top of page

Art@IITGN Film Festival 2024

Curator: Don Palathara
Coordinator: Jaison Manjaly
Abharkha
Himadri Mahesh. 94 mins
Milan is a quiet and aloof child who shares a unique bond with his mother and with Girish sir, his blind music teacher at the village school. Meera is a teacher at the same school. Her story is of struggle and resilience in her personal and professional life as she holds on stoically through her journey in a lonely and isolated marriage.
The story is a tapestry of small moments of smiles, hidden anguish, cries and whispers of Milan's constant struggle and of Meera's hope. It succeeds and fails, but eventually lies in the moments in between.
Nishiddho
Tara Ramanujan. 124 mins
Chaavi, a part-time midwife and house help originally from Tamil descent residing in Kochi, strikes up a friendship with Rudra, a Bengali idol-maker turned construction worker. Both are troubled individuals - Rudra grapples with guilt over his uncle's accidental demise at a construction site, while Chaavi carries the weight of being unwanted, having survived an attempted female infanticide. Their encounter and subsequent interactions form the heart of this narrative.
Laila Aur Satt Geet
Pushpendra Singh. 96 mins
A fiercely beautiful nomadic shepherdess named Laila catches the eye of a lustful young herdsman. The two marry, but she must fend off the advances of a local forest ranger and the chief of police in his home village.
Laila Aur Satt Geet is part allegory, part ethnographic study, and part feminist fairy tale, using the narrative device of local folk songs - seven, to be exact - to describe the protagonist - Laila's inner and outer worlds.
Aeden: Garden of desire
Sanju Surendran. 130 mins
A kaleidoscope of characters creating visions of love and death. Aedan is more of a folktale in its elemental qualities and evocation of eternal human passions. Following the tradition of Indian epic narration, the structure of the film is that of a story within a story. The stories attempt a microscopic examination of human nature. As the story courses through the frustrations of the characters, the idyllic landscape of a beautiful Kerala village takes on diabolic dimensions during night time.
Kayo Kayo Colour:
Shahrukhkhan Chavada. 96 mins
Set in Kalupur, a neighbourhood in the old city of Ahmedabad, India, this slice-of-life film follows the daily life of Razzak and his family through an observational lens. Razzak, an unemployed father of two, endeavours to own an auto-rickshaw for business while his daughter, Ruba, is introduced to an interesting drink worth 100 rupees that she can't afford. Through a series of everyday events, the film uncovers the family’s struggles, interpersonal conflicts, joys, and ways of life as they navigate through the intertwined yet unassuming layers of social and political influence. The family is caught off guard as an unexpected move threatens their fate and alters life as they know it.
Amar Colony
Siddharth Chauhan. 75 mins
Meera is beautiful, pregnant and in search of some spice in her life. Mohit is young, idle, and lives next door with Devki, his abusive mother. Meera has a boring and absent husband.
But wait to see what the guy is hiding. Her aunty, Durga is old and hopes to become immortal, her other half has a secret in his shop that nobody knows about, except his young grandchild who is smarter than it seems. They all live in a dilapidated building called Amar Colony.
Amar Colony is life itself with its psychological conundrums, its scandals, and its politics. Its inhabitants embody multigenerational humanity, bound together in a limited space. They meet, they talk, share secrets, believe in god, and refuse to die.
Mother, Who will weave now?
Amit Dutta. 25 mins
The film attempts to sample and mirror the grand tapestry of Indian textile tradition and history by interweaving snippets of Indian cloth on an editing table, using the poetic metres of classical Indian literature and sewn together with the words and motifs of the medieval weaver-saint Kabir.
Touch Air
Amit Dutta. 14 mins
An homage to the influential practice and philosophy of artist Nasreen Mohamedi. The film incorporates Mohamedi’s personal notes and her unique singular vision, drawing upon the aesthetics of the bare line, and its metaphysical journey eliminating physical borders/barriers.
Koozhangal
P S Vinothraj. 75 mins
An alcoholic abusive father drags his naive son out of school and embarks on a journey to bring back his wife who left him. The commotion at his wife’s village pushes the duo to walk back home where the unforgiving barren land and the punishing Sun force them to confront their emotions. This vicious cycle of love and hate is bound to repeat itself.
Dhuin
Achal Mishra. 50 mins
Dhuin translates to fog in the Maithili language.
Set in Darbhanga, Dhuin revolves around an aspiring actor named Pankaj, who is a theatre performer from a small town who wants to succeed in Mumbai. He must measure his goals against his responsibilities towards his family, which is suffering financially as a result of the lockdown and make a decision.
The Gold Laden Sheep and The Sacred Mountain:
Ridham Janve. 97 mins
After an Air Force Jet crashes in the Upper Himalayas, an old Shepherd leaves his Herd to find its pilot. But the mountain where the Jet fell is sacred and the Shepherd’s intentions are not. He struggles through quests of fears and desires, as he treads on forbidden ground. The herd left behind disintegrates as predators roam around and they are left head-less.
Join us for an enriching celebration of independent cinema at the upcoming festival! Hosted at the prestigious Jibaben Patel (Kanisa) Memorial Auditorium, this event promises to immerse you in thought-provoking narratives and visually stunning storytelling crafted by acclaimed filmmakers across India.

