Karan Johar is an eminent Indian film producer, director and television personality. Since his directorial debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, his production house - Dharma Productions has gone on to produce more than 50 acclaimed films such as Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Agneepath, and Shershaah. Karan’s talk show Koffee With Karan is also immensely popular.

One of the most popular leading ladies of her generation, Sara Ali Khan (27) made a well-received Hindi film debut in 2019 in the emotionally charged romantic saga Kedarnath. Her impressive career includes both mainstream Bollywood fare (Her impressive career includes both mainstream Bollywood fare (Simmba, Love Aaj Kal) and strong character-driven projects (Atrangi Re, Gaslight). She will be seen next in Amazon Original Movie Ae Watan Mere Watan, a Dharmatic Entertainment Production. The film is a thriller-drama inspired by true events and will see Sara Ali Khan play the character of a valiant freedom fighter.

Kannan Iyer writing credits include films such as Daud and Victory. His Ek Thi Daayan featuring Emraan Hashmi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Huma Qureshi was a critical and box office success. Kannan returns to the director's chair with Ae Watan Mere Watan, inspired by true events.

Apoorva Mehta is the CEO and Producer at Dharma Productions. Driven by innovation, and oriented to high achievement, Apoorva has been instrumental in introducing the digital wave of entertainment at Dharma as well as the industry.

Aparna Purohit is the Head of Originals, India & South-East Asia at Prime Video. She has developed and launched multiple award-winning rooted, authentic and diverse originals such as The Family Man, Mirzapur and Jubilee on Prime Video.


Rohini Ramnathan leads Radio Nasha - India's premiere retro radio station. She also hosts her own chat show, Bol Baby Bol on Film Companion. When she isn't on the radio, you can find her acting in the movies (Gully Boy) or performing ino the theatre in Mumbai. She has been awarded the first 'Queero' award from India's LGBTQi community in 2017.


Jon Goldwater is the CEO and Publisher of Archie Comics. Jon has revitalized the brand, bringing it into the modern era and introducing new characters and stories like Kevin Keller, Life With Archie, Afterlife With Archie, and the acclaimed Archie #1. Under his leadership, Archie has not only thrived in traditional comics but also in TV series and Netflix films, engaging both old and new fans.

Zoya Akhtar with 4 films, 3 short stories, 1 web series, 6 Filmfare awards, an Emmy nomination, a NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film, a world premiere at Cannes and Berlin, and India's official entry to the Oscars outlines this Writer, Director, Producer has the unique ability to tell stories that break the conventions make and creating waves globally. Her 5th film, The Archies, is set to release on Netflix on December 7th, 2023.

Reema Kagti is considered one of the most dynamic screenwriters and filmmakers in Indian cinema. Honeymoon Travels Private Limited, Talaash, and the historic sports drama Gold were acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. Her recent series include Made in Heaven' and Dahaad - the first-ever Indian series to premiere at Berlinale

Sharad Devarajan , Founder & CEO of Graphic India and Liquid Comics, is a dynamic entrepreneur and professor. He's behind 200+ animated TV episodes, 300 comics, and projects like The Archies for Netflix and The Legend of Hanuman on Disney+. He co-created Chakra The Invincible with Stan Lee and Spider-Man: India. His work spans Astra Force, Baahubali: The Lost Legends and various Hollywood adaptations through Liquid Comics.


Rajeev Masand is a well-celebrated Indian film critic, journalist, and cinephile. His experience with director roundtables and the industry ensures he is well-primed to delve deeper into the filmmaking process.


With the roaring success of Gadar 2, Sunny Deol is back to where he belongs – i.e., right on top. As an actor, Sunny has worked in more than 90 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades. He has won two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards. But Sunny is much more than an actor. He is also a keen social worker and a politician. Currently he represents Gurdaspur in Punjab as a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. Of the many film makers that Sunny has worked with, three can be said to have played important roles in his evolution as an actor and success as star. Anil Sharma who directed in Gadar, The Hero, Apne and Singh Saab the Great. Rajkumar Santoshi who wielded the baton for Ghayal, Damini, Ghatak and Rahul Rawail who gave Sunny his first break with Betaab and then followed it up with Arjun, Samandar, Dacait, Yoddha, Arjun Pandit and Jo Bolay So Nihal. This session charts Sunny’s amazing 40-year movie career.

