Bollywood returns to Světozor

The annual festival brings Indian cinema to Prague screens

The 16th edition of the Bollywood Film Festival will be at Prague’s kino Světozor from Oct. 10 to 14 with a selection of South Asian cinema.

The main focus is film from India, whose Mumbai-based film industry called Bollywood actually makes more films than Hollywood. But there are films from other places such as Pakistan as well.

The festival aims to offer a mix of romance, action, comedy and drama. Viewers can also get acquainted with current social issues in Indian society by the more than a dozen films in the program.

The question of women’s rights comes up in two films starring Aamir Khan. The festival’s opening film, Secret Superstar, looks at a young internet star who hides her identity behind a veil.

The other film, Dangal, playing on the last day of the festival, had phenomenal international success and has become the most profitable Indian film ever. A father wanted sons, but when he had only daughters he found they could also excel in sports. It is inspired by a true story.

Another film showcasing a strong female character is the comedic drama Hichki, based loosely on the autobiographical book by American teacher Brad Cohen. A female teacher with Tourette’s syndrome has a hard time finding a place until she works with troubled children.

Changing gears to action, film star Salman Khan returns as an elite secret agent in the sequel Tiger Zinda Hai. This film is inspired by real events concerning the fight against terrorism. Actress Katrina Kaif performs her own stunts.

The biographical drama Sanju stars Ranbir Kapoor as the famous actor Sanjay Dutt, whose career has had many ups and downs involving drugs, associations with criminals and other issues.

Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor appear together in Jagga Jasoos, a comedy with a lot of physical humor as well as detective and adventure elements.

A film from Pakistan shot in the Bollywood style is Load Wedding, which has a comedic look at marriage customs.

Bollywood’s biggest current star Shah Rukh Khan stars in Dear Zindagi, which is in the style of American independent films about relationships. This makes it a bit different than most Bollywood fare, though it is just as long.

The small hall of Světozor has a wide variety of documentaries, regional Tamil films and other diverse offerings to show there is more to South Asia than Bollywood.

There will also be Indian food and items available for purchase during the festival.

A highlight of the festival is the Bollywood Party, which this year is Oct. 12 at La Loca.

The whole program at www.bollywood.cz.

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