New Delhi: National award-winning filmmaker Gurvinder Singh's "Adh Chanani Raat" (Crescent Night), Rahat Mahajan's "The Cloud Messanger", and Mahesh Narayan's "Malik" are among the Indian films selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2022.
The festival, which has gone virtual for a second consecutive year for its 51st edition, takes place from January 26 to February 6.
"The Cloud Messanger" by Mahajan features in the festival's Tiger Competition segment, a platform dedicated for emerging film talent.
Mahajan's debut film revolves around a 16-year-old school boy, Jaivardhana, who isn't thriving in the strict authoritarian environment of his school. A temporary respite comes when a former teacher offers students a photography workshop where Jaivardhana meets a new student, Tarini.
The film, whose title is inspired by the epic "Meghdoot" by Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, is a coming-of-age story that mixes contemporary and ancient storytelling.
Director Rajeev Ravi, best known for his Malayalam films "Annayum Rasoolum", "Njan Steve Lopez", "Kammatti Paadam", features in the Big Screen Competition segment of the festival with his film "The Harbour", an epic take on class struggle in 1940s Kerala.
The festival's Harbour segment, which offers the broadest range of contemporary cinema, features Singh's "Crescent Night", his third feature in the trilogy of Punjabi language films after "Anhey Ghorey Da Daan" (Alms for a Blind Horse) in 2011 and "Chauthi Koot" (The Fourth Direction) in 2015 to be adapted from literary works of noted Punjabi authors.
The film is based on Gurdial Singh's eponymous "Crescent Night" and showcases the patriarchal, hierarchic life in rural Punjab through the story of a villager who returns home after spending 15 years in prison for committing a murder to save his father's honour.
The segment also features Malayalam language feature "Chavittu" by Sajas Rahman, Shinos Rahman. Set in Kerala, the film revolves around a theatre company as it prepares for its performance during festivities.
"Malik", by Narayan, starring Malayalam language superstar Fahadh Faasil in the titular role, is set in a small coastal town in Kerala. The film revolves around Ali Sulaiman, the godfather in Ramadally, a small town where Muslims and Christians live peacefully side by side.
While preparing to go on a pilgrimage, he is arrested on the suspicion of the murder of a criminal competitor in a nearby town. His arrest unleashes a chain of violent events, intrigues, and memories of how he obtained his wealth.
IFFR's Bright Future segment, dedicated to young and emerging film talent, features Krishnendu Kalesh's sci-fi dystopian drama "Hawk's Muffin", an experimental film that explores themes of war, love, migration, capitalism and eco-fascism.
The Cinema Regained section, which showcases restored classics, documentaries on film culture and explorations of cinema's heritage, will feature late filmmaker Mani Kaul's 1973 film "Duvidha", based on Vijaydan Detha's Rajasthani folk story of the same name.
This section also features Geetika Narang Abbasi's "Urf", a fascinating documentary that explores the life of celebrity lookalikes in India.
Tanmay Chowdhary and Tanu Chowdhary's short film "Madhu", features in the Short and Mid Length segment, and revolves around two friends reuniting during the Durga Puja celebrations and how their feelings for one another are revealed to the audiences.
"Murmurs of the Jungle" by Sohil Vaidya in the segment explores humanity's symbiotic relationship to nature.
The festival opens with American filmmaker Amanda Kramer's "Please Baby Please".