August with its incessant rainfall halts outdoorsy events in Delhi, giving a leeway for art to manifest alternative spaces.
Cannes, Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals might be a distant dream for most Indian cinephiles, but the joy of witnessing small screenings of carefully curated cinema, is available in abundance to us.
For those who see cinema as serious business, as an art form with its own methods and a visual language distinct from the words being spoken by the characters on the screen, there are venues around the city oozing with character. You find yourself amidst enthusiastic and intelligent audience chasing quality films and not the hash tag culture. If hustling to the nearest multiplex on a Friday evening for ‘entertainment’ is not to your taste, then you’d be delighted to join these snug theatres’ in their celebration of the wondrous and evocative medium of cinema, with the seriousness that it deserves.
Free of cost and chaos, these screenings are a mecca for indie culture. Amateur filmmakers, artists, musicians, closet critiques and bloggers scurry to these low seat-count theatres with an air thick of self-expression. From airing movies by filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray, screenings allow you to revisit and relive legend against the colour and quirk of everyday life. Needless to say, with their primal objective of connecting with audience through poignant storytelling, held up without the crutches of box office performance these screenings attract avant-gardes in cinema like moths to a light bulb. That’s not all, if you’re lucky, these are usually followed by discussions that often make you appreciate the movie from an all-new aspect.
Some venues are dedicated to causes like Wildlife Conservation and securing the lives of tribes – that provide common ground for like-minded people to meet and act in unison.
You’re exposed to the wealth and variety of cinema from around the globe as plenty of these festivals are organized by Embassies. Some extraordinary films like Run Lola Run, the spiraling yet fascinating German thriller and Amélie, with its whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, owe their success to film festivals despite receiving limited theatrical releases. Independent filmmakers might forever remain in obscurity, their fresh raw vision never leaving their backyards to see the light of the day, if it were not for film festivals.
Here’s your golden chance to watch un-dubbed movies, Independent movies and documentaries on massive screens while reclining comfortably into the world of surround sound, distinct narratives and pixel dreams. All for free!
No need to scout for venues, we have prepared a list for you, along with listing the themes of current screenings:
- Sri Fort Auditorium
Ongoing Event – The European Film Festival, 2016
Entry type: Open to everyone, free of cost.
The full screening schedule for this month can be viewed at-
Nearest Metro Station – Green Park
- Indian Habitat Centre
Entry type: Usually reserved for members of Habitat Film Club, membership of which can be obtained for a meager annual sum of Rs. 938, however when the venue is not full (which is the case mostly), non-members are allowed to enter.
The full screening schedule –
Nearest Metro Station – Jor Bagh
- India International Center
Full Screening Schedule-
Nearest Metro Station – Khan Market (Violet Line), Jor Bagh (Yellow line)
- Alliance Française De Delhi
Entry type: Free Entry, open to all
The full screening schedule:
Nearest Metro Station- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
- The Japan Foundation
Entry type: Free entry, pre-registration required
Full screening schedule: http://www.jfindia.org.in/
Nearest Metro Station – Moolchand
- Instituto Italiano Di Cultura
Entry Type: Free entry, open to all.
Full Screening Schedule: http://www.iicnewdelhi.esteri.it/iic_newdelhi/it
Nearest Metro Station – Race Course