Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Kennedy’ among 10 Indian films at the SFF 2023

Photos- Good Bad Films, Zee Studios.



SYDNEY, 18 May, 2023: ‘Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and ‘Ugly'(2013), Director Anurag Kashyap’s new classic noir ‘Kennedy’ will hit the silver screen among 10 Indian movies coming up from 7 June to 18 June, 2023 at the Sydney Film Festival 2023 (SFF). ‘Kennedy’ is the only Indian film to be premiered (May 24) at the Cannes Film Festival (May 16-May 27, 2023). The teaser is out on the official @Festival_Cannes website.

Starring Sunny Leone (Raees) and Rahul Bhat (Ugly), the movie is centred around an ex-cop looking for redemption. He is presumed dead but actually alive and works secretly for the corrupt system. Languages used are Hindi, English and Marathi. Director Anurag Kashyap will be in Sydney for the film festival.


The other Indian features in the festival are Joram, Tora’s Husband and The Winter Within. There are two Indian documentaries in the festival – Against the Tide and While We Watched. Apart fro these films, the Amitabh Bachchan Retrospective will screen four of his movies – Deewar, Amar Akbar Antony, Don and Kaala Patthar (SAT story on Amitabh Retrospective).


JOHRAM – Directed by Devashish Makhija; 2022; 139 minutes; Cast – Manoj Bajpayee, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, Megha Mathur; Language – Hindi with English subtitles; Unclassified 15+

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A labourer in Mumbai goes on the run in this edge-of-your-seat survival thriller that deftly weaves political intrigue with a stylish and propulsive cinematic sensibility.
Dasru (Manoj Bajpayee) and Vaano (Tannishtha Chatterjee) are migrant labourers in the sprawling city, doing backbreaking work on a construction site, where they also live with their baby daughter, Joram. A flashback reveals their much happier life five years earlier in the forests of Jhinpidi, Jharkhand. A sadness and a sense of loss permeates, interrupted only by the folk songs they hum. The arrival of Phulo Karma (Smita Tambe), a politician from Jharkhand handing out gifts seems innocent enough at first, but soon sets in motion a devastating series of events. Dasru, with Joram in tow, flees. He is pursued by the jaded, downtrodden Mumbai cop Ratnakar who reluctantly travels across the country in pursuit. Director Devashish Makhija skilfully creates great tension while gradually revealing the political underpinnings of the thrilling action. Ultimately, Joram pointedly questions the cost of development and progress for the powerless – people who have, as Dasru says, “lived here for 2000 years” but can lose it all in a day.
Tora’s Husband – Directed by Rima Das; 2022; 135 minutes; Cast – Abhijit Das, Tarali Kalita Das, Bhuman Bhargav Das; Language – Assamese with English subtitles; Unclassified 15+
Award-winning Indian filmmaker Rima Das’s drama invites audiences into the beautifully detailed and complex life of a young family in Assam straining under the impacts of the Covid pandemic. TIFF 2022
“He’s a good person, but he’s not a good husband,” says Tora (Tarali Kalita Das) about her husband Jaan (Abhijit Das). Jaan is struggling to keep his restaurant and bakery afloat amidst the pandemic. He’s generous and altruistic – he went into debt paying his workers during lockdown. But he’s also arrogant, impatient and argumentative – and, as he buckles under stress, his drinking is getting worse. Every night he leaves Tora with their young children while he parties with his buddies. Abhijit Das is quietly magnificent as Jaan, making him a difficult and complicated, but ultimately endearing person. Day-to-day joys and heartaches, and a looming sense of crisis, make up this enticing and rich slice of family life.

The Winter Within – Directed by Aamir Bashir; 2022; 99 minutes; Cast – Zoya Hussain, Shabir Ahmad Lone, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat; Language – Kashmiri and Urdu with English subtitles; Unclassified 18+

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A young Kashmiri woman searches for her husband, a militant who has been ‘disappeared’ by occupying forces, in this compelling drama from actor-turned-director Aamir Bashir.
Years of documented human rights abuses by the Indian army in Kashmir are the real-life basis for this intimate tale of the personal cost of state violence. Zoya Hussain is outstanding as Nargis, a poor villager who struggles with social stigma as the wife of a missing rebel militant while pursuing her desperate search for him. She is also a highly skilled weaver; the intricate shawl she is making is emblematic of her fragile hope. Meanwhile the frigid winter of the Himalayan foothills, beautifully captured by cinematographer and co-writer Shanker Raman, underscores the film’s exploration of trauma, fear and op

Against the Tide – Directed by Sarvnik Kaur; 2023; 97 minutes; Language – Koli, Marathi and Hindi with English subtitles.

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Two fishermen from Mumbai’s Indigenous Koli community confront the impact of the changing environment – and the toll on their friendship – in this intimate doc. Special Jury Award, Sundance 2023.
Proud new father Rakesh fishes the shallows of the bay in the traditional way, physically hauling in his catch, just like his father before him. His close friend Ganesh has taken a different path, heading out to deeper water in a power boat, using new and sometimes illicit technologies. The fish are declining due to pollution, amongst other things, and both men are struggling to make ends meet. Filmed over six years, Sarvnik Kaur’s intimate documentary celebrates the durability of their relationship, despite their differences, through weddings, births and financial crises. A touching, humanistic portrait that also reflects on the fragility of our ongoing relationship with the environment.
While We Watched – Directed by Vinay Shukla; 2022; Language – English and Hindi with English subtitles; 92 minutes
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Indian TV journalist Ravish Kumar fights to keep independent reporting alive in the age of misinformation. A prize winner at Toronto and Busan – essential viewing for media watchers everywhere.
Kumar, a veteran with India’s NDTV, is committed to accountability and the facts. He asks the most difficult questions of those in power and, in an age of fake news, clashes with India’s political power-mongers and populist movement. Facing threats and advertising boycotts, with loyal staff resigning, his network is in deep financial trouble. Despite the grim news, Kumar remains optimistic, inspiring a new generation of reporters. Director Vinay Shukla (An Insignificant Man, SFF 2017) follows Kumar’s increasingly desperate situation, offering perseverance and hope, and mirroring the issues facing independent journalism worldwide.
Festival website –




By Neeraj Nanda

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