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One festival, diverse themes

Unconventional themes from across the world converged on a common screening platform that IFFI offered. The international section brought stories from across 91 countries.

Speaking about their films at a press conference, Jhett Tolentino director of ‘Lingua Franca’ said that the groundbreaking film is the first of its kind. “It’s written and directed by a trans-woman of colour. It defies the political atmosphere. It’s a Russian, Filipino and an American story in one,” he said.

Highlighting the challenges they faced in making the film, he said that the political atmosphere back in America was a reason for apprehension. “The film that just won the Best Picture in Paris has received an overwhelming response. It’s a multifaceted story not only about the trans-community but ageing of immigrants. ‘Lingua Franca’ delves into the finer nuances of what’s not spoken. The writer focuses with lyricism and poetry and it had a slow pace,” he said.

‘The Father’ meanwhile explores the generation gap between children and their parents. “The writers wanted to portray why and when they lose their connection. Though the topic was sad, the directors tried to add elements of comedy,” said actor Ivan Barnev. “I am proud to be able to play the character without any audition and the script was brilliant.”

Director of ‘Roads to Olympia’, Ramazan Nanayev was motivated from a personal story. He said: “It’s inspired by people around me. It’s about the athletes, who wanted to make it to the next level. One story was inspired by my Russian friend. My upbringing in Russia inspired the Brazilian story.”

Speaking about ‘Particles’, producer Estelle Fialon said that this was the first feature from the director made with a scientific reason. “The film was inspired by the directors own experience. It told the story metaphorically about the origin of the universe,” he said.

Director Savas Ceviz, who helmed ‘Head Burst’ revealed that the film is about Markus, a good looking architect, who is a paedophile and how things change for him when he explores intimacy with a boy for the first time. “The film shows his struggle to deal with his inclination. More than anything, it is about a human being,” he said.

Actor Gunawan Maryanto meanwhile spoke about his film ‘The Science of Fictions’ which is about the people who can’t speak up and are not able to stand for truth. “There is a different political scenario in Indonesia. People are being jailed and kidnapped. So my film talks about the journey of people who are trying to speak the truth,” he said. He added that this is his second movie with the director and he fell in love with his perspective. “He gives me my own space to perform. As an actor, I have enough freedom. I use my body to communicate my feelings and opinions about the story. However, it was challenging for me to act,” said Maryanto.

Actor Yangshik Tso of ‘Balloon’ where she plays a nun said that she picks her roles while reading the script and finds an emotional connect with the script.

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