Indian Film Festival: River to River 2019

Photo from a scene from Made in Heaven

The 19th edition of River to River, the world’s first festival exclusively about Indian film, will be held at Cinema La Compagnia (via Cavour 50/r), which is located a short five-minute walk from Florence’s historic Duomo, from December 5 – 10.

An insight into the unique culture of India, the festival will showcase a series of short and feature-length films with Italian and English subtitles, video art presentations, interviews, and a photo exhibition throughout the festival. Many of the directors will attend the movie premieres and answer questions afterward.

The festival will open its door with a screening of a love story “The Sky Is Pink” (Tuesday, December 5; 8:30 pm) featuring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Farhan Akhtar, and Zaira Wasim and directed by Shnonali Bose. The plot centers on a real-life based story about a young couple, who loses their daughter from a rare immunity defect, conceive another child only to discover that she is similarly afflicted goes to London in hope for their daughter and generosity of people’s donations. Both of Bose’s films were played in over 150 film festivals.

On Friday, a comedy theme will be featured at the festival. At 6:30 pm, will showcase two out of 10 episodes of half an hour each “Four More Shots Please!” The story focuses on the lives of four different women, fighting their own individual battles. Visitors who will attend the entire festival will get a chance to see the entire show, two episodes each day of the festival. Another funny story “Badhaai Ho” ( Congratulations There”) will be presented at 8:30 pm. It is about a mother, who finds out that she is pregnant in spite of her advanced age. Of course, it is a huge shock for her but is not made not easier by embarrassing reactions from friends, family and strangers.   Directed by Amit Sharma, the movie got a high public appreciation with much critical acclaim

At the end of the day, a Bollywood Party with DJ Kalè will kick off at 11 pm (Piazzetta dei Del Bene, 7/A). Bollywood is India’s equivalent of Hollywood. The only difference is that it produces a lot more movies than Hollywood every year and they’re all in Hindi. The ‘B’ in Bollywood is for Bombay, which is what Mumbai used to be called, the home of Bollywood. It’s very dramatic, lively, and boisterous.                  

On Saturday and Sunday, a large collection of films will reflect the virtuosity and craft of the short format that will be divided  between two days at 3 pm. Featuring boundary-pushing avant-garde works, women’s hard life stories, tender documentaries, meditation journey, and this year’s program highlights films from new voices and established masters alike. The Q&A with director Sachin Aggarwal will follow after the shorts. 

River to River is not only a film festival but an opportunity to drown into Indian culture and attend special events dedicated to it. Two photo shows will showcase during the event days : “Quel che resta dell’India”, by Umberto Coa and Nicolò Panzeri at Fondazione Studio Marangoni (Via San Zanobi 19/r; Thursday December 5 at 6 pm) and “Mystic India,” by Parul Sharma at Museo Marino Marini (Piazza San Pancrazio; Friday, December 6 at 6 pm.) 

Master the secrets of traditional Indian dishes that people will easily be able to recreate at home for friends and family on Monday, December 9th, and Tuesday, December 10 from 7 pm – 10 pm. The cooking activity is suitable for beginners and for those who can already cook. (Piazza Pier Vettori 8/10, tickets: €25. Info 055 2705306 –            

The eventful weekend dedicated to India will end with the beautiful and thoughtful story “Kandasamys: The Wedding” (Tues., Dec.10; 8:30 pm) directed by Jayan Moodley about relationships between parents and their kids when they choose to create their own family and get married. For parents, it is hard to let go of their children. The story will show all the difficulties moment that eventually can be sold and end up happily. For the complete program visit (mary filatova)