‘Seven Winters in Tehran,’ ‘Jaggi’ Win Inaugural Cinevesture Festival

Steffi Niederzoll’s Berlin, CPH: DOX and El Gouna-winning documentary “Seven Winters in Tehran” added another award to its collection with the best international film honor at India’s inaugural Cinevesture International Festival (CIFF).

Anmol Sidhu’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominee “Jaggi” won best Indian film and Elham Ehsas’ BAFTA and Clermont-Ferrand nominee “Yellow” was named as best short.

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The festival took place March 27-31 in Chandigarh, northern India. A three-day phone filmmaking workshop hosted by Chitkara International School and produced by Cinevesture saw students from five schools participating with Ritisha Sinha’s film “Unveiled” from Mount Carmel School winning an award.

Former Cannes film market director Jerome Paillard, Indian actor and producer Rana Daggubati (“Baahubali”) and Nicole Guillemet, who was co-director of the Sundance Film Festival, and Indian filmmaker Ajitpal Singh (Sundance title “Fire in the Mountains”) are on the festival advisory board.

The festival had an accompanying market with 20 projects from established and emerging South Asian voices. The market component began with a day-long workshop that provided investors an overview of the film industry, the risks and benefits involved, the legalities of the film business, conversations with established producers and a case study of successful ventures by entrepreneurs.

A range of masterclasses and panels headlined by a range of luminaries including filmmakers Shekhar Kapur (“What’s Love Got to Do with It?”) and Karan Johar (“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani”) featured during the festival. The lineup also included actors Jaideep Ahlawat (“Paatal Lok”), Roshan Mathew (“Paradise”), Suvinder Vicky (“Kohrra”), Rajshri Deshpande (“Trial by Fire”), Boman Irani (“Dunki”), Rasika Dugal (“Mirzapur”), Abhay Deol (“Trial by Fire”), actor-producers Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal (“Girls Will be Girls”), filmmakers Honey Trehan (“Punjab ’95”), Tahira Kashyap (“Sharmajee Ki Beti”), Sudhir Mishra (“Tanaav”), Ajitpal Singh (“Tabbar”), Anurag Singh (“Kesri”), Saugata Mukherjee, head of content at streamer SonyLiv, and musician Kaveri Kapur.

Nina Lath, founder and CEO of Cinevesture said: “We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the incredible support and trust this pilot edition of CIFF has received from the film community, the response and acceptance of the beautiful people of Chandigarh, and the faith entrusted in us by our partners and collaborators. Without all of these, it would have been impossible for us to pull off this event in a short span of 10 weeks. We thank them all and look forward to building these relationships further over the years ahead.”

Festival director, V.S. Kundu, added: “The masterclasses and panel discussions were lively and meaningful. The film market at CIFF built a solid foundation as an intimate yet professional networking and mentoring platform. We are grateful to all our guests and the people of Chandigarh for making it a grand success and we promise to return next year with a bigger and even better edition of CIFF.”

Bina Paul, artistic director, said: “The film market at CIFF is emerging as a platform for producers and filmmakers across the country to network, build skills and do business. The film festival offers to the people of Chandigarh an opportunity to see the best films from across the world. This synergy creates a new culture and business.”

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