Rahul Rawail is the son of renowned film director H.S Rawail. He gave Sunny Deol his first break in Betaab in 1983. Rahul cut his teeth in film making by working with Raj Kapoor in legendary films like Mera Naam Joker and Bobby. Rawail tasted success with his directorial debut Love Story and scaled further heights with Arjun, Dacait, Anjaam, Arjun Pandit and Jo Bole So Nihaal . He has launched the careers of Kajol in Bekhudi and Aishwarya Rai in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. Rahul has been nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Director for Betaab and Arjun.

Anil Sharma has been one of the most prolific, renowned and passionate film makers on Indian soil. He started his debut at the very young age of 21 years as a director with an outstanding film Shraddhanjali, a huge success at the box office. After that, he made a number of magnificent films and carved an indelible niche for himself as a successful film maker in Indian Film Industry. The movie, Gadar Ek Prem Katha, created history at the box office and now its sequel Gadar 2 - The Katha Continues is creating new records of success.

Rajkumar Santoshi made his directorial debut with the crime film Ghayal and went on to make thrillers Damini and Ghatak. Santoshi has also received praise for directing the comedy Andaz Apna Apna, the box-office hit Barsaat and the romantic comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani among many others. He has received three National Film Awards and six Filmfare Awards.

Films are considered to be a director’s medium. But different directors have different ways of finding ideas, constructing the narrative, creating the mise-en-scene, working with actors, using the visual language, designing sound, handling actors. This session offers the budding film maker an opportunity to listen to Brillante Mendoza, the eminent contemporary director from Philippines. Direk Brillante will show the Ma’Rosa Behind the scenes as part of the class, and then he will entertain questions.


Brillante Mendoza, a celebrated Philippine director and producer, stands as a cinematic icon. He made history by winning the Best Director award at Cannes for Kinatay in 2009, the first Filipino to do so. Mendoza also received France's prestigious Chevalier dansl Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2014. His journey began with Masahista in 2005, which won Locarno's Golden Leopard. His recent works, including Amo on Netflix and Gensan Punch on HBO GO, have maintained his international acclaim, and Resbak is currently available on Amazon Prime. Mendoza's influence extends far beyond Philippine borders.

Benjamin Franklin once said, When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. An actor who prepares diligently carries the power to transport the audiences to new worlds, captivating them, igniting their imaginations, and leaving lasting impressions. One actor who has taken this seriously is indeed Vijay Sethupathy. This session features the celebrated actor in conversation with another well-known actor – Kushboo Sundar.


Vijay Sethupathi is one of the most versatile actors in the Indian film industry. He has acted in more than 50 films, many of them being successful. His first lead role was in Seenu Ramasamy's Thenmerku Paruvakatru which won three National awards. He then went on to play the villain’s role in Sundarapandian. He got his big breakthrough with films like Pizza, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and Soodhu Kavvum. Today, Vijay Sethupathy is respected and sought after as a highly talented and accomplished actor.


Kushboo Sundar is a renowned actor who has made a significant impact in the South Indian film industry with films like Varsham 16, Chinna Thambi, Singara Velan, Michael Madan Kamarajan and Ranadheera leading to a massive fan following for her versatile acting skills. Kushboo has also served as a member of the National Commission for Women where she actively worked towards addressing issues of gender inequality and violence against women. In 2014 she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and has been involved in various political campaigns and activities aligned with the party's ideology. Kushboo's ability to balance her career in the entertainment industry with her social and political engagements showcases her multifaceted persona.


Maverick Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar who is known for his realistic, critically acclaimed and commercially successful Films like Chandni Bar, Page 3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion, Heroine and Indu Sarkar & his latest OTT hits Babli Bouncer and India Lockdown. His films have made a deep impact on the society as well as film admirers across India and abroad. Madhur Bhandarkar is the Winner of 5 National Film Awards and is also a Padma Shri Awardee.


