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    The 12th Chennai International Film Festival sees 171 films and many award winners

    The go-to man when it comes to film festivals in Chennai, E Thangaraj is busy this month. After all, this is when the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF) takes place.  While last year saw guests like Aamir Khan and Kamal Haasan at the event, this year (12th edition) will have some surprise guests. But more importantly, there will be 171 films from 45 countries that will be screened. Divided into categories based on language and region, there are 12 films in Tamil, 17 Indian films, four films from Australia, five films from Polland, six Dutch romantic films and the rest from other countries.
    Telling about the basis of selection, Thangaraj says, “They are all award winning films. All the films are technically sound and once can learn a lot from them. For example, Leviathan by Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev won awards at Cannes this year and also won a cash prize at this year’s Goan film festival.” Most of the films this year fall under the drama genre. Interestingly, the list also has a list of newly released Tamil films like Madras, Thegidi, Kathai, Thiraikathi, Vasanam,Iyakkam, Salim, Saduranga Vettai and Sigaram Thodu.
    As for some of the international films that one should check out, —don’t miss the clever political drama, Flapping in the Middle of Nowhere by Vietnamese director, Diep Hoang Nguyen at Woodlands. There is also Roseville by Bulgarian director Martin Makariev. The horror drama is at Woodlands on December 20. Thangaraj promises a spectacular opening for the event with the screening of the film, In the Name of my Daughter by French directorAndré Téchiné.

    The festival will be held in different locations like Woodlands, Woodlands Symphony, Casino, Inox 3 and Russian Cultural Centre. Till December 25. Details: chennaifilmfest.com/ciff.html
    — MS

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