The colors of India return to Prague
Prague Indian Film Festival brings more than a dozen new films, including dancing zombies
Posted: October 9, 2013
The directors of the Indian documentary film Much Ado About Knotting will be in attendance at the festival to answer viewers' questions.
Entering its second decade on the scene of the capital's film festivals, the Prague Indian Film Festival (PIFF) screens more than a dozen productions Oct. 10-13 from the country with the largest film industry in the world.
Some 15 films will be presented over the four-day period at the centrally located Světozor cinema, which has become the festival hub in recent years. Screened in their original languages - mostly Hindi, but also Tamil, Urdu, Malayalam and Kannada - the films will all be accessible to both Czech- and English-speaking audiences, as every film will have subtitles for both of these languages.
The festival has no shortage of variety, and if you were clenching your teeth thinking this will be another merry song-and-dance marathon, you can relax. This year's lineup does include the odd romantic comedy, but it also has a horror film (disconcertingly titled Pizza), a documentary and even a zombie film. Admittedly, the documentary doesn't stray too far from the traditional tropes of Bollywood cinema - it is about dating agencies that seek to meet all the wedding criteria set by the families of those individuals looking for a partner for life. It is titled Much Ado About Knotting.
The film's directors, Geetika Narang Abbasi and Anandana Kapur, will be in attendance at PIFF this year, and will be on hand to present their film and answer any questions the audience may have after the screening.
When: Oct. 10-13
Where: Světozor cinema
Tickets: 120 Kč
The zombie film, Go Goa Gone, is one of the first such films to come from Bollywood (the title actually goes to Rise of the Zombie, released about a month earlier on the subcontinent), and viewers can expect a comedic romp, especially with the likelihood of seeing the undead gyrate to the sound of music.
Less Sugar (Cheeni Kum) is a romance film that stars the globally renowned actor Amitabh Bachchan, who recently appeared in The Great Gatsby and also makes a small appearance in another film at PIFF, the comedy-drama English Vinglish.
While the main event Oct. 10 is the screening of the festival's opening film, the very favorably reviewed romantic comedy Barfi!, starring former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, the rest of PIFF will feature an accompanying Indian bazaar - titled the "BollyBazaar" - on the premises of the Svetozor cinema. Anyone interested in acquiring spices, colorful skirts and other items can make a detour on the way to the cinema to get their hands on some real Indian products.
At the halfway mark of the festival, Friday, Oct. 11, the P.M. Club in New Town (Trojická 10) hosts the Original Prague Bollywood Festival Party. Tickets cost 150 Kč and may be purchased at Světozor or at the door. There will be an audience competition, "Test Your Bollywood Knowledge," but the main draw is the dancing. Whoever is interested (likely a significant section of the audience) can learn some quick Bollywood dance moves called Bollynatyam, which incorporates innovative moves with classical Indian dances to produces voluptuous rhythms set to infectious dance music. From 11:15 p.m., it's disco time, and this will be the perfect time and place for you to try out said dance moves.
André Crous can be reached at