Taran Adarsh age 58, is a well-known and popular Indian film critic and film business analyst. Starting his career at the age of 15, he has been an active critic for 43 years. He started his career with Trade Guide, a film business magazine founded by his father, then switched over to television and Internet, writing reviews for Bollywood Hungama, the hugely popular entertainment website owned by Hungama Group. Taran enjoys the largest following on social media [amongst film journalists in India]: Twitter [4.1+ million], Facebook [1.8+ million] and Instagram [770k]. Taran’s comments and opinions are highlighted on a regular basis on Aaj Tak, NDTV, ABP News, Republic, Times of India, Midday, Indian Express and many prestigious publications. Taran has hosted shows on television and has been an integral part of film festivals in India and abroad, holding master classes and conducting interviews with notable film personalities.

The panel will focus on authentic portrayals of characters and cultural settings, highlighting their significance in resonating with audiences on an emotional level. In a world saturated with fiction, this panel celebrates the power of reality-driven storytelling in creating meaningful and relatable cinematic experiences.


Kay Kay Menon a versatile actor is known for his stellar roles in Sarkar, Honeymoon Travels, Life in a... Metro, Gulaal, Special Ops, as well as his acclaimed work in Telugu, Tamil, and Gujarati cinema.

Babil Khan is a filmmaker and actor by profession. He made his cinematic debut with Anvita Dutt's highly acclaimed psychological drama, Qala last year. He also played a lead role in Netflix’s Friday Night Plan

Divyenndu Sharma is an actor best known for playing lead roles in films such as Pyar Ka Punchnama, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, and Kanpuriye as well as the OTT series Mirzapur. Sharma has won many accolades for his acting skills.

Tanya Bami oversees the development of original scripted series, reality series, comedy specials, and documentaries at Netflix. She has led some of Netflix’s most loved series including Kaala Paani, Guns & Gulaabs, Kota Factory (season 2), and The Hunt for Veerappan among others.

Shiv Rawail makes his directorial debut with YRF Entertainment and Netflix's 4-episode thrilling drama The Railway Men, which celebrates the unsung heroes – the railway employees of India - who went beyond their call of duty trying to save the lives of thousands of innocent citizens trapped in a helpless city on the fateful night of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

Aayush Gupta has directed and co-produced a non-fiction series for India's public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, as well as documentaries for NCERT, Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti. He is the writer of YRF Entertainment and Netflix's The Railway Men.


Swati Chopra is currently a Senior Reporter at The Quint. An avid watcher of films and shows, her interest cuts across genres - she loves watching and exploring cinema from across the globe.


Pankaj Tripathi, a recipient of the National Award on two occasions, is a highly esteemed personality in the Indian Film industry, having made a significant mark in Indian cinema. Driven by his passion for acting, Tripathi pursued a degree in Hindi literature and subsequently enrolled at the prestigious National School of Drama (NSD) in Delhi, graduating in 2004. He then relocated to Mumbai. After dedicating nearly eight years to his craft, Tripathi secured his breakthrough role in the acclaimed film Gangs of Wasseypur released in 2012. Following this milestone, Tripathi featured in a plethora of noteworthy movies, including Fukrey, Nil Battey Sannata, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Masaan, Gurgaon, Newton, Stree, Mimi, Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl, Ludo, Kaagaz, Sherdil, 83, Mimi, and OMG 2, among numerous others. Tripathi's foray into the digital space was equally impactful, with his roles in acclaimed shows like Mirzapur, Criminal Justice, and Sacred Games. His performance in the film Newton garnered special recognition, earning the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 2017. Tripathi's portrayal in the movie was praised for its impeccable execution, leading to his accolade at the 2018 National Awards. Recently, the versatile actor clinched a National Award in the supporting category for his role in the movie Mimi. Pankaj Tripathi is currently engrossed in a slew of upcoming projects, including Kadak Singh, Mirzapur 3, Gulkanda Tales, Murder Mubarak, Metro In Dino, and Stree 2, to name but a few.


Mayank Shekhar is the first film critic to win the Ramnath Goenka, India’s top journalism prize. His last book, Name Place Animal Thing, on India and pop-culture, was a critically acclaimed, Amazon top title. He is currently Entertainment Editor with Mid-day newspaper in Mumbai, where you can follow his reviews and writings on cinema & mass-culture.

Documentary has been a part of Indian film making right from the beginning. While masters such as Pramod Pati and S. Sukhdev broke new grounds, feature film makers like Satyajit Ray and Shyam Benegal too have excelled whenever they chose to make a documentary. With the advent of the information age, documentary channels and user-friendly filming equipment, there has been an upsurge in the interest in documentary. But nothing got Indian documentary noticed globally, as did the recent Oscar to Elephant Whisperer. This session brings 5 great documentary enthusiasts of India on one stage to talk about the future of Indian documentary.


