On 5 January 2020 the fourth installation of the Arthouse Asia Film Festival opened its doors with a grand gala and a warm welcome by Mr. Prosenjit Chatterjee for the artists, the jury and other representatives of the film industry present. The festival features 31 films, most of which will be seen in Kolkata for the first time. Shapath Das, the festival’s director, strongly supports renunciating arthouse film as a genre in its full glory in South Asia.

After the inauguration ceremony, the award winning French film “Camille” was screened. The opening film of Boris Lojkine is the story of Camille Lepage, a French photojournalist who was killed at age 26 in the Central African Republic. The film is an excellent portrayal of socio-political conditions of CAR and the introspective journey of a human being.

On the next day the festival continued with panels regarding the issues of international film distribution and challenges that independent filmmakers face in the international film festival circuit. Another discussion with French producers Juliette Grandmont and Mark Irmer touched upon topics such as the international co-production market and positioning strategy that an independent filmmaker should adopt for production and funding.

Apart from a roundtable discussion moderated by eminent film critic Saibal Chatterjee about the challenges faced by Bengali independent filmmakers, crowdfunding, OTT platforms and independent film movements, four captivating films were screened on the day including ‘Chola’ directed by Sanal Kumar Sashidharan, “The Raven and the Seagull” by Lasse Lau, “Vincent Avant Midi” by Guillaume Mainguet and “Nirvana Inn” by Vijay Jaipal.

The Arthouse Asia Film Festival will be continuing till 11th January at Bashushree cinema with even more exciting screenings and sessions to follow.

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Ever since I watched Takeshi Kitano's "Hana-Bi" for the first time (and many times after that) I have been a cinephile. While much can be said about the technical aspects of film, coming from a small town in Germany, I cherish the notion of art showing its audience something which one does normally avoid, neglect or is unable to see for many different reasons. Often the stories told in films have helped me understand, discover and connect to something new which is a concept I would like to convey in the way I talk and write about films. Thus, I try to include some info on the background of each film as well as a short analysis (without spoilers, of course), an approach which should reflect the context of a work of art no matter what genre, director or cast. In the end, I hope to pass on my joy of watching film and talking about it.