The bookings have begun on this website, and the festival is well underway from Friday, October 30th. By now, most delegates will have identified their must-watch films – a list that is usually painstakingly compiled through research, word-of-mouth and Google searches of various film festival favorites. Hence, films like Taxi, Thithi, Lobster, Tangerine, Room, Umrika, Youth, Assassin, and The Visit – which are top of the list – have 3 to 5 screenings, owing to their obvious popularity. 

But there is always a bunch of unheralded, little-known films at every festival that complete the viewing experience. Enthusiasts rarely experience more pleasure than when they blindly book a few strange titles and discover how good they are. 

Here are a few you should consider at this year’s festival:

The Threshold (India)

Dir: Pushan Kripalani

Rajit Kapoor and Neena Gupta play a North Indian couple at their mountain retreat on the day after their son has just gotten married. She chooses to tell him that she is leaving him, thereby setting the stage for a long conversational day of recollections, memories, and nostalgic flourishes. It sounds like an interesting character-study of a couple way past their prime, caught on the threshold between life and its twilight phase. 


Shows: PVR JUHU AUDI 1, 31st October, 7:15 PM

The Second Mother (Brazil)

Dir: Anna Muylaert

The Brazilian entry to the Best Foreign Film category at next year’s Academy Awards, this film chronicles the tensions and friction between a housemaid, to a wealthy Sao Paulo family, and her daughter, who moves into the family’s home to apply to the city university. This is 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and premiered at Sundance this year. 


Shows: PVR JUHU AUDI 1, 30th October, 11 AM; PVR PHOENIX AUDI 3, 1st November, 4:30 PM; PVR ECX AUDI 1, 3rd November, 7 PM

From Afar (Venezuela)

Dir: Lorenzo Vigas

The first Latin American film ever to win the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, this first-time director’s tense, gay, slow-blossoming romance has been unanimously praised by critics and festival goers across the globe for its elegance and restraint. 


Shows: PVR ECX AUDI 3, 30th October, 8:45 PM; PVR PHOENIX AUDI 1, 1st November, 9 PM

Cities Of Sleep (India)

Dir: Shaunak Sen

The 74-minute feature documentary chronicles the lives of people who run unofficial night shelters in Delhi, as well as the people they help. A few publications, including LiveMint and The Wire, have recommended this documentary as essential viewing because of the hidden world it shows us. 


Shows: PVR PHOENIX AUDI 2, 1st November, 9.30 PM

Kaili Blues (China)

Dir: Bi Gan

Described as an intense, beautiful, dream-like independent film about a man in search of his nephew in rural China, the film has garnered attention across festivals like Locarno and Vancouver for its imagery and uninhibited impressionism. 


Shows: PVR PHOENIX AUDI 2, 31st October, 7 PM