Kartiki Gonsalves is an Academy Award Winning Film maker and Founder - Earth Spectrum. She strives to document our natural world and to help others better understand the profound connection that we share with it.

RV Ramani is a National Award-Winning Filmmaker, Cinematographer and Teacher. He has been exploring, experimenting and making independent films on various aspects of expression. He believes, There is only one issue, which is the need to express and to reach an expression.

Miriam Chandy Menachery’s documentary, Rat Race was the winner of the Mipdoc CoProduction Challenge at Cannes. She has also won the Asian Television Awards for Best Social Documentary and the UK Environment Film Fellowship.

Sai Abishek is Head of Factual & Lifestyle Cluster, South Asia, Warner Bros. Discovery. He oversees original content, programming strategy, and profitability across a broad portfolio of global brands and networks in entertainment, and infotainment genres at Warner Bros. Discovery, South Asia.

Nilotpal Majumdar is the Founder and President, Documentary Resource Initiative that hosts Docedge Kolkata. He was honoured with European Documentary Network Award in 2017 for making outstanding contribution towards the culture of global documentary cinema.


Anshul Chaturvedi has worked in the space of features and cine journalism throughout his 23- year-old association with the Times Of India group. He has been the editor of Delhi Times for 18 years and is presently the Executive Editor of the Metro Supplements of TOI, which include Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Bangalore Times, and another thirty such products. Anshul has been a frequent participant at IFFI platforms and also hosted a session at the India Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

The Oscar Award excites imagination. There is no one in films who doesn’t wish to win an Oscar. It is a recognition on what can arguably be called the highest stage of cinematic excellence in the world. For a very long time, Indians thought Oscars were beyond their realm. Then one day, Bhanu Athaiya broke that glass ceiling. Later, thanks to the wins of people like AR Rahman, Resul Pookutty and now MM Keeravani, Guneet Monga Kapoor and Kartiki Gonsalves, Indians have starting believing Oscar to be within reach. But the ways of winning the Oscar remain a mystery. This session is meant to unravel that mystery - with the help of those who have either won the Oscar themselves, or know how the system works.


Guneet Monga Kapoor has produced close to 30 feature films including The Lunchbox, Masaan and Gangs of Wasseypur, all of which received critical acclaim at prestigious international festivals such as Cannes, TIFF, and Sundance. Most recently, Guneet produced The Elephant Whisperers which won at the Academy Awards 2023 for the Best Documentary Short Film category.

Carter Pilcher is the Chief Executive of ShortsTV. It is the first and only 24/7 HD TV channel dedicated to short movies and is available in approximately 130 million households across the US, Latin America, Europe and India. Carter is a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

Resul Pookutty work as a sound designer, production mixer, sound effects, foley editor and post-production re-recording mixer, has brought Indian cinema sound to a new level and international acclaim. His work in Slumdog Millionaire won him the prestigiousAcademy Award® of Merit, more popularly known as Oscars.


Sonal Kalra is a renowned entertainment journalist who is presently the Chief Managing Editor for Entertainment & Lifestyle at Hindustan Times, India’s second largest English daily. She is the recipient of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for cinema journalism and has also written three best seller books.

Thanks to the emergence of OTT web series in the recent years, the audience's consumption habits and demands have undergone a profound transformation. Consequently, the role of creators has evolved into delivering not just captivating narratives but also to ensure that the viewer transitions seamlessly from episode to episode and season to season. In this session, budding OTT creators can expect to learn the nuances of this new age craft.


Manoj Bajpayee is often regarded as a method actor. He is known for his unconventional, versatile roles and has till date worked in more than 60 films. He won multiple National, Filmfare and other awards for films such Satya, Shool, Pinjar and Aligarh.

Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K are widely respected for their innovative and uniquely original content. Their hit shows The Family Man, Farzi, and Guns and Gulaabs have won accolades globally, proving them a trailblazer in OTT content.

Apoorva Bakshi is an International Emmy Awarded producer best known for her Netflix series Delhi Crime and The Hunt for Veerapan. She has collaborated with auteurs and filmmakers to developed a genre-defying projects under her banner Awedacious Originals.