Curated by Film Director Don Palathara, Artist-in-Residence at IIT Gandhinagar, this festival offers a unique opportunity to engage with the creative minds behind the masterpieces. Through enlightening discussions, you'll gain valuable insights into their work and have the chance to interact with fellow film enthusiasts.


Don't miss out on this weekend of cinematic exploration! Mark your calendars and join us for an unforgettable celebration of art and cinema.

Films

Artists of the

IITGN community

We envision forming a strong Network of Creative Practitioners at IIT Gandhinagar to interact with each other as well as contribute to the overall vision of ART@IITGN. Encouraging Artists of the IITGN community who are practicing any form of ART (self-taught, formally trained, amateur, professional) to connect with us via this form.

Inviting

Collaboration

We envision forming a strong Network of Creative Practitioners at IIT Gandhinagar to interact with each other as well as contribute to the overall vision of ART@IITGN. Encouraging Artists of the IITGN community who are practicing any form of ART (self-taught, formally trained, amateur, professional) to connect with us via this form.

Art@IITGN invites expressions of interest for collaborations with institutes, organizations and individuals. Reach us via art(at)iitgn.ac.in

Sanju Surendran
Sanju Surendran, has showcased his films globally at numerous film festivals. He is renowned for crafting distinctive works for festivals and has collaborated with prominent writers on fictional projects. His artistic vision is influenced by Mani Kaul's ideas and Indian Aesthetics. Sanju holds a degree in Film Direction from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. In 2015, he received the esteemed 62nd Indian National Award (RAJAT KAMAL for Best Arts/Cultural film) for his work 'KAPILA'.
Pushpendra Singh
Born in Sainyaa, near Agra, India in 1978. After studying at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, he first worked as an actor and assistant director. In 2014, his directorial debut Lajwanti screened in the Berlinale Forum. His second feature film, Ashwatthama, premiered in the New Currents Competition at the Busan International Film Festival while his hybrid film Maru ro moti was shown at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Siddharth Chauhan
Born and brought up in Shimla, Siddharth Chauhan is a self-taught and award winning filmmaker who has made several short films. Driven by the need to create value, he makes most of his films in his hometown - Shimla and believes that world class content can be created anywhere. Amar Colony is his debut feature film. He is currently based out of Mumbai & is working on his second feature and a web show.
Himadri Mahesh
Himadri Mahesh is a filmmaker who discovered her passion for the craft while studying engineering at Nirma Institute in Ahmedabad. This led her to explore filmmaking during her college days. She further honed her skills at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), focusing on assisting in student projects. In a short time, Himadri has worked on significant projects across various film forms, including advertising, short films, documentaries, and feature films. Her debut feature film, "Abharkha," premiered at the prestigious Mumbai International Film Festival. She is currently working on her second feature film, continuing to evolve and expand her creative horizons in the world of filmmaking.
Ridham Janve
Ridham trained as a communication designer at NID, Ahmedabad, before finding his calling in the moving images. His debut feature film, The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain, featured at leading international film festivals. Apart from making films, he writes, paints and sculpts,pushing the boundaries of form and often landing in unexplored territories.
Tara Ramanujan
Nishiddho is Tara Ramanujan's debut as a director. Samarppanam, an investigative drama (Malayalam, 2017), was her debut as screenwriter. Tara likes to craft stories that are realistic yet imaginative, preferring to keep them logical and plot driven. Advocating a feminine perspective, her central characters are strong, independent women. She writes, watches movies, listens to music, travels and reads, whenever possible. Tara dabbles in doodling- to her, the doorway to ideas. She enjoys all movie genres, but prefers westerns, suspense and psychological thrillers; Sergio Leone and Hitchcock, and these days Scandinavian films, being favorites.
Shahrukhkhan Chavada
Shahrukhkhan CHAVADA (India) spent his formative years in Palanpur, North Gujarat, before relocating to Pune, where he learned the ropes in media, animation and filmmaking. Chavada has been deeply influenced by Italian, Iranian and French new wave cinema. Kayo Kayo colour is his debut film, depicting his fascination with the routine life.
Achal Mishra
Born in Darbhanga, Achal spent his younger years moving through boarding schools. He later went on to study Film Studies at King’s College London but dropped out in the first year. He chose to spend more of his time at the British Film Institute watching, learning and unlearning from artists who he now borrows from. His debut film, Gamak Ghar had won the Manish Acharya Award for New Voices in Indian Cinema at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2019 with Star. His films are also streaming on MUBI.
PS Vinothraj
​P. S. Vinothraj is a Tamil film director and screenwriter. He wrote and directed the critically- acclaimed Tamil film, Pebbles which is also his debut film. Pebbles was screened at the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam held in Netherlands on 4 February 2021, where it received the Tiger Award at the festival. His latest film Kottukkaali was premiered in Berlin Film Festival, 2024.
Amit Dutta
​Amit Dutta is an Indian experimental filmmaker and writer. He is considered to be one of the most significant contemporary practitioners of experimental cinema known for his distinctive style of filmmaking rooted in Indian aesthetic theories and personal symbolism resulting in images that are visually rich and acoustically stimulating. His works mostly deal with subjects of art history, ethno-anthropology and cultural inheritance through cinema, many times merging research and documentation with an open imagination .

