Top Picks for Must-See Movies at This Year’s AIFF Festival

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Film lovers in Marathwada gear up every January for the Ajanta-Ellora International Film Festival (AIFF), and this year’s ninth edition, kicking off on January 3, is no different.

AIFF offers cinephiles a chance to enjoy 60 top-notch films from around the globe. Not only do festival-goers get to enjoy renowned films, but they also have the opportunity to interact and listen to industry veterans like Javed Akhtar, Anubhav Sinha, R. Balki, Ashutosh Gowariker, and many others.

The lineup consists of a diverse selection of films in languages like Spanish, English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Persian, Russian, and Portuguese. With so many options, it’s only natural to feel a bit overwhelmed about what to watch.

While all the movies at the festival are highly recommended, it’s practically impossible to catch them all. To make things a bit easier, here are the top picks for must-see movies at this year’s AIFF Festival.

  • Fallen Leaves – dir. Aki Kaurismäki (Finland)
    It is a melancholic romantic comedy revolving around the lives of two lonely people stuck in dead-end jobs. The film sheds light on the monotony of their lives, exploring the search for connection. You should consider watching ‘Fallen Leaves’ for its portrayal of relatable characters dealing with the struggles of daily life. It is also Finland’s official entry for the Oscars.
  • Sthal (A Match) – dir. Jayant Digambar Somalkar (Marathi)
    Set in the Chandrapur District with a cast of first-time actors, the film talks about how marriages are arranged in villages and explores topics like patriarchy, colorism, and societal restrictions on girls. If you enjoy films that explore cultural nuances, and showcase the talent of new actors, ‘Sthal’ could be a compelling watch. The film also won a special award at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
  • 2018: Everyone Is A Hero – dir. Jude Anthany Joseph (Malayalam)
    2018 is the story of the Kerala floods in the same year depicting the survival of the people during the natural disaster. This film stands out as a must-watch due to its compelling storytelling and high technical standards. The film is hailed for its minimal use of VFX. Most scenes including flood are created using manually constructed sets. The film was also India’s official entry for the Oscars.
  • The Breaking Ice – dir. Anthony Chen (China/Singapore)
    Catch ‘The Breaking Ice’ on the big screen to see an unusual love triangle among three young adults in their twenties during winter. The film explores their personal struggles and overcoming sadness. If you enjoy movies about unique relationships, stunning visuals, and a free-spirited style of directing, this one is a must-see. It is Singapore’s submission for the Oscars.
  • Blaga’s Lessons – dir. Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria)
    It follows the story of Blaga, a recently widowed seventy-year-old, who falls victim to telephone scammers who steal the money she had saved for her husband’s grave. This evocative drama explores the vulnerability and challenges of senior citizens in today’s society. Watch it for a masterful performance of Eli Skorcheva as Blaga.
  • Anatomy Of A Fall – dir. Justine Triet (France)
    This year’s Palme d’Or-winning film is about a well-known novelist accused of murdering her husband, who was found dead outside their home. The emotionally devastating movie is a fierce courtroom drama that closely examines every part of their marriage and how we create personal stories for ourselves and others.
  • Flamenco Trilogy – dir. Carlos Saura
    In tribute to the legendary Spanish film director Carlos Saura, AIFF will screen his highly acclaimed Flamenco Trilogy. Each film in the trilogy – ‘Blood Wedding’, ‘Carmen’, and ‘Love, the Magician’ – focuses on a different aspect of flamenco dance. You must watch it to have a unique and immersive experience of the world of flamenco, celebrating the richness of Spanish culture.
  • Along with this, there’s an exciting lineup of classic and timeless gems, such as ‘Jait Re Jait’, ‘Guide’, and Mrinal Sen’s ‘Akaler Sandhane’. Get your delegate pass today and enjoy the festival from 3 to 7 January at Inox Cinemas in Prozone Mall.

Aticle by Mayur Deokar

Don't miss the opportunity to watch the Oscar entries alongside 60 world-class films.

- Mayur Deokar
© 2023 AIFF, Marathwada Art Culture and Film Foundation, All rights reserved.

This website stores cookies on your computer. Cookie Policy