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CIFF Market Projects 2024: Full Line-Up

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Cinevesture International Film Festival (CIFF, March 27-31) has selected 20 projects for its inaugural CIFF Market Projects, including three web series. 

Film projects include works from filmmakers such as Alankrita Shrivastava, Randeep Jha, Don Palathara and Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. The three web series are being developed by Ayappa KM, Kimsi Singh and Gurvinder Singh. In addition, three debut projects have been selected for the Mentorship Programme at CIFF Market (see full line-up below). 

CIFF Market curator Namrata Joshi said: “To borrow a popular phrase, our selection is fun fearless, female and full-on Punjab. We have projects in various stages of development, from those requiring funding for research and script development, to those with scripts locked and ready to roll. The majority of the projects are by women and/or women-focused.” 


Girls Of Orlem [Drama]
Language: English & Hindi
Writer-director: Alankrita Shrivastava
Credits: Lipstick Under My Burkha, Bombay Begums, Made In Heaven
Producers: Vikesh Bhutani & Shujat Saudagar (Chalkboard Entertainment)
Logline: An adaptation of Lindsay Pereira’s Gods And Ends, Girls Of Orlem is set in the Goan Catholic ghetto of Orlem in Mumbai. An intimate and piercing portrait of a mother and daughter, the film also tells a larger tale of the claustrophobia and broken dreams of the ghetto.

Encounter [Drama, Thriller]
Language: Punjabi & Hindi
Writer-director: Anurag Singh
Credits: Jatt and Juliet, Jatt and Juliet 2, Punjab 1984
Logline: A newly appointed Punjab Police DSP Zorawar Singh is emotionally sucked into a case when he finds out that a killer is targeting the former colleagues of his deceased father, an officer highly respected for his bravery during the period of militancy in Punjab.

Husky [Drama]
Language: Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, English
Writer: Atika Chohan
Credits: Margarita With A Straw, Agra, Sahela
Logline: Jordon, a pet husky of Mumbai rich, Shivani and Ahaan, dreams of running away from the heat, back home to Serbia while his sprawling coop becomes a cover up for secrets and lies, human bondage and exploitation involving, among others, Kujur, a 19-year-old tribal girl from Chhattisgarh. An eat-the-rich drama that lays bare the deep class divides and apathy that propulsively drive every crime of envy in the country.

Peach No. 15 [Thriller, Web Series]
Language: Hindi & English
Director: Ayappa KM
Credits: War Room, Gormint, Runners
Creative Consultant: Varun Grover
Lead Writer: Dhruv Narang
Producer: Anand Menon
Logline: A tense, darkly funny thriller about Indra, a conscientious workaholic woman caught in the middle of a massive clusterfuck of corporate gluttony that will fracture her morality to the core.

The Bookkeeper’s Wife [Drama]
Language: Hindi
Director: Bauddhayan Mukherji
Credits: The Violin Player, The Cloud And The Man, Whispers Of Fire And Water
Logline: Through an unexpected discovery at her deceased husband’s office, the wife of a bookkeeper is sent on a trail of heartbreaks, revelations, and introspections. The Bookkeeper’s Wife is about an ordinary woman’s extraordinary journey to know more about a person she thought she knew. It leaves her questioning the life-long duality of a man’s private and social life.

#JACK [Thriller]
Language: Hindi
Writer-director: Bhaskar Hazarika
Credits: Kothanodi (The River Of Fables), Aamis, Emuthi Puthi (A Very Fishy Trip)
Logline: An unmarked grave. A missing groom. And a cop who won’t give up.

Sacred [Drama]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Deepa Bhatia (Debut Feature)
Writer: Amole Gupte
Logline: Spanning the late sixties to present-day India, Sacred is an epic narrative of four dramatically different women, on the cusp of motherhood. Set against a rapidly changing India, the film traverses the social, spiritual, and personal choices of the protagonists to weave together a film on the complexities of motherhood.

LalitA [Drama]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Disha Rindani (Debut Feature)
Producers: Macguffin Pictures.
Logline: Based on the true story of Police Constable Lalit Salve who was mistakenly assigned the female sex at birth and took on the arduous journey to reclaim his identity, challenging the norms of the Maharashtra Police Force and society at large.

The Skin (Chhaal) [Folk, Drama]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Don Palathara
Credits: 1956, Central Travancore, Joyful Mystery, Family
Logline: Based on Vijaydan Detha’s story. Having injured his father’s wrath, Jayanta, the son of God Indra, is condemned to live on earth as a donkey. He must confront the realities of earthly life before he finds his final redemption.

Laali [Drama, Thriller]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Fahad Mustafa (Debut Fiction Feature)
Producers: Deepti Kakkar, Hitesh Maggu, Konkona Sen Sharma
Logline: Lives in an upscale Delhi neighbourhood are rattled by a domestic worker who insists on digging up their precious patch of green to retrieve the body of her murdered child.

