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MUBI shines a spotlight on New Indian Cinema

MUBI, the global distributor and curated film streaming service, launched in India in 2019 and has since created a mark for itself by offering a diverse collection of critically acclaimed international and Indian films, introducing a new hand-picked film every day.

Catering to cinema lovers across the globe, MUBI in India offers a broad range of quality cinema to members, from international films like Judy starring Renée Zellweger and The Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey. The MUBI Releases also includes notable works like Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow and Leos Carax’s 2021 Cannes Film Festival opener Annette (available November 26). Additionally, local filmmakers such as Ashish Avikunthak, Don Palathara and Archana Phadke who are making waves in the Indian film scene have also been featured on the platform. MUBI has also given a platform to debutante filmmaker Fahim Irshad, a political filmmaker who focuses on illustrating the humanity of the communities that he films.

MUBI is committed to providing an exciting and wide-ranging selection of films, making it truly stand out in the Indian market, with a collection of titles that inspire other emerging filmmakers as well as celebrate new Indian cinema and filmmakers from around the world. Indian filmmakers that MUBI is currently spotlighting include:

Ashish Avikunthak is a well-known anthropologist and archaeologist and his films have reflected that over the years. His unique style has been appreciated worldwide having been showcased in film festivals, galleries and iconic museums, like the Tate Modern London, Centre George Pompidou Paris, Pacific Film Archive Berkeley, along with London, Locarno, Rotterdam, and Berlin film festivals amongst others. He has had retrospective of his works at Goethe Institute, Calcutta (2004), Les Inattendus, Lyon (2006), Yale University (2008) and the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai (2008). His short film Kalighat Fetish won the Best Documentary award in 2001 at the Tampere Film Festival. His first feature film Shadows Formless had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in 2007 and it went on to win the Best Director and the Best Actress at the Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, New York in 2008. He has a PhD in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and has taught earlier at Yale University. He is now an Associate Professor of Film Media at the Harrington School of Communication & Media, University of Rhode Island. Classics like Kalighat Fetish (1999), Et cetera (1997), Rati Chakravyuh (2013), Performing Death (2002), End Note (2005), Katho Upanishad (2011), Dancing Othello (2002), Shadows Formless (2007), Vakratunda Swaha (2010), and Rummaging for Pasts (2001) and his most recent work The Churning of Kalki (2015) are part of his retrospective streaming on MUBI.

Don Palathara grew up in the state of Kerala before moving to Sydney. After directing several short films, he made his feature film debut Shavam (2015) followed by Vith (2017). His third feature, 1956, Central Travancore (2020) premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival. This black and white feature is premiering exclusively on MUBI. His recent works include Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam (Joyful Misery) which was nominated for a Golden St. George at the 2021 Moscow International Film Festival and Everything Is Cinema is his fifth feature film that had its world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021. Known for working on shoestring budgets and with new or inexperienced actors, Palathara’s films are exquisite expositions of local Kerala culture and study on human nature. 1956, Centra Travancore, Shavam, Vith, Everything is Cinema and Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam (Joyful Misery) will be presented as a part of this spotlight.

Fahim Irshad was born and brought up in Azamgarh U.P. He graduated in Mass Communication/Film from New Delhi’s reputed institute AJK MCRC JMI and since then has worked as a writer and director. He has written and directed a short film, Mubadla. Aani Maani is his first feature film that narrates the poignant story of Bhutto, a Kebab seller and how with the shutting down of slaughterhouses, a seemingly inconsequential change in the world outside, wreaks havoc in his personal life. The film was lauded at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2019 and is now streaming on MUBI.

Archana Phadke was born in the iconic city of Mumbai in 1986, and is an alumni of the Berlinale Talent campus. Her short film, Uski Baarish (2013) was screened at various international film festivals including Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, Aspen Shorts Fest, Toronto International Film Festival (KIDS), Seattle International Film Festival and 34 others. She has produced and edited, feature-length documentary Placebo. It was an Indo-Finnish co-production premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) 2014 where it won the jury nomination for Best Film in First Appearance Category. She has co-edited the film Raghu Rai, An Unframed Portrait – Winner of IDFA Europe fund and Winner of Best International Pitch at Asian Side of the Doc and which had its premiere at IDFA 2017 (Mid length Competition).

Archana’s film, About Love, premiered at the Sheffield Doc Fest 2019, where it won the New Talent Award and has also won the Best Film award at the Indian film festival of Stuttgart 2019. The film deals with three generations of the Phadke family who live together in their ancestral home in downtown Mumbai.


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