Saturday, 4 January 2014 - 10:40
Rotterdam Film Fest opens with Indian drama
An Indian drama about a Sikh family trying to hide their identity and create a new life for themselves during the 1947 Partition of India is slated to kick off the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the festival announced. Qissa: the Tale of a Lonely Ghost opens the 43rd International Film Festival Rotterdam Qissa will open the 43rd edition of the festival on January 22. Written and directed by Anup Singh, it stars Irrfan Khan, famous for his roles in Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi. The movie won the award for top Asian film at the Toronto festival last year. Funding for the film began with the Hubert Bals Fund, a grant organized by the IFFR, ten years ago. Money was also provided in part by the Netherlands Film Fund, and funds from Germany, France and the European Union. “This is a great example of the power of the [Hubert Bals] Fund to help filmmakers from countries where making an independent feature film is by no means a matter of course," announced IFFR manager Mart Dominicus. "Financial support at crucial times in the production process can act as a catalyst for international recognition.” The Partition of India was a result of the rapid withdrawal of the British from the Indian subcontinent. It led to the creation of India, populated mainly by Hindu and Sikh people, and the mostly Muslim Pakistan as independent states. Millions rushed the newly drawn borders, and as many as 500,000 people died in religious warfare and ethnic cleansing. Qissa was produced by the German company, Heimatfilm, along with Augustus Film in the Netherlands, Ciné-Sud Promotion in France and the National Film Development Corporation of India.