Lonavla to hold international film fest
Lonavla, a little over 80 km from Mumbai, will host its first international film festival in September. The fest, apart from developing a film-viewing culture, is also an attempt to boost tourism in the area. Bajaj has been in Lonavla for the past five years and it there he stumbled upon the idea of launching a film festival which was great considering the little hill station is "fast emerging as a compact smart city in its own way."
The Lonavla International Film Festival India (LIFFI) will showcase the talent of students, independent and established filmmakers with fresh ideas, concepts and styles.
"LIFFI is the first ever film festival being hosted in Lonavla,” Riju Bajaj, the LIFFI director said. “Having been actively involved with eminent cinema directors, I felt that it is my duty to nourish the art of cinema and keep it going ahead by way of promoting through the fest, which is striding to bring the world cinema to the hill station.”
"Having advantages of being in between Mumbai and Pune, it enjoys access from the airports and railway stations of both the cities,” Bajaj added. “Lonavla is among the best and busiest holiday destinations in Maharashtra and gets maximum footfall of tourists on weekends.”
"I have wanted to host a film festival since a long time and having found a perfect partner in Mr. Madhav Todi, owner of Triose Plaza, a multiplex, the idea became a reality," he said, about the inception of the idea.
Film veterans like Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Ketan Mehta, Sudhir Mishra and Hansal Mehta showed enthusiasm about the idea. The filmmaker Govind Nihalani, who directed films like ‘Ardh Satya’ and ‘Aakrosh’ will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
LIFFI is to be held during September 1st to 5th.