After 15 years of excelling in English and Tamil theatre, including the magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan, Srikrishna Dayal transitioned to OTT with Family Man: Season 2 and has remained a consistently sought after actor ever since.


Naman Ramachandran is a Film Consultant. He has authored Lights, Camera, Masala: Making Movies in Mumbai and Rajinikanth: The Definitive Biography.

Session Concept

For many a lay person – a film is made when a writer writes a story, a director directs some actors to enact it and a cameraperson films it all. For a long time, the production design function, comprising of creating sets, costumes and make up stirred little interest. Of late however, cinema audience have begun to realize the crucial role that production design, along with its encompassing functions, plays in the success of a film. This session brings to the audience three of the most accomplished practitioners of this important cinematic art.


One of the leading Costume Designers and Actors of the Indian film industry, Dolly Ahluwalia’s credits include such well known films as Bandit Queen, Vicky Donor and Haider. She has won 3 National Film Awards and 3 Filmfares, besides 4 IFFAs and the National Sangeet Natak Academy Award.

Vaishnavi Reddy’s credits as Production Designer include Ghajini with director A.R.Murugadoss and M.S Dhoni-The Untold Story "with director Neeraj Pandey. She received much appreciation for recreating the world of the 1980's in Special 26 and recently for the visually stunning frames of Sita Ramam (Telugu).

Having worked with luminaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and a host of other celebrated actors, Preetisheel Singh D'souza has sculpted characters that linger in the minds of audiences. With over 60 movies to her credit, including huge blockbusters like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Pushpa and Jawan, her expertise has been integral to the success of numerous cinematic masterpieces.


A reputed film critic, interviewer and writer who has worked for top media organisations, Sudhir Srinivasan is the Executive Editor (Entertainment) of The New Indian Express and is known for his deep conversations with filmmakers and his own insightful commentary on films laced with social and psychological insight.

The Cinematographer is often called the eyes of the Director. History of cinema is witness to Director-Cinematographer teams such as Charlie Chaplin-Roland Totheroh, Ingmar Bergman-Sven Nykvist and Claire Denis-Agnes Godard who have combined to make legendary films. In the current era, Tarsem Singh and Brendan Galvin are one such team. Their association dates back many years and Dear Jassi is their latest work. This session features a freewheeling conversation between Tarsem and Brendan on the nature of director cameraman collaboration, film making in the current era, the art of cinematography and of course the making of Dear Jassi.


Brendan Galvin is renowned for his exceptional talent in visual storytelling, consistently delivering captivating and emotive cinematography. Born in Ireland, Brendan has honed his craft through diverse collaborations on projects include Behind Enemy Lines, Veronica Guerin and Flight of the Phoenix, which were nominated for the Irish Film and Television Awards under the category of Best Cinematography. His 2019 releases include Rambo: Last Blood, the fifth instalment of the Rambo franchise. Brendan Galvin's expertise in lighting, framing, and camera movements has left a profound impact on the industry, while his collaborative spirit and mentoring efforts inspire the next generation of filmmakers. In 2023, Brendan continues to shape the world of cinematography with passion and creativity.

Tarsem Singh is an Indian-American filmmaker known for his distinctive visual style. Born on May 26, 1961, in Jalandhar, India, he studied in the United States and began his career directing music videos and commercials. He gained recognition for his work on R.E.M.'s 'Losing My Religion' music video. Singh made his feature film debut with The Cell, a psychological thriller that showcased his visually stunning and imaginative filmmaking. He went on to direct movies like The Fall and Immortals, which continued to highlight his unique visual storytelling. In addition to his film work, Tarsem Singh has an extensive background in advertising and has worked with various high-profile clients. His films often blend artistry and storytelling, creating a distinctive cinematic experience.

Young filmmakers are breaking new grounds every day - making fresh, new cinema, deeply rooted and innovatively crafted. However, in their pursuit of redefining the language of cinema, the youngsters must surmount a series of formidable obstacles to ensure that their voices are heard. This session comprises a panel of young film makers from diverse parts of India, sharing the stories of their struggles, challenges and joys in making the films that we all admire.

Sagar Puranik is a two-time National award-winning film maker, who has worked primarily in the Kannada industry. His first National Award was a special mention for his non feature film, Mahaan Hutatma, and his second for his debut feature film Dollu.

