Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The India connect at

28th Fribourg International Film Festival

March 29 to April 5, 2014

Opening Film - Genre Cinema: Survive!
Ravi Kumar’s A Prayer for Rain 
Cast: Mischa Barton, Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Rajpal Yadav, Tannishtha Chatterjee

In the night of 3 December 1984, in Bhopal, 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate poured out of a factory belonging to the American pesticide company Union Carbide. The poison spread first into the slums, where the fleeing workers had initially gone in search of first aid, but were now stranded by the thousands. The accident left over 25,000 dead and more than 500,000 injured. It is the biggest industrial disaster in history.

Ravi Kumar was born in 1971 in Central India, not far from Bhopal. Before studying film in the USA, he had trained in Great Britain as a paediatrician. He was first noticed as a director in 1999 with his short film The Shave, followed by My Other Wheelchair is a Porsche (2001) and Notting Hill Anxiety Festival (2003, with Julie Delpy). A Prayer for Rain is his first feature film.

Richie Mehta’s Siddharth
Cast: Rajesh Tailang, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Anurag Arora, Shobha Sharma Jassi , Geeta Agrawal Sharma

A father from New Delhi, who can barely keep the family afloat by repairing zippers, sends his twelve-year old son out to another province to earn some money. The boy is actually supposed to come back home after a month, but he never shows up again. The illiterate father sets out to find his son and encounters all kinds of adversities to which Indian children are exposed.

Richie Mehta was born in Toronto, where he not only studied, but also made numerous short films. His short film Amal (2004) was transformed into the feature film of the same name Amal (2007), which earned him the Jury Prize at the San Francisco Film Festival. To be able to film his country of origin, Mehta then worked on the TV documentary film series The Spirit of South Asia (2010). I’ll Follow You Down came out in 2013, his first purely Canadian production.

Christoph Schaub, Kamal Musale’s Millions Can Walk
Screenplay: Christoph Schaub, Paolo Poloni (in collaboration with), Editing: Marina Wernli,

Thousands upon thousands of Indian people have marched for justice right across their country from Gwalior to Delhi. These men, women and children belong to the poorest people in their society, the Untouchable caste, people without means and without rights, and forced labourers. On their journey of over 400 kilometres under the scorching sun, in a constant fight against illness, this protest march shows all the facets of the harsh reality of daily life.

Christoph Schaub was born in Zurich in 1958 and since the 1980s, he has been one of Switzerland’s engaged filmmakers. Since 1983, he has alternated between directing documentary films (Bird’s Nest – Herzog&De Meuron in China, 2008) and fiction (Julia's Disappearance, 2009).

Kamal Musale, a Swiss of Indian origin, was born in Saint Maurice in 1960. He studied at the Beaconsfield National Film and Television School. As a jack of all trades in the film industry, he has spent the last three decades working on personal projects and reporting assignments.

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