Ivan Ayr’s ‘Soni’ to compete at Venice Film Fest

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MUMBAI: Director Ivan Ayr’s debut Hindi feature film ‘Soni’ will make its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival to be held from Aug 29 to Sept 8. The film has been selected for the Horizons competition section at the fest. ‘Soni’ is the only Indian feature to be officially selected for completion at the festival. The film, set in Delhi, will feature Kalpana Jha, Saloni Batra and Vikram Shukla among others.

Starring Geetika Vidya and Saloni Batra, the film explores gender politics through the experiences of a Delhi policewoman. Soni was selected for the Work in Progress Lab of the India’s National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar in 2017. Ayr has previously made the short films Lost and Found and Quest for a Different Outcome, which won Best Film at the San Jose Short Film Festival.

‘Soni’ had won the Facebook Award for Best 'Work-In-Progress' Project and Prasad DI Award for the Best Film In 'Film Bazaar Recommends' section at NFDC Film Bazaar 2017.

"I'm thrilled and honoured to have received this invitation. It is truly a fulfilling culmination to a long journey, being offered this prestigious platform," Ayr said in a statement.

The movie is about Soni, a young and fiery policewoman in Delhi and Kalpana, her superintendent who are dealing with a growing crisis of violent crimes against women. Their mission and alliance are further strained by complications arising in Soni's personal and professional life.

Indian film ‘Tumbbad’, which will open the gala's Critics' Week, will be screened out of competition. Venice film festival is often considered by filmmakers as a testing ground before the Oscar selections begin.

Films listed in the main competition section include Rick Alverson’s The Mountain, Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake and Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite.

Damian Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, starring Ryan Gosling,will open the festival and is also one of the competing films. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born, starring him with Lady Gaga, will also have its world premiere (out of competition) at the festival on August 31.

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