Nikhil Mahajan is a graduate in film from The International Film School Sydney. He is a writer, producer and director best known for Godavari which won him the prestigious Golden Lotus for Best Direction as well as the Filmfare award for Best Direction and Best Screenplay.

Rajdeep Paul is a two-time National Award-winning filmmaker-writer, who works as a filmmaker-duo with Sarmistha Maiti. He won the 69th National Film Award for Best Bengali Film in 2023 for his debut feature Kalkokkho (House of Time) which World Premiered in 26th Busan International Film Festival.

Jasmeet K. Reen began her career in advertising. After a summer course at FTII Pune and writing and assisting in the Hindi films she made her directorial debut with Darlings. The film, starring Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, Vijay Verma and Roshan Mathew, was released on Netflix and had the highest global opening for a non-English language Indian film.


Mayank Shekhar is the first film critic to win the Ramnath Goenka, India’s top journalism prize. His last book, Name Place Animal Thing, on India and pop-culture, was a critically acclaimed, Amazon top title. He is currently Entertainment Editor with Mid-day newspaper in Mumbai, where you can follow his reviews and writings on cinema & mass-culture.

A film producer’s job requires ability to garner funds, foresight in budgeting the expense, wisdom in spending the money judiciously and ensuring best possible monetisation of the final product. Very little of this process is known to an average cine enthusiast. In fact, many a film maker too may not know much about the intricacies of production. The proposed session seeks to demystify the vocation of film production and educate the budding film professionals about the challenges and joys of producing a film.


Firdausul Hasan is a film and television producer and distributor. His production Mayurakshi won the 65th National Award for Best Bengali Feature Film. More recently his films Aparajito and Padatik have won many accolades and awards

Prithul Kumar is the Festival Director for IFFI & Film Bazar 2023. He is an accomplished civil servant who looks after all policy and administrative matters related to the Films sector in India, including education, archival, production, certification and also the government’s scheme for promotion of film sector.

Sunitha Tati is the Founder and CEO of Guru Group. Popularly known for Oh Baby! And Saakini Daakini, she is now getting ready to produce her first international feature Chennai Story.

Shariq Patel, Chief Business Officer – Zee Studios spearheads the Movies business of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. and is responsible for various aspects of the value chain viz. movie production/ acquisitions as well as monetization, across all markets (Domestic & International).


With more than 30 years experience, Komal Nahta is one of the most respected film trade analysts of the Hindi film industry. He analyses films in such minute details that he predicts their box-office collections on their day of release itself.

A freewheeling conversation with Rani Mukerji on her life and work


Rani Mukerji is global icon amongst Indians and South Asians across the world. Rani is synonymous with memorable female leads in Indian cinema and is widely credited for her enormous contribution towards changing the representation of women in films, thereby projecting them as strong, independent and self-reliant. Often titled as the Queen of Hearts by popular media, Rani is a movie star with a huge theatrical fan following. Rani has won over 50 acting awards. She is the first actress to have ever won both the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress trophies in a single year (2004). In 2023, Rani scored again theatrically with Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, a true story that saw her as a mother who takes on a country to win back her kids and delivered a gut-wrenching performance. Rani Mukerji once again proved that she is adored by generations across and has a genuine fanbase that celebrates her.


Baradwaj Rangan is Editor-in-Chief, Galatta Plus, where he does reviews and interviews. He was formerly Editor, Film Companion (South), and earlier, with The Hindu and The New Indian Express. He won the National Award for Best Film Critic in 2005. His writings on cinema, music, art, books, travel and humour have been published in The New York Times, The Hindu, The New Indian Express, The Caravan, Arts Illustrated, Biblio, Outlook and The Cricket Monthly. He has also authored books - Conversations with Mani Ratnam(2012) and Dispatches from the Wall Corner (2014).

Masterclass. Introduction to Digital Motion Picture Preservation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Digital Preservation Forum.

Filmmakers today are faced with the ever-evolving reality of properly and securely archiving their film- or file-based productions, digitally. This session will introduce attendees to the efforts of the Academy Digital Preservation Forum (academydigitalpreservationforum.org), which is under the auspices of the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It will highlight the ongoing work of the Academy to educate and collaborate with filmmakers and the motion picture industry by curating original content, developing resources, and identifying standards and best practices to help artists and organizations make informed choices about the digital preservation strategies.


