Bollywood Festival taking place at Světozor

14th edition will present three days of Indian films plus a party and a marketplace

Bollywood films are known for taking people into rich fantasy realms filled with colorful costumes, convoluted plots and of course massive dance scenes. The 14th annual Festival of Bollywood Films runs from Oct. 13 to 16 at Prague's kino Světozor, with a party Oct. 15 at Klubovna 2. patro, at Dlouhá 37 in Old Town.

The festival starts with the historical drama Bajirao Mastani, loosely based on real events in the first half of the 18th century when much of the Indian sub-continent was ruled over by the Maratha Empire led by commander Bajirao, who was torn between a military campaign and a romantic relationship with a woman who had mixed Indo-Persian ancestry. Historical dramas are often used to make comments on current events. The film stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

The most important films will be in the evenings in the large hall of Světozor. Indian superstar Salmar Khan appears on Oct 14 in Sultan, the fourth-highest grossing Indian film of all time. The story concerns an aging wrestler who tries to restart his career. It has been compared to Rocky. Salmar Khan has recently been appearing in more serious films after basing most of his career on lighter fare.

Another big star, Shah Rukh Khan, appears Oct. 15 in the thriller FAN. Shah Rukh Khan plays a double role of a big film star and his lookalike who doubles for him on the set and is also an obsessed fan. The fan tries to steal the star's most valuable possession: his identity.

The festival closes with a surprise film Oct. 16. Audience members will find out what it is once the opening credits roll. Big stars and a well-known director are promised. The only hints are it was made after the year 2000 and it runs about 150 minutes, give or take half an hour.

There are many more films on the program as well, both in the main hall and small hall, with romantic comedies, a family comedy, an organized crime film, documentaries, shorts, a war film and films exploring LGBT issues. In total there are 13 feature films and packages of shorts.

If you are unfamiliar with Bollywood cinema, the films are a bit long and somewhat free-wheeling in nature. Going to the cinema is a family event, so the films try to have something for everyone.

The cinema will also have a pop up market or mela with Indian foods, clothing and other items. 

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