By Kunal Doley
The past two years have not been favorable to the country’s cultural fraternity. While many organizers have had to change the formats of their shows, others have been forced to postpone or even cancel their music, art and film festivals amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The next cultural season in India, however, looks a bit encouraging, as some organizers are now lining up their annual extravagances.
For example, the India Art Fair, which did not take place this year, is scheduled for February 3-6 in 2022. The same goes for the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) – said to be the Kumbh Mela of the literature – back to ‘normal’ after donning a virtual avatar.
The 2022 edition of the JLF will be held from January 28 to February 1.
The literary festival will also have its ninth international expansion from May 13 to 22 next year when the popular jamboree is held in the Maldives and features a promising lineup of authors, workshops, music and art.
After travel restrictions and global blockages, JLF Soneva Fushi will be an opportunity to reconnect with the joys of art, music and literature performances in the context of the idyllic seaside resort of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by pristine nature, organizers said.
Likewise, after a year off, Nagaland is set to host the popular Hornbill Festival in Kisama, albeit for a week instead of 10 days, according to reports. Last year, the annual celebration took place virtually for the first time in 20 years since it began.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (or Jodhpur RIFF or Jodhpur folk festival), once again missed its appointment with the public this year. Also last year, the annual pilgrimage of folklore lovers held in and around Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur could not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jodhpur RIFF will now be held from October 6-10, 2022.
We’ll give you a list of some of the upcoming festivals in the country and what they’re going to offer this time around.
Hornbill Festival 2021
When: To be announced
Amid a drop in Covid-19 cases and after a one-year hiatus, the Nagaland government is set to host the popular Hornbill Festival in December this year.
Last year, the annual celebration took place virtually for the first time in 20 years since its inception. Preparations are now in full swing to host the 22nd edition of the event, which will take place in a truncated version of one week instead of 10 days, according to reports.
The hornbill festival usually takes place between December 1 and 10 of each year in Kohima. The music festival and rock competition take place in the nearby town of Dimapur. This year, however, the scene could be a little different.
The festival showcases the rich Naga tradition and culture at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, approximately 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, attended the event, according to some reports.
Tata Literature Live! Mumbai Literary Festival 2021
When: November 18-21
Tata Literature Live! Mumbai LitFest will continue its tradition of showcasing leading figures among the world’s best authors, thinkers, writers and artists for its 12th edition this year. The festival, which runs from November 18 to 21, will take place in a virtual format for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s festival has been carefully curated to bring attendees and audiences alike online for some quality time.
As in previous years, there will be international programming 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 traditional festival highlights like the Lifetime Achievement Award which is bestowed on a distinguished literary personality; presentation to the annual Poet Laureate; the Great Debate; daily shows, including for children, and Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest Literary Awards for the first book and the book of the year in the categories Fiction and Non-Fiction, Business Book of the Year and Publisher of the Year.
The Petit Festival pour enfants, the first of which started at the same time as Litfest two years ago, will also take place simultaneously, as will a Campus Festival, a series of lectures by participating writers for students.
India Art Fair 2022
When: February 3-6
After missing a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of the India Art Fair (IAF) is scheduled to take place at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi from February 3-6 next year. A platform for discovering modern and contemporary art in South Asia, spread over a 12,000 m² venue, it is one of the biggest events in the Indian cultural calendar with more than 60 exhibitors from all over India showcasing some of the region’s most iconic artists, alongside some international participants.
At the 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 new and young talents from the region.
In the last edition in 2020, India Art Fair presented 81 modern, contemporary and institutional exhibitors, an inaugural performance art program, outdoor projects, artist conferences, workshops, signing sessions and the launch of the second issue of the annual India Art exhibition.
Mahindra Kabira Festival 2021
When: November 26-28
After a full year of waiting, the Mahindra Kabira Festival will once again open its arms to a small and selected audience from November 26 to 28. The program will include a plethora of classical and folk music, lectures, live art demonstrations, the characteristic Kabira boat rides, a local food tour and the quintessential Ganga Arati experience.
An original idea of the Mahindra group and the performing arts and entertainment company Teamwork Arts, the festival celebrates Kabir and the wisdom inherent in his verses through its varied program offerings.
Commenting on the festival, Jay Shah, Vice President, Head of Cultural Outreach, Mahindra Group, said, “The 2021 Mahindra Kabira Festival returns with the promise of hope and optimism. We are delighted to bring the joy of live performances back to Varanasi, a city known for its ancient art and wisdom. We welcome our delegates and performers and envision a great festival amid all the security protocols. “
52nd Indian International Film Festival, Goa
When: November 20-28
International Film Festival of India (IFFI, Goa) celebrates its 52nd edition in a hybrid format. Over the past 50 years, the festival has grown into one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in Asia.
This year, the IFFI will be held from November 20 to 28 at the Pearl of the Orient, Goa. It is the only official government film festival of India. IFFI is a category “A” film festival accredited by the International Federation of Producers Associations (FIAPF).
IFFI presents a collage of the best of contemporary and classic films from around the world and welcomes a range of renowned filmmakers, actors, technicians, critics, academics and film buffs to celebrate cinema and the art of cinema through its screenings, presentations , master classes, round tables, co-productions and seminars, among others.
According to a recent announcement by Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, veteran Hollywood director Martin Scorchese and famous Hungarian filmmaker Istevan Szabo will receive the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFI This year.
The festival will also have its very first collaboration with “over the top” (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, Voot and Sony Liv, Thakur said. OTT platforms will participate in the festival through masterclasses and premieres of exclusive content.
Provisionally, the next edition will have more than 300 screenings.
A competition will also be organized for young filmmakers, according to the Union’s Ministry of Information and Audiovisual. IFFI will provide a platform for 75 “creative minds of tomorrow” to connect with those established in the industry, the ministry added.