, ‘My Years with the Mousetrap’ on day three is an elaborate conversation with Denise Silvey, the creative director of the play. The Mousetrap, a murder-mystery written by Agatha Christie, has been on continuous run in London’s West End since 1952.
The festival also offers master classes on a range of topics like mental health and suicide prevention, creative writing and sleep, to name a few.
“Our master class ‘Mental Health for Suicide Prevention’ is hoping to open up a discourse towards better comprehension when it comes to one’s mental health. Current circumstances have led many to feel or experience depression within their inner circle. Meanwhile, our master class on sleep by Dr Karuna Datta will try to explain that although neglected, sleep is an important part of our daily lives,” said Prabhu.
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