Theodore E. Gluck is a veteran film restoration expert and film historian. He received his master’s degree in Film Studies from Boston University. From 1991 to 2020 Theo was with The Walt Disney Studios starting as Manager of Film Operations. In 1994 Theo joined Disney Character Voices International as Director of Post Production in support of the Studio’s foreign language dubbing. Beginning in 2004, Theo was appointed as the Studio’s Director of Library Restoration and Preservation, working in collaboration with diverse branches of the organization worldwide. In that role, Theo supervised the Studio’s meticulous restoration of iconic films including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins as well as dozens of other classic animated and live-action features and shorts from the company’s vast filmedentertainment library. Theo is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Production and Technology Branch) and sits on the Academy’s Science and Technology Council Executive Committee. He also serves as Chairman of the Council’s Technology History Subcommittee. Theo is a mentor in the Academy’s Gold Rising Program and is also a mentor for HPA-YEP (Hollywood Professional Association / Young Entertainment Professionals). Theo’s notable, long-standing professional affiliations include the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society (BKSTS), and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA).


Ujwal N. Nirgudkar is a Chemical Engineer from U.D.C.T. Mumbai University and working with the Indian Film Industry for the past 42 years. He is currently Chairman of SMPTE-India Section (Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers). First Indian to be invited by the Oscar Academy to join in “Production & Technology Branch” in 2017. He is also representing India on the “Science & Technology Council” of the Oscar Academy since Nov.2020. He has also worked as “Chief Technical Advisor” for the “National Film Heritage Mission” a project, under the National Film Archives/NFDC. He will be moderating today’s Masterclass on Digital Preservation.

Indian cinema began as an all-male affair. But before long, pioneers like Dadasaheb Phalke, Kamalabai Kamat, Durga Khote opened the doors of the industry for women. In its 125+ years history, there are many instances of women excelling in different fields of Indian cinema. But even today, it is doubtful if our industry has become a level playing field in terms of gender equity. This session features a conversation with three women cinema professionals discussing the challenges and joys of women working in the Indian film industry.


Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is an Artist, Filmmaker and Writer. Her acclaimed movies, short films and web series, Nil Battey Sannata, Amma Kanakku, Bareilly ki Barfi, Panga, Ghar ki Murgi, Break-Point, Ankahi (Anthology), and most recently Faadu have brought her appreciation for her craft in writing and direction.

Shweta Venkat Mathew is an award-winning Indian Film Editor who has edited several critically acclaimed films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Newton, Bhonsle and the documentary Supermen of Malegaon. An FTII alumna, her filmography also boasts of mainstream films like Hasee Toh Phasee, Veere Di Wedding, Haseen Dillruba "and the very recent director Sooraj Barjatya’s Uunchaii.


A seasoned broadcast journalist, Puja Talwar is the former Editor - Entertainment at NDTV. In her accomplished career, she has hosted prime time TV shows, moderated discussions and interviewed a host of celebrities and legends from film industry. Puja received the Indian Television Award for the documentary Provoked in 2004.

Human Creativity Vs. Artificial Intelligence


Acclaimed Filmmaker, Actor, Narrator and Producer, Shekhar Kapur is recipient of several accolades, including Padma Shri, National Film Award, BAFTA Award, National Board of Review Award, Filmfare Awards, and nominations for Golden Globe and Oscars. His Filmography includes Masoom (1983), Mr India (1987), Bandit Queen (1994), Elizabeth (1998), The Four Feathers (2002), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and What’s Love Got To Do With It (2022). He has been Chairman, Film and Television Institute of India, 2020-2023; Member, Cannes International Jury 2010; Chairman, IFFI Jury 2015.

Sudhir Mishra is an Indian film director and screenwriter who has been working in the Hindi film industry for over 30 years. He is known for his gritty and realistic films that often deal with social and political issues. Some of his most acclaimed films include Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005), Dharavi (1992), Chameli (2003), Serious men (2020) and Afwaah (2023). Mr Mishra has won numerous awards for his work, including National Film Awards and a Filmfare Award. He is considered one of the most valuable and influential directors working in India today.

