Prakash JhaThis year the festival is delighted to welcome one of India’s most renowned film producer, director, actor and screenwriters Prakash Jha. He has produced films every year since 1982 and is mostly known for his political and socio-political films such as, Damul (1984), Mrityudand (1997), Gangaajal (2003), Apaharan (2005). His filmography also includes multi-starer hit movies Raajneeti (2010), Aarakshan (2011), Chakravyuh (2012), Satyagraha (2013) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), which was then selected to be premiered at prestigious Stockholm International Film Festival.
His most recent notable films include Saare Jahan Se Acha (series 2018) and Fraud and Saiyaan Pareeksha (2019). He is also the maker of National Film Award winning documentaries like, Faces After The Storm (1984) and Sonal (2002).
All-in-all, Prakash has received international acclaim for such films as Damul (“Bonded Until Death”), Parinati (“The Inevitable”), Parampara (“Traditions”), Abhivyakti (“An Expression”) – Mrityudand (“Death Sentence”) and Apaharan. He is also a recipient of over twenty six national film awards, film fair awards and star screen awards.
Prakash was raised at his family’s farm in Barharwa, Bettiah, West Champaran, Bihar, India. His early eduction was at Sainik School Tilaya, Koderma district and Kendriya Vidyalaya Bokaro Steel City (Jharkhand).
Prakash JhaLater he joined Ramjas College, Delhi University where he took a B.Sc (Hons) in Physics. He then decided to go to Mumbai and become a painter. While he was preparing for J.J. School of Arts, he happened to witness the shooting of the film Dharma and got hooked on filmmaking. He joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune in 1973, where he took a course in film editing. Midway through the course, the institution was closed for a while due to student agitation so he travelled to Mumbai and started workings on films independently. He made his first documentary, Under the Blue (1975), and the rest is history.
For the last ten years Prakash Jha has been seriously involved with development initiatives in Bihar. He is the Chairman of the NGO Anubhooti, through which he has been spearheading growth in infrastructure, healthcare, and vocational training facilities in the state. Most recently, the organization has been working for flood survivors. After the Kosi flood on 18 August 2008, Anubhooti has provided complete relief to 6,000 people since September 2008. Anubhooti has created a model village, Hindolwa village, for the flood affected, and is working towards their complete rehabilitation. Anubhooti has provided relief to 5,000 people for health care in Supaul district in Bihar.
He also runs a production company, Prakash Jha Productions and owns the P&M Mall in Patna, India and the P&M Hi-Tech Mall in Jamshedpur, India.
Parvaati NairParvatii Nair is one of Bollywood’s most upcoming actress as well as working in the South Indian film industry. Parvatii NairBorn into a Malayali family in Abu Dhabi, she attended Our Own English High School in Abu Dhabi. As a school student, she won a Guinness certificate for being part of the team that made the longest painting in the world. She then went on to graduate in Computer Science and Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology in Manipal, Karnataka, India. She trained as a software professional while pursuing a career in modelling, before becoming an actress. During her modelling career, she appeared in a number of commercials and won the titles “Miss Karnataka” and “Miss Navy Queen” while appearing in short films, music videos and documentaries.
Nair made her acting debut with the 2012 Malayalam film Poppins directed by V. K. Prakash, before appearing in a number of critically acclaimed films across all four South Indian film industries, including Story Kathe (2013) and Yennai Arindhaal (2015). Her performance as a young journalist in Story Kathe won her the Best Kannada Debut Actress Award at the South Indian International Movie Awards, while the role of a vengeful wife in Yennai Arindhaal won her praise from critics and received a Filmfare nomination. In 2015, she starred in the critical and commercial success Vascodigama, portraying an English lecturer. She stared in Neerali (2018) and her latest film is Vella Raja (2019).
Fokiya AkhtarFokiya Akhtar has over two decades of combined experience as a teacher-scholar and filmmaker. She is an Assistant Professor of Film and Video at College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai, UAE. She has worked as a Freelance Producer/Director and has produced educational documentaries and instructional television programs for University Grants Commission countrywide classroom in New Delhi, India. Ms. Akhtar has produced and directed independent documentary films and also produced documentaries, live shows, game shows, current affairs programs for various production houses in India, Oman, and UAE.
Her independent documentaries have won official selections and best film nominations. Below are some of her critically acclaimed works.
All Alone and Lonely (25 minutes) documentary on the widows and orphans of Kashmir (2009) has been the Official selection at Mumbai International Film Festival, Golden Gate Fiction and Documentary Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, International Children’s Film Festival and Delhi International Film Festival.
Children of God (40 minutes) a documentary on special needs children in Dubai (2011) This film won Official selection at CMS International Children’s Film Festival (ICFF) Lucknow, India. It also won official selection at Al Noor We Care Film Festival 2013. The film was screened for two days at the Vox Cinema in Dubai, UAE and had a special public screening at the Indian Consulate Dubai UAE.
Ostrich-a Great Bird(25 minutes ) (July 2003 – September 2005) is a Documentary about the ostrich farming in the Middle East. It has been telecasted on Gyan Darshan India.
Story of Laxmi (25 minutes ) (April 2002) Docu-Fiction about tuberculosis awareness and eradication campaign by the Ministry of Health, Govt. of India.
Little People on the Move (25 minutes) (2001) film is about mental and physical growth of a human being. The nature and nurture theory and the distinction between infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Telecast on Gyan darshan India
Pill Poppers Beware (18 minutes) A documentary film as part of Awareness Campaign for misuse of antibiotics. Telecast on Doordarshan.