The Habitat International Film Festival (HIFF) is set to return after a two-year hiatus. Scheduled to take place at the India Habitat Centre from 6-15 May 2022, the festival’s impressive lineup includes films from India as well as across the globe and India. There is a nice mix of award-winning and festival favorite films which include, Nathalie Alvarez Mesen’s Spanish language film from Costa Rica, Clara Sola, entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards, Stefan Ruzowitsky’s Austrian-Luxembourgish film Hinterland which won the Prix du Public UBS award at the 74th Locarno Film Festival, Lukas Pitscheider’s The Last Austrians, winner at the Zurich Film Festival, the Finnish film The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See The Titanic, winner of numerous film awards, including at the Venice Film Festival, El Gouna Film Festival, Norwegian International Film Festival, and The Metamorphosis of Birds—a Portuguese entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
A few other international titles to look forward to at this year’s festival include the Spanish film Parallel Mothers (directed by the legendary Pedro Almodovar), the Iranian film A Hero (directed byAsghar Farhadi), the Egyptian film Amira (directed by Mohamed Diab), the German film I’m You Man (directed by Maria Schrader), the Italian films A Chiara (directed by Jonas Carpignano) and Bad Tales (directed by Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo), the French film The Night Doctor (directed by Elie Wajeman), the Swedish film About Endlessness (directed by Roy Anderson), the Latvian language film The Year Before the War (directed by Dāvis Sīmanis), the Australian film The Drover’s Wife (directed by Leah Purcell), the Irish film Calm with Horses (directed by Nick Rowland), the Portuguese film The Metamorphosis of Birds (directed by Catarina Vasconcelos), and the Turkish film Brother’s Keeper (directed by Ferit Karahan).
This edition of the festival, which celebrates the coming together of the film fraternity and cinephiles, also brings together a pan-Indian selection of films from a plethora of Indian languages such as Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Bhojpuri, Assamese, Bengali, etc. Director G. Prabha’s Taya, Achal Mishra’s Dhuin, Ritesh Sharma’s Jhini Bini Chadariya, Madhuja Mukherjee’s Deep 6, Rahman Brothers’ Chavittu, Nikhil Mahajan’s Godavari are some of the rich offerings at the festival. A special selection of South Korean films such as In the Name of the Son, Chorokbam, Seire, The Book of Fish, and The Cave will be screened at the festival.
The festival also has a section of Malayalam films that paved the way for a New Wave of Malayalam cinema. Short films, documentaries (including Lovemobil and The Beatles and India), Q&A and interactive sessions, and a Festival Café serving a selection of International Street Food promise to provide just the right kind of mood and flavor for the festival. “The India Habitat Centre has become synonymous with the best in the arts and culture over the years. It is a great relief and pleasure for the entire team to be able to present another edition of the Habitat International Film Festival after a two-year gap necessitated by the pandemic,” rejoices Sunit Tandon, Director of India Habitat Centre.
Vidyun Singh, Creative Head Programmes, India Habitat Centre likes to describe the Habitat International Film Festival as an eclectic selection of award-winning and critically acclaimed films. “We are the IHC’s Programmes Department which deals with more than 300 programmes. So we don’t have a separate secretariat that’s working just on curating the festival which is required. You work throughout the year, searching, inviting, sorting, and short listing entries,” explains Singh. She further adds, “HIFF, though smaller and more niche in comparison to other film festivals, has carved out a special space and a loyal audience. I would like to emphasize that it is a cherry-picked curation of critically acclaimed and award-winning cinema, made possible by the generous cooperation and collaboration of the Embassies and Cultural Centres for which we are deeply grateful. We cannot wait to welcome back filmmakers and film lovers to Habitat”.
The Habitat International Film Festival right from its inception has evolved into an indispensable annual experience in the cultural calendar of Delhi. The schedule and film details are available on www.habitatworld.com. Free online passes are available on the website on a first-come, first-serve basis.