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Rajesh Touchriver Retrospective a Bonanza of Meaningful Cinema



A three days festival of selected films from all genre directed by internationally acclaimed national award-winning director Rajesh Touchriver was held at Ravindra Bharathi from 6th March to 8th March,2023. Organized by SunTouch Productions in collaboration with Department of Language & Culture, Government of Telangana and 53 EXP an event management company the festival saw a combination of music videos, short films, documentaries, feature films and meaningful panel discussion every day with industry experts and prominent personalities from film industry.

The festival opened with Rajesh Touchriver’s debut multiple award winning British feature film ‘In the Name of Buddha’ which had not only won critical acclaim across the world but was also nominated in the prestigious Cannes film festival. The panel discussion preceding the screening of the feature film had ace filmmaker and producer Tammareddy Bharadwaj, Ch. Sushil Rao, documentary filmmaker and Sunitha Krishnan, a film producer discussing ‘Against Tides- Making films on unconventional subjects ‘. The animated discussion focused on how good independent films made on unconventional subjects suffer from lack of finances for marketing and promotion.  Mr Bharadwaj advised aspiring independent filmmakers to focus on the content and not to get into the trap of big or small budget cinema as he felt it is the content that should drive the budget. Ms Krishnan felt that it was for the producer to decide the purpose of the film which need not be entertainment or box office collection and could be just social transformation which can be then taken to people with appropriate outreach efforts.  The other panelists spoke on other avenues such as film festivals and OTT to reach good films to the audience.

The second day of the festival, the speakers in the panel discussion included Sharat Marar, film producer, Sai Prasad,Gemini TV; Satish Kasetty, filmmaker and Madhushalini, actor. The panel moderated by well-known anchor Swapna focused on ‘From Production to distribution-journey of independent films ‘. The speakers spoke on the emerging new opportunities for both production and distribution of independent films and lamented on the need to create better platforms for independent films to survive especially in a context where big budget mainstream films have even taken over the OTT space. The panel was optimistic that OTT which is evolving rapidly will be able to accommodate good and meaningful cinema. Raktham a feature film which won several international awards and also screened as an official selections in various international films festival was screened.   


The last day of the festival was also the International Women’s Day celebration with a panel on ‘Women in Cinema’. The panelist included well known film producer and founder of Guru Films Sunitha Tati, emerging film producer Niharika Konidela, film journalist & Head of Entertainment of NTV Taruna and veteran film critic L Ravichander. The panel extensively discussed on the status of women in cinema, the portrayal of women in films and the challenges faced by women to enter the film world. The panel concluded with each of the speakers taking a personal pledge to improve the status of women in cinema.

The retrospective concluded with the screening of ‘Naa Bangaaru Talli’ a feature film that won 4 Nandi Awards, 3 National Awards and 9 International Awards. Rajesh Touchriver interacted with all aspiring filmmakers attending the retrospective on all three days and committed to conduct a master class to support their efforts. 

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