What's New - Festival Highs

Award winners at the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival

by Gehna Kapany


The festival concluded on Dec 10 with the screening of Jayan Moodley's 'Kandasamys: The Wedding' followed by an award ceremony to announce the winners of the Audience Award in the categories of feature films, documentaries and short films.



Selvaggia Velo, founder and festival director


Best Feature Film- Hellaro

Directed by Abhishek Shah, 'Hellaro' uses a traditional form of song and dance to represent women’s liberty and subversion of patriarchy. In a village where even the dance form of garba is considered ominous if performed by women and is a privilege exercised only by men, a group of women secretly break the norm and find an outlet for their emotions. 

It was awarded the National Award for Best Feature Film of 2018, the first-ever Gujarati film to receive this honour; and a Special Mention at the International Film Festival of India, Goa. 


Best Documentary- My Home India

In her soul-stirring documentary, Anjali Bhushan uncovers the lesser-known story of Kira Banasinska, who spearheaded the relief operations in the aftermath of the Polish refugee crisis and galvanised help from all quarters to ensure that thousands of displaced people found a home in India. A mini Poland came up in the Valivade district and ‘My Home India’ revisits the Valivade experience. The place comes alive through the archival footage and rare unseen and unused interviews of Banasinska.

It was selected for the 16th Stuttgart Indian Film Festival and has won the Best Documentary Award at both, 9th Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival and the 8th Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival earlier this year. 


Best Short Film- Seher

In Sachin Aggarwal's short, Seher books a taxi to visit the Taj Mahal and is matched with a rather chatty driver. Due to certain incidents, the comfort level between the two increases over the course of the journey. However the plot takes an unexpected and different turn as the ride comes to an end.

'Seher' was a semi-finalist at both- Global Youth Film Festival, Dhaka and Shahr International Film Festival, Tehran. The win at Florence asserts its promising start. 


'My Home India'                                                                                                                                            'Seher'



Founded in 2001, the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival is the only festival in Italy, completely focused on Indian Cinema, and held annually with carefully curated film screenings, Q&As with crew and actors, and a multitude of side events. The name itself resonates with the flowing of cultures, ideas and cinema, from one river to the other: from the Ganges to the Arno, River to River.

Shonali Bose's star-studded feature 'The Sky is Pink' opened the festival this year, adding to its roaring success.