Culture calendar: Organisers line up annual extravaganzas after tweaking their formats

November 07, 2021 3:00 AM

After a season of silence amid the Covid-19 crisis, several organisers are now going ahead with their annual music and art festivals, albeit with some tweaks

International Film Festival of India (IFFI, Goa) is celebrating its 52nd edition in a hybrid format. Over the last 50 years, the festival has grown to become one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia.International Film Festival of India (IFFI, Goa) is celebrating its 52nd edition in a hybrid format. Over the last 50 years, the festival has grown to become one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia.

By Kunal Doley

The past couple of years have not been kind to the cultural fraternity of the country. While many organisers had had to tweak the formats of their shows, others were forced to postpone or even cancel their music, art and film festivals amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The upcoming culture season in India, however, looks a little encouraging as some organisers are now lining up their annual extravaganzas.

For instance, the India Art Fair, which did not take place this year, has been scheduled for February 3 to 6 in 2022. The same goes for Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF)—said to be the Kumbh Mela of literature—returning to ‘normal’ after donning a virtual avatar.

The 2022 edition of JLF will be held from January 28 to February 1.

The literary festival will also see its ninth international extension from May 13 to 22 next year when the popular jamboree will be hosted in the Maldives that will feature a promising line-up of authors, workshops, music and art.

After global travel restrictions and lockdowns, JLF Soneva Fushi will be an opportunity to reconnect with the joys of live performances of art, music and literature against the backdrop of the idyllic island resort in the Indian Ocean, surrounded by pristine nature, the organisers said.

Similarly, after a gap year, Nagaland is all set to host the popular Hornbill Festival at Kisama, albeit for a week instead of 10 days, as per reports. Last year, the annual celebration was held virtually for the first time in 20 years since it started.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan International Folk Festival (or Jodhpur RIFF or Jodhpur folk festival), has once again missed its date with the audience this year. Last year too, the annual pilgrimage for folk lovers organised in and around Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur could not be held due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jodhpur RIFF will now be held from October 6 to 10, 2022.

We will give you a line-up of some of the upcoming festivals in the country and what they are going to offer this time around.

Hornbill Festival 2021

When: To be announced
Amid a decline in Covid-19 cases and after a gap of one year, the Nagaland government is all set to organise the popular Hornbill Festival in December this year.
Last year, the annual celebration was held virtually for the first time in 20 years since its inception. Preparations are now on in full swing to host the 22nd edition of the event, which is going to be held in a truncated version of a week instead of 10 days, as per reports.

Hornbill Festival usually takes place between the 1st and 10th of December every year in Kohima. The music festival and rock contest are held in nearby Dimapur. This year, however, the scene could be a bit different.

The festival showcases the rich Naga tradition and culture at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, about 12 km from the state capital.

In the 2019 edition, a total of 3 lakh visitors, including tourists from abroad and other parts of the country, witnessed the event, as per some reports.

Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2021

When: November 18- 21
Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest will continue its tradition of presenting leading personalities from among the world’s best authors, thinkers, writers, and artists for its 12th edition this year. The festival, to be held from November 18-21, will be conducted in a virtual format for the second year running due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s festival has been tightly curated to bring participants and audiences online for some quality time.

As in previous years, there will be an international line-up across literature, poetry, philosophy, science, business and the arts, including Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Anne Enright, Steven Pinker, Nick Hornby, Shashi Tharoor, Indra Nooyi, David Baldacci, Ashis Nandy, Nguyn Phan Qu Mai, Vidya Dehejia, Martin Kemp, Rebecca Solnit, Ruskin Bond, Amish, Neena Gupta, Ashwin Sanghi, Matthew Weiner, Marlon James, Shobhaa De, Rutger Bregman, Amy Blakemore, Matt Haig, Heather Morris, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Dolly Thakore, Jonathan Drori, Hilary Leichter, Daniel Lieberman, Farah Bashir and Sanjena Sathian, among others.

Viewers can also look forward to the traditional highlights of the festival like the Lifetime Achievement Award that is given to a distinguished literary personality; the presentation to the annual Poet Laureate; the Great Debate; daily performances including for children, and the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest Literary Awards for the First Book and Book of the Year in the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories, Business Book of the Year, and Publisher of the Year.
The Little Festival for children, the first such of which was begun alongside the Litfest two years ago, will also take place simultaneously, as will a Campus Festival—a series of talks by participating writers for college students.

India Art Fair 2022

When: February 3-6
After missing out on a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of India Art Fair (IAF) is scheduled to take place at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, New Delhi, from February 3 to 6 next year. A platform to discover modern and contemporary art in South Asia—spread across a 12,000-sq-m venue—it is the one of the biggest events in India’s cultural calendar with over 60 exhibitors from across India presenting some of the region’s most iconic artists, alongside select international participants.

At IAF, you can expect to see works by some of the biggest names in the art world, from Yayoi Kusama, Amrita Shergil and Anish Kapoor to Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei and Bharti Kher, alongside some fresh and young talents from the region.

In the last edition in 2020, India Art Fair featured 81 modern, contemporary and institutional exhibitors, an inaugural performance art programme, outdoor projects, artist talks, workshops, book signings and the launch of the second issue of the annual India Art
Fair magazine.

Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021

When: November 26-28
After a full year of waiting, Mahindra Kabira Festival will once again open its arms to a small and select audience from November 26 to 28. The programme will include a plethora of classical and folk music, talks, live-art demonstrations, the characteristic Kabira boat rides, a local food journey and the quintessential Ganga Arati experience.

A brainchild of the Mahindra Group and performing arts and entertainment company Teamwork Arts, the festival celebrates Kabir and the inherent wisdom of his verses through its varied programme offerings.

Talking about the festival, Jay Shah, vice president, head-cultural outreach, Mahindra Group, says, “Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021 returns with the promise of hope and optimism. We are delighted to bring back the joy of live performances to Varanasi—a city that is known for its artistry and ancient wisdom. We welcome our delegates and performers and look towards a great festival amidst all safety protocols.”

52nd International Film Festival of India, Goa

When: November 20-28
International Film Festival of India (IFFI, Goa) is celebrating its 52nd edition in a hybrid format. Over the last 50 years, the festival has grown to become one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia.

This year, IFFI is scheduled to be held from November 20 to 28 at Pearl of the Orient, Goa. It is the only official film festival of the fovernment of India. IFFI is an ‘A’ grade film festival accredited to the International Federation of Producers’ Association (FIAPF).

IFFI showcases a collage of the best of contemporary and classic films from around the globe and welcomes an array of noted filmmakers, actors, technicians, critics, academicians and film enthusiasts to celebrate cinema and the art of filmmaking through its screenings, presentations, master classes, panel discussions, co-production and seminars, among others.

According to a recent announcement made by Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur, Veteran Hollywood director Martin Scorchese and celebrated Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo will be honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at the IFFI this year.

The festival will also have its first-ever collaboration with ‘over the top’ (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Voot and Sony Liv, Thakur said. The OTT platforms will participate in the festival through masterclasses and premiers of exclusive content.

Tentatively, the upcoming edition will have over 300 screenings.

A competition will also be held for young filmmakers, according to the Union information and broadcasting ministry. IFFI will provide a platform for 75 ‘creative minds of tomorrow’ to connect with those established in the industry, the ministry added.

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