Festival Fever: Top Films Picks From The Festival Circuit

We’re excited for this year’s International Film Festival India, which starts on 20th November. Founded in 1952, the International Film Festival India is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia, celebrating the excellence of film art and bringing together film lovers from around the world. 

To mark this exciting event, we’ve compiled some of the best films which have been included in some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world. If you haven’t yet checked out our fantastic resource for members, IndieFlix, then take a look at our picks and get watching!

The Red Balloon directed by Albert Lamorisse

Winner of the prestigious Palme d’Or for short films at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, The Red Balloon follows a young boy through the streets of Paris. When he finds a red balloon which seems to be sentient, the boy and his new companion go on an adventure. The film is striking for its setting in the Belleville area of Paris which was later demolished in a governmental slum-clearing effort. Critics praised the film highly for its beguiling performances, humorous turns and poignancy.

Sati Shaves her Head directed by Tejal Shah

Sati Shaves her Head was selected in 2012 for the India International Film Festival of Tampa Bay, a festival dedicated to creating a platform for Indian cinema in the USA. Inspired by the much loved F.Scott Fitzgerald short story, Berenice Bobs Her Hair, Sati Shaves her Head re-imagines this fish out of water story in a modern setting. With plenty of heart, Sati Shaves her Head is a riveting watch.

Breadmakers directed by Yasmin Fedda

Breadmakers is a revealing documentary about a bakery and its twelve staff, all of whom have learning difficulties. Exploring the intricate social relationships which keep the business running, Breadmakers is notable for its use of sound, it’s score simply being the industrial sounds of the bakery. The documentary made a huge splash at the Sundance Film Festival, having been selected out of some 2,000 entries. Breadmakers then went on to win a BAFTA award for the best short Scottish documentary. 

Colivia (The Cage) directed by Adrian Sitaru

Colivia (The Cage) was selected for the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival, and has been lauded by critics. Colivia tells the story of a boy who brings home a sick dove, throwing a his relationship with his father into turmoil. This tender portrait of a broken family looks at life and death, how relationships can be repaired.

Deafness directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy

Deafness made a huge impact on the film festival circuit in 2010. Chronicling life at a deaf-mute boarding school, Ukrainian director, Slaboshpytskiy, tenderly and often shockingly, captures a world that is often unseen. The film stands out for its reconstruction of life in the school in real time, which makes for a compelling eleven minutes. Nominated for a Golden Bear in Berlin, Deafness is a must-watch. 

Christmas Comes on a Bicycle directed by Park Sun-Uk

A film about unrequited love, Christmas Comes on a Bicycle tells the story of Young-soo and his love for Eun-jung. However, Eun-jung is so busy with her family’s bicycle store that she doesn’t even notice it’s Christmas, let alone the affections of Young-soo. This is a powerful short film looking at the minute detail of love and relationships, and how they can shape us.

A Espada A Rosa (The Sword and the Rose) directed by João Nicolau

Climbing aboard a 15th Century Pirate vessel seems like a great idea to Manuel at first, until things start to go very much awry. Desperate to escape his everyday life, Manuel is catapulted into a whole new world when he takes to the sea. When treason on board sends events spiralling, Manuel has to choose between his morals and saving his skin. Nicolau’s film is full of imagination while still exploring the darker facets of human nature, asking pressing questions about humanity.