TGIFF captivates audience at Expo 2020

The Great Indian Film Festival opened with Bittu, a short film which was India’s Oscar entry last year

By CT Desk

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Published: Thu 17 Mar 2022, 5:58 PM

Audiences were captivated at The Great Indian Film Festival (TGIFF) that took place recently at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Founded by award-winning producer Vevek Paul, the three-day event is a touring film festival, which aims to bring global filmmakers and cultures of the world together on a single platform with the purpose of making art and cinema accessible to all. TGIFF greatly supports young talents and the innovative, shorter medium of storytelling. Through this festival, it showcases Indian talent to the rest of the world.

This year’s festival opened with Bittu, a short film which was India’s Oscar entry last year. Indian film director Shekhar Kapur said, “I was very moved by the film. I had heard about the story but watching it made me realise how impactful the story is.”

The day of the event also screened Animal by Nyla Al Khaja, UAE’s first female film director. It portrays the story of a 7-year-old child’s experience of growing up in an iron-fist household with a sociopathic and narcissistic father. Sharing her passion for directing short films, Nyla said, “The film industry largely comprises of men, but it is changing, albeit slowly. Short films are a very different format and enable storytellers to get the message across quicker. They are windows into the cultures of different people, and one must not underestimate their power.”

Verses of War was also screened during which Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, who is also the lead actor in the film, joined everyone at Expo 2020 through a video call. Additionally, the event showcased over 40 documentaries at the Terra Auditorium.

The second day of the festival showed world-class documentaries with numerous media students from across the UAE attending the event. A panel was also held wherein the future of documentaries was discussed.

On the festival’s last day, short films were screened for children. TGIFF encourages students to use technology and their mobile phones to tell their stories. This small endeavour has now turned into Rising Stars Mobile film festival which showcases short films made by children twice a year on TGIFF’s YouTube channel.

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