Venturing Off the Mainstream


  • August 21, 2015


Venturing Off the Mainstream

Venturing Off the Mainstream – New Directions in Indian Cinema
Dharamshala International Film Festival 2014

A Panel Discussion with Hansal Mehta, Rajat Kapoor, Q and Umesh Kulkarni.
Moderated by Aseem Chhabra.

Hansal Mehta is an Indian film director and screenwriter, best known for Shahid, film that opened the first edition of DIFF in 2012, and for which he won the 2013 National Film Award for Best Direction. Shahid was a biographical film on the life of human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was murdered in 2010. His film CityLights is a social drama starring Rajkummar Rao and Patralekha in the lead roles. The film is a remake of the BAFTA nominated British film Metro Manila (2013), and screened at DIFF 2014.

Rajat Kapoor is an Indian actor, writer and director born in Delhi in 1961. He made his acting debut in the 1989 Kumar Shahani film Khayal Gatha. His directorial debut was with Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One (1997). In 2003, he wrote and directed Raghu Romeo, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. Kapoor then directed and starred in Mixed Doubles (2006). His latest film, Ankhon Dekhi (2014) received critical acclaim and was the opening night film at DIFF 2014.

Born and raised in Kolkata, Q started a progressive art collective, OVERDOSE, making original film, design and music. He produces, writes, shoots and directs himself. His documentary, Love In India won the National Award. Besides that, his cult film Gandu won several awards in different film festivals around the world and also earned him the Best Director award at the SAIFF, New York. His film Tasher Desh won him critical acclaim all around the world and screened at DIFF 2013, while Nabarun had its World Premiere at DIFF 2014.

Umesh Kulkarni studied film-making in the Film and Television Institute of  India where he specialised in direction. His diploma film Girni (The Grinding Machine) won the President’s Gold Medal for best short film and best direction in the year 2005. His short documentary Three of Us premiered in Berlinale 2008, and showed at DIFF 2014. His first feature film Valu (The Wild Bull) along with his two other films, Vihir (The Well) and Deool (A Temple) were premiered in Rotterdam 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. Deool also showed at DIFF in 2012.