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Film4 launches 2020 Indian film season

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Staff Writer

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Film4 is launching its annual Indian film season this month, with nine films showcased over nine weeks.

The 2020 season of the longest-running strand in Channel 4’s history will feature a range of the best contemporary Indian cinema and a classic from the archive. Curated by expert Nasreen Kabir, the films will span drama, thriller, social realism, independent and mainstream Indian cinema, exploring class, racial, political and gender divide.

The run of films kicks off with action thriller Jallikatu on Monday 7th September, which will be one of the four films also available to catch up with after broadcast on All 4.

Here’s the rundown:

Jallikatu – 7th September

On one eventful night in a remote village in Kerala a buffalo escapes from the slaughterhouse and wreaks havoc. Bedlam follows as the entire village decides to join in hunting down the animal. During the wildly chaotic chase, many unresolved differences come to the surface, turning friends into foes.

10.15pm, Film4 – available on All 4 after broadcast

Gully Boy (2019) – 13th September

Ranveer Singh, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, headlines celebrated female director Zoya Akhtar’s hip-hop drama. Poet Murad emerges from the slums of Dharavi and breaks free from the class divide when he inadvertently enters Mumbai’s underground hip-hop scene to become the voice of the streets. A story inspired by India’s real-life rappers Naezy and Divine.

11.55pm, Channel 4

Kattumaram (2019) – 15th September

A tender film from India’s emerging queer cinema, writer/director Swarnavel Eswaran’s 2019 film follows the devastation brought by the Tsunami, a young woman defies expectations of her local fishing community as she develops a relationship with a photographer who has come to teach at the local school.

01.25am, Channel 4 – available on All 4 after broadcast

The Lift Boy (2019) – Date TBC

Jonathan Augustin’s feelgood coming-of-age drama offers a window into the world of a lower middle-class Mumbai family as a down on his luck student must take the place of his father as a lift operator in a luxury apartment block.

Time TBC, Channel 4 – available on All 4 after broadcast

Manthan (1976) – Date TBC

In tribute to the celebrated actor/playwright Girish Karnad who passed away in 2019, Shyam Benegal’s social realist drama is possibly the only film ever to be sponsored by Indian farmers. Produced courtesy of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation the film follows the progress of a team who set out to start a milk co-op in rural Gujarat, an honourable crusade that stirs up violent caste clashes along the way.

Time TBC, Channel 4 – available on All 4 after broadcast

Article 15 (2019)- Date TBC

Continuing the rural village setting and based on real-life events, Anubhav Sinha’s crime drama is named after an article in India’s constitution which makes discrimination a criminal offence. The film tackles head-on the controversial subjects of caste, institutionalized corruption and abuse when a city cop sent to a small village becomes involved in a disturbing investigation into the death of two lower caste young women.

Time TBC, Channel 4

Raazi (2019)- Date TBC

A thriller telling the true story of an Indian female spy who risked everything to go undercover in the lead-up to 1971’s Indo-Pakistani war. A critical and box office hit, the film won five prizes at India’s annual Filmfare Awards, including awards for actress Alia Bhatt and female director Meghna Gulzar.

Time TBC, Channel 4

Naal (2019)- Date TBC

Chiatanya is a cheeky and lively eight-year-old boy living on the banks of a river in a rural village in Maharashtra, cared for by his landlord father and long-suffering mother. But after an uncle visits from a nearby village and reveals to the young boy that he is adopted, Chiatanya’s world is changed forever and he becomes obsessed by meeting the birth mother he has never known.

Time TBC, Channel 4

Hamid (2019)- Date TBC

A sensitive story of redemption set against the backdrop of the political unrest and conflict in Kashmir. After eight-year-old Hamid’s father goes missing, the young boy finds himself increasingly isolated, rejected by his grief-stricken mother. Forced to seek answers for himself, after he discovers that 786 is “God’s number”, Hamid dials these digits into a phone and finds unexpected solace from a soldier fighting insurgents on the frontline in Kashmir.

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