Villains play an indispensable role in Indian films, at times even eclipsing the significance of the protagonists. Their distinctively crafted persona, costume, lairs, dialogue delivery, mannerisms and actions often elevate them to a level of popularity that often rivals the lead characters in films. India has had a long tradition of ‘villains’ in films and the four panellists in this session are all legendary figures who will share their experience and thoughts on this grand institution of Hindi cinema.


Ranjeet is best known as a star villain in big Hindi blockbuster films. Overall, he has acted in over 500 films in most languages spoken in India. He has also worked in theatre, television and OTT spaces. Ranjeet takes pride in finding success in the industry without any godfather.

Popularly known as the Bad Man of Hindi cinema, Gulshan Grover has brought diversity of look and persona to every negative role he has played. With Columbia TriStar’s Jungle Book 2, he has also seamlessly transitioned to Hollywood and continues to be the feared Bad Man in French, German, Australian and Canadian films too.

Son of actor Murad, Raza Murad graduated in Acting from FTII in 1971. Starting his career as a character actor, he was reintroduced as a villain in Prem Rog by Raj Kapoor which the ace director followed up with Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Henna. Raza has so far worked in 550 films in 19 languages and continues to be as busy as ever.

Kiran Kumar was born in a film family. Son of renowned actor Jeevan, Kiran studied acting at FTII, Pune. He has acted in 450 Films and 6000 TV and OTT episodes in a career that is still going strong after 50 years. Kiran is also associated with Elesium Entertainment, directing shorts and commercials.


With more than 30 years experience, Komal Nahta is one of the most respected film trade analysts of the Hindi film industry. He analyses films in such minute details that he predicts their box-office collections on their day of release itself. Nahta has his own YouTube channel and is also a television host.


Few actors have broken as many glass ceilings in the film industry as Vidya Balan. In a career nearing three decades, she has essayed unconventional roles with great finesse in films like' Parineeta, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Paa, Kahani, The Dirty Picture, Shakuntala Devi, Sherni and Jalsa. Recognition of her work has come in form of one National and seven Filmfare awards besides the national honour of Padma Shri. Join Vidya Balan as she takes you through the milestones of her incredible journey, in a freewheeling conversation with Vani Tripathi Tikoo - her colleague from the film industry and a long-standing friend.

A political science graduate from the Delhi University, Vani Tripathi Tikoo has learnt acting under the guidance of the legendary theatre guru Ebrahim Alkazi. As an actor, her work includes 50 plays, 40-odd TV serials and six films. Her passion for theatre has further led her to founding India’s first state run drama school - Madhya Pradesh Natya Vidyalaya – at Bhopal. In 2022, Vani represented the country at the Cannes film festival along with the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, AR Rahman, Shekhar Kapur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. She has been one of the youngest ever member of the Central Board of Film Certification. Recently Vani has authored her first book 'Why can't elephants be red?' which is making waves globally.

One is a legendary Hollywood Actor and Producer - winner of two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy Award. The Other is multiple National Award-winning Bollywood Creator. Producer, Writer and Director. Michael Douglas sits down with Shailendra Singh to discuss how they met in India while scouting for a film; the unifying similarities and dynamic differences between Hollywood and Indian Film Industry; and what being awarded the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award from India, means to a living legend of Hollywood. Expect deep insights, and a lively repartee.


Michael Kirk Douglas has redefined storytelling through a career spanning five decades encapsulating theatre, film, and television. The legendary Hollywood actor and Producer has earned two Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and an Emmy Award. Forever associated with his ruthless portrayal of Gorden Gecko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, his other best known-films include Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Romancing the Stone, War of the Roses, Behind the Candelabra and many more. He earned his first Academy Award in 1975, however, by producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.


Throughout his 25 years in cinema, producing and releasing 72 feature films, Shailendra Singh has set industry benchmarks. His debut film, “Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi” won a Limca Records Award for most debuts (118). “Makdee” was India’s first children’s horror film; “Hanuman”, the first animation; “Phir Milenge”, first social cause cinema; “Khuda Kay Liye”, first Pakistani film released. In 2008, his “Kanchivaram”, directed by Priyadarshan, won three National Awards. A bestselling author and serial entrepreneur, he launched 23 successful startups, including Percept Ltd, Sunburn, Boss Entertainment and Guestlist4Good social enterprise.

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