The Trials [Historial Thriller, Web Series]
Language: Hindi, Punjabi, English
Director: Gurvinder Singh
Credits: Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan, Chauthi Koot, Adh Chanani Raat
Writer: Kaamil Shah
Logline: 1930, Lahore, as Durga Devi and her husband prepare a bomb that will set their comrade Bhagat Singh free, we see the story of the trials, tests and tribulations of these heroic revolutionaries as they take direct action against British rule.

The Whispering Fog (Dhundh Saleti) [Drama]
Language: Hindi, Punjabi
Writer-Director: Jasmine Kaur & Avinash Roy (Debut Feature
Logline: In the highly volatile, terror-stricken Punjab of the late 1980s, Roop Sandhu, a radio programmer and a single mother, struggles to balance her personal and professional life. An unexpected letter addressed to her turns her life upside down as fear takes over her life, pushing her to fight the demons of her mind.

Schooled Abroad [Hybrid Docu-drama, Web series]
Language: Hindi, English, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu
Writer-Producer: Kimsi Singh
Credits: Soni, Milestone (as producer)
Logline: Five students from different parts of India with diverse backgrounds and cultures, live, study and work in Toronto, Canada, where they’re hit by a rapid-fire onslaught of first-time experiences, discover new friendships and conflicts while learning how to cope with their newfound freedom in an environment far removed from their homeland.

To Hell With Love [Romance]
Language: Hindi & English
Writer-Director-Producer: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Credits: Television, No Bed Of Roses, Something Like An Autobiography
Logline: Saahir loves Disha. She, in turn, loves Theo. Saahir’s unrequited love and Disha’s complex emotions compel them to step away from age-old perceptions about relationships, resulting in a somewhat unconventional but heartwarming journey.

Feral [Horror]
Language: English, Kinnauri
Filmmaker: Nihaarika Negi
Credits: Labours Of (An)Other Solipsist, The Threshold
Logline: In 1950s India, a sadomasochist English Madame has raised two indigenous community sisters to be her servants on a withering colonial estate. But the arrival of Madame’s latest lover – a singer, shaman and scholar – changes the alchemy of the estate, as the sisters slowly transgress, reclaiming their wild, mystical selves.

April Mein Shootout [Thriller]
Language: Hindi
Director: Randeep Jha
Credits: Kohrra, Trial by Fire, Halahal
Writer: Sharzeel Zafaryab
Logline: When his older brothers are killed in a farm dispute, a placid academic turns to revenge only to uncover the sinister truths about his own family.

Tigdi aka 3-SUM [Chick flick]
Language: Hindi
Director: Roopal Kewalya (Debut Feature)
Producer: Viraj Selot, R. Prashanth, Anupama Bose
Logline: Their first brush with sexuality and freedom spells doom for three completely filmi girls from 1990 conservative middle-class homes of Malviya Nagar in Delhi. The jolt of a car crash spins things out of control and their chaotic friendship is challenged as they find themselves alone and defeated against their controlling families. Until they realise that their only option is to lean into each other and the joy of friendship and films to overturn every limiting idea they have ever known and rewrite their ‘happy’ endings.

Miss Kumari [Whimsical romance]
Language: Hindi, Hinglish
Writer-Director: Sona Jain
Credits: For Real
Producers: Ramesh Sippy Entertainment & Roopa De Choudhury
Logline: A whimsical romance between a sales lady at the Cottage Emporium and a baker from Lakshadweep, complicated by the presence of an enigmatic mystery man, leads to a journey of unexpected thrills, tragedy and transformation.

I.T.A. [Horror]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Vandana Kataria Hindi
Credits: Noblemen, Love Sitara
Writer: Ashish Mehta
Logline: A modern retelling of Henry James’ classic The Turn Of The Screw. Shortly after her marriage, a repressed young woman arrives at her husband’s estate to discipline her unruly stepchildren only to confront her worst nightmare – Ita, a ravenous demon who will take them all as its victims if she fails in her duty.

19 [Coming-of-age drama]
Language: Hindi, Telugu, English
Writer-director: Vikas Chandra (Debut Feature)
Logline: Living the challenges of friendship, academic pressures, and self-discovery, Varun, Vasu and Shravani are negotiating the last year of their teens. When Varun’s infatuation with his best friend Vasu clashes with Shravani’s feelings for Varun, it leads them all to a moment of truth that reshapes their lives. As the trio grapple with their emotions, they must find the courage to accept themselves and confront the complexities of love and acceptance.


Representatives [Drama]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Priyankar Patra (producer with Aditya Vikram Sengupta’s For Films)
Producer: Aditya Vikram Sengupta
Logline: Mrinalini Mitra, a popular actor now past her prime, gets caught in a political duel after the accidental death of a teen in a village she is visiting to the campaign for a party she has recently joined.

Chanda [Drama, Short film]
Language: Hindi
Writer-Director: Shivika Jain
Logline: A subtle portrayal of a wife who wills to stand for herself and tries to disrupt the status quo.

The Untimely Death Of Leanne’s Dog [Coming-of-age, Comedy]
Language: Konkani
Director: Suyash Kamat
Writer: Omkar Rege Omkar
Logline: On a stormy day on an idyllic island, two stepsisters trying to arrange a funeral for their dog reunite a community of estranged eccentrics.