The film Court is a courtroom drama about an ageing poet accused of having driven a man to suicide with his lyrics, but it also follows the involved parties into their everyday lives. It’s a feature film with an authentic portrayal of courtroom proceedings as well as the lifeworlds of characters depicted in an interesting and artistic manner. The film subtly draws our attention to the power of language as it is used in poetry and its limits in the legal context. It also reflects about the freedom of expression which is not only threatened by the state or the legal system but also by self-appointed guardians of culture. Though it is set in the specific local reality of contemporary Mumbai, the film is thus also about a globally relevant issue.
The only nine minute long documentary 'Newborns' by Megha Ramaswamy deals in a powerful manner with fears of the victims of acid attacks. The jury emphasises, „The synergy of the distortion of the faces and the beauty of the poetry does not gloss over but documents vigour“. The film gives an insight view into the inner conditions of the protoganists - both in private as well as in public space. 'Newborns' does not withhold that fear is ever-present, nor does it downplay the persistent pain and the distortion.
DIRECTOR'S VISION AWARD
The Director’s Vision Award is given to the Marathi film “The Silence” by Gajendra Ahire for his courageous portrayal of a universal subject - the abuse of the girl child and of women. Set in Maharashtra, in its rural areas as well as its urban cities, the film takes into account the progress of women´s emancipation fighting for their independence and rightful place in society.
RINGAN / THE QUEST - honourable mention
The Director’s Vision Award bestows a Honourable Mention to the Marathi film “The Quest” (Ringan) by Makarand Mane for its inspiring story of the value of love, truth and honesty, told through the struggle of an impoverished farmer and his rebellious little son’s yearning for a lost mother.
SAFAR / JOURNEY Safar’s delicate approach treating difficult social realities and inflexible structures; the spare yet playful manner in which it deals with power and class relationships; the deceptive ordinariness of its plot, which in turn allows for visual poetry and creates space for strong performances, made the film the winner of this year’s festival. The jury admired the filmmaker’s subtle examination of social codes as she builds up a powerful story that is refreshingly free of bombast. The understated narrative was glued together by a haunting track by Tajdar Junaid.
KAMAKSHI - honourable mention The jury was also highly impressed by Kamaskhi, a unique, uncanny film with tremendous visual span, which investigates both character and ecological conditions. The filmmaker displays a deep understanding of the cinematic language as he uses large swathes of barren geography as a powerful backdrop to locate the unfolding of a significant human drama. In this surrealist depiction of an ancient myth, which also glances into current and future water scarcity, the filmmaker unifies portraiture with landscape creating extraordinary tonality and texture. Sound of bells tied to sheep, a water filled boat, a woman being pulled out of a freshly dug up well, all create haunting imagery that lingers in the minds of the viewers well after watching the film.