Film Directors

Dr. Sherin Sabu
Sherin Sabu holds the position of Assistant Professor of Sociology at the School of Liberal Arts, IIT Jodhpur. She obtained her PhD and completed postdoctoral research at IIT Mumbai, and she is an alumna of Lady Sriram College for Women and Tata Institute of Social Sciences. With an impressive portfolio of four international publications, she has also left her mark in the film industry. Sherin has acted in various films and co-written multiple film scripts. Notably, her recent works include "Everything Is Cinema" (2020), where she starred and co-wrote, and "Family" (2023), for which she served as a co-writer. Both films premiered at the prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam.
Argha Manna
Argha Manna, a cancer researcher turned comics artist, combines his artistic and research skills to explore historical perspectives of scientific development and social issues. He bridges the gap between academic research and visual storytelling. Notable projects include 'Famine Tales from India and Britain' and a comic book on Ant Network Theory. Argha collaborates with institutions like the University of Exeter, the British Library, and MIT to translate complex scientific concepts into comics, particularly focusing on infectious disease research. His storytelling philosophy emphasizes a blend of text, images, and comics, featured in Nature India.
Madhumita Sengupta
Madhumita Sengupta, born in Guwahati, Assam, pursued her education in Kolkata, obtaining a B.A. in History from Presidency College and an M.A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi, followed by a PhD from the University of Calcutta. She taught at Rani Birla Girls’ College for over a decade before joining Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar in 2014 as an Assistant Professor in Humanities & Social Sciences. Specializing in British colonial history, mainly focusing on British Assam, she explores the social and cultural impacts of colonial rule, linguistic identities, and colonial language policies. Her forthcoming book, "Becoming Assamese: Colonialism and New Subjectivities in Northeast India," delves into these themes, while her current research centers on colonialism and religious transformations in Assam.
Manoj Singh Rana
Manoj Singh Rana, a Research Scholar at IITGN, balances his academic pursuits with a role as a Newsreader at All India Radio. With a passion for language and literature, he served as an assistant professor at the Department of Humanities, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, and as a guest faculty member at Government Degree College, Purola. His teaching experience spans English Literature and Communication for undergraduates. His proficiency extends to instructional design, where he crafted ILTs and WBTs for various software applications. Manoj's multifaceted background reflects his dedication to academia and communication.
Rosa Maria Perez
Rosa Maria Perez, a distinguished anthropologist, and senior researcher at the Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), formerly served as a professor at ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon until August 2020. With a global footprint, she's been a visiting professor at esteemed institutions across the USA, Europe, Mozambique, Brazil, and India, including IITGN since 2012. Perez's expertise spans Indian society, focusing on Dalit and women's issues, colonialism, post-colonialism, fieldwork methodology, public anthropology, and human rights. She advises the UN Commission for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and European Councils on Asia. Her latest co-edited book, "Transdisciplinary Ethnography in India: Women in the Field" (Routledge, London and NY, 2021), underscores her profound contributions.

Panelists

Don Palathara
Don Palathara made his feature film debut with Shavam in 2015, which was later showcased on Netflix. In 2019, he made 1956, Central Travancore, which was later premiered at the 42nd Moscow International Film Festival. His next film, Joyful Mystery (2020), was nominated for a Golden St. George at the 43rd Moscow International Film Festival. That same year, Everything Is Cinema, his fifth feature, had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. His latest film, "Family," premiered at IFFR in 2023. During 2021–2022, MUBI did a spotlight on all his films up until then. Don has also served on selection committees and juries at various film festivals, including IFFK. He won FFSI's John Abraham award for the year 2020 for 1956, Central Travancore. Don is part of the BAFTA Breakthrough cohort; India chapter of 2023.  He is now an Artist In Residence at IITGN.

Curator

ART@IITGN
ART at the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN) is an initiative that promotesand facilitates artistic expressions and engagements on campus. Art as a medium and practicenurtures liberal, inclusive, interdisciplinary, and futuristic values. With Art@IITGN, we envisionan environment which will allow for ingenuity to thrive while simultaneously bridging thetransference of intergenerational knowledge systems. This initiative provides spaces on campusfor students and community members to experiment with art.

Organiser

bottom of page