The Festival des 3 Continents included 14 Iconic Indian Films in the Classics Section at its 44th Edition

Fresh off the success of the Bachchan Back To The Beginning Festival, the not-for-profit organization founded by filmmaker and archivist Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Film Heritage Foundation has co-presented and programmed Indian films for the Classics section at the 44th edition of the prestigious Festival des 3 Continents that was hosted from the 18th to the 27th of November 2022 in Nantes, France.

A special section this year at the festival was the highlight of the finest films dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s from Africa, Latin America and Asia, including an eclectic assortment of 14 Indian films. Among the stalwart Indian directors whose films were screened are Ritwik Ghatak, Aravindan Govindan, John Abraham, and Saeed Akhtar Mirza. The Indian films that were screened at the prestigious festival included Thamp, Kummatty, Agraharathil Kazhuthai, Amma Ariyan, Thaneer Thaneer, Titash Ekti Nadir Naam, Ashad Ka Ek Din, Khandhar, Om-Dar-B-Dar, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Utsav, Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan and Disha.

The Indian delegation traveled to France this year for the festival comprises of Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Sai Paranjpye and Sanjiv Shah to present these films.

A pillar of cinephilia for more than 40 years, the 10-day-long Festival des 3 Continents enjoys a long-standing legacy of discovering some of the greatest names in international cinema before their mainstream recognition including the likes of Hirokazu Kore-eda (Japan), Souleymane Cissé (Mali), Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan), Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), Wong Kar-wai (Hong Kong), Jia Zhang-ke (China) and Wang Bing (China) amongst others. In 2006, for the first time in the world, the Festival des 3 Continents presented the complete Satyajit Ray film collection.

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, Film Heritage Foundation states, “Film Heritage Foundation is very proud to co-present an eclectic selection of 14 Indian classics at the 44th edition of the Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes this November. I would like to thank Jérôme Baron, the Artistic Director of the festival, for giving us this incredible opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse film heritage at a festival known for its remarkable programming of films focused on Asia, Africa and Latin America. The selection reflects the complexity and diversity of Indian cinema and we have attempted to capture in a microcosm the vast breadth of Indian cinema. These radical filmmakers who rebelled against the constraints of commerce and created films with an artistic and political impact have left a legacy that must be cherished and revived. This celebration of the rebellious poets of Indian cinema in France reaffirms Film Heritage Foundation’s commitment to the preservation and restoration of India’s rich film heritage, especially those films that won acclaim, but live on the fringes of the mainstream, and hence are in even greater danger of disappearing as the commercial world turns its backs on them.”

Renowned filmmaker and author Saeed Akhtar Mirza states, “I am honoured that my film “Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan” has been selected to be screened at the prestigious Festival des 3 Continents in France. I am looking forward to presenting my film forty-four years after its release to an international audience at a festival that showcases the best of cinema. I would like to thank Film Heritage Foundation and its director, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, for making this happen.”

Jérôme Baron, Artistic Director, Festival des 3 Continents states, “Cinephile curiosity likes to be carried away by unpredictable currents. Indian cinema is not at all unknown to me, far from it. But until last May, the name of Govindan Aravindan was attached to a list of filmmakers whose film titles I knew, but had only been able to watch partially, a scenario made more difficult by distance and the lack of opportunity here in France to be able to know a little more. This gap promised to be partly filled with the announcement of the presentation at the Cannes Film Festival of the restoration of Thamp that Aravindan directed in 1978. And I must say that my amazement was as intense as it was lasting. It didn’t take much to be tempted to see the next Festival des 3 Continents host an Indian retrospective, an idea that immediately met with Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s support and which marked the beginning of a complicit and unfailing collaboration with the Film Heritage Foundation, of which he is the passionate founder. Reviewing films seen in the past, checking what we thought we knew by jogging our memory, making connections between known films and many others discovered on a new trip to India last July, has made it possible to present a program which includes fourteen films that showcase the linguistic, cultural and aesthetic diversity of Indian cinema between 1970 and the very beginning of the 1990s. This retrospective will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the 2023 festival season in France and the audience of Festival des 3 Continents will have the pleasure of discovering works of Indian cinema, most of which have never been seen in France. The public will benefit from the presence among us of Sai Paranjpye, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Sanjiv Shah, Karan Kapoor and of course Shivendra Singh Dungarpur who will share their experience and knowledge. It will be an Indian autumn for us and there is no doubt that we will find it sweeter by warming ourselves with the pleasure of watching these films which speak of the richness of Indian cinema, for which every effort should be made to preserve its heritage.

About The Films

  1. Thamp (The Circus Tent) (1978) – directed by Aravindan Govindan – restored by Film Heritage Foundation
  2. Kummatty (The Bogeyman) (1979) – directed by Aravindan Govindan – restored by Film Heritage Foundation
  3. Agraharathil Kazhuthai (Donkey In A Brahmin Village) (1977) – directed by John Abraham
  4. Amma Ariyan (Report to Mother) (1986) – directed by John Abraham
  5. Thaneer Thaneer (Water Water) (1981) – directed by K. Balachander
  6. Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (A River Called Titash) (1973) – directed by Ritwik Ghatak
  7. Ashad Ka Ek Din (One Day Before the Rainy Season) (1971) – directed by Mani Kaul
  8. Khandhar (The Ruins) (1983) – directed by Mrinal Sen
  9. Om-Dar-B-Dar (1988) – directed by Kamal Swaroop
  10. Hun Hunshi Hunshilal (Love in the Time of Malaria) (1992) – directed by Sanjiv Shah
  11. 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981) – directed by Aparna Sen
  12. Utsav (Festival) (1984) – directed by Girish Karnad
  13. Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastan (The Strange Fate of Arvind Desai) (1978) – directed by Saeed Akhtar Mirza
  14. Disha (Direction) (1990) – directed by Sai Paranjpye


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