India Guest Country at 2014 Zurich Film Festival

12:33 AM PST 03/28/2014 by Scott Roxborough
Award-winning Indian indie film "The Lunchbox" screened in Zurich last year.

Indian independent cinema, not Bollywood, will be in focus for the 10th anniversary edition of the ZFF, which runs September 25 – October 5.

Bollywood is heading to Zurich.

The Swiss mountains and the picturesque villages and cities of the Swiss cantons have served as backdrops to countless Indian blockbusters – most recently in Vijay Krishna Acharya's action thriller Dhoom 3 starring Aamir Khan - but for its 10th anniversary edition, the fast-growing Zurich Film Festival will highlight a different kind of cinema from the subcontinent: screening ten new features and documentaries from the country's independent sector.

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“New Indian cinema has experienced an upsurge in recent years, and not just on the subcontinent,” said Zurich Festival co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. “It is among young filmmakers that the change is most visible. New projects have been realized over the past few years that undermine common stereotypes. The movement from mainstream to independent cinema is unmistakable...Focusing on India can only serve to enrich the 10th ZFF.”

Visitors to last year's Zurich fest got a taste of what's to come with the screening of Ritesh Batra's award-winning romantic comedy The Lunchbox and a master class with leading Indian indie producer Guneet Monga, whose $45 million The Gangs of Wasseypur from director Anurag Kashyap was the most expensive Indian film ever made outside the Bollywood system.

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“Over the years, the Indian film industry has achieved a very high level of technical standards and directional skills,” said M.K. Lokesh, India's Ambassador to Switzerland. “In the Indo-Swiss context, Indian cinema, by capturing the natural beauty of Switzerland in many films, contributed to Swiss popularity among Indian tourists (so) it is befitting that the Zurich Film Festival is showcasing India as the guest country this year.”

The 10th Zurich Film Festival runs September 25 – October 5, 2014.

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