The Lonavala International Film Festival is more than just a cinematic event; it captivates audiences with each edition. Recognizing cinema as a vital aspect of contemporary culture, the festival applauds the creative contributions of writers, poets, cinematographers, and directors. Inaugurated in 2016, the festival's debut welcomed luminaries such as Mr. Ketan Mehta, Mr. Naseeruddin Shah, and Mr. Shyam Benegal.
Subsequent editions featured thirty films spanning genres, drawing diverse audiences to the scenic Lonavala landscapes. As a cultural mirror, cinema reflects societal dynamics, and the Lonavala Festival, originating in 2016, uniquely focuses on celebrating Indian cinema. Supported by the film industry, it has become an annual Bollywood extravaganza, shaping and showcasing the evolution of the Indian Film Industry over the years.
History Of Lonavala International Film Festival
Lonavala International Film Festival originated in the year 2016. Several acclaimed names like Shyam Benegal, Naseeruddin Shah, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, and Sudhir Mishra were seen attending the festival. Some of the Indian Cinema’s cult films were showcased too, such as Tamas, Pyaasa, Ardh Satya, and Drohkaal.
Besides this, to bring out the true and real essence of life, a few documentaries were also projected that were highly applauded. The award ceremony, along with the Q/A session gave it a happy ending like typical Bollywood movies.
Lonavala International Film Festival 2017 was a huge hit. This time, more than 30 films were showcased under the theme of An Entertaining Family Weekend where movies like - I am Kalam, Andaz Apna Apna, Jalpari-The Desert Mermaid, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, and more were screened.
Do you remember the first superhero on Indian TV? Yes, it is Mukesh Khanna aka Shaktimaan. The favourite of every child of the '90s also appeared as the Chief Guest of the event.
Lonavala International Film Festival 2018 was another great success for the film fraternity. This time the organizers paid tribute to filmmaker Bimal Roy. The screening of his films like Sujata, Bandini, and Madhumati enlightened the audience with his unique perspective.
Also, some treasures of Mr. Bimal Roy were exhibited that were taken from his daughter’s personal collection. In the audience, the same were graced by influencers like Ms. Shabana Azmi, Mr. Prakash Oak, and Mr. Ananth Mahadevan. Workshops and Q & A were also conducted by film experts like Mr. Joy Sengupta, Mr. Anant Mahadevan, and Mr. Tushar Bhatia.
In 2019, the festival honoured legendary Director Subhash Ghai with a grand tribute where his iconic movies such as Karz, Khalnayak, Saudagar, etc. were screened. Also, students from the film and media schools were invited to attend the grand celebrations of our Cinema!
Date, Time, & Venue of Lonavala International Film Festival
The Lonavala International Film Festival is usually organised in the months of September to November and is spread over a few weeks. Lonavala International Film Festival 2019 was held at Scenic Triose Plaza in Lonavala which is famously known as the Green Valley of Mumbai. The later editions were online. The dates of the 2024 edition are not yet announced.
Major Attractions Of Lonavala International Film Festival
LIFFI or Lonavala International Film Festival started in 2016 and up till now, approximately six editions have been held in the scenic surroundings of Lonavala attractions, a stunning hill station, close to Mumbai and Pune. The event is attended by some of the most well-known names in the Indian Film Industry. Here are some of the major attractions of the Lonavala International Film Festival.
1. Chief Guest Speech. The Chief Guest of the festival delivers a speech related to their progressive journey and perception of the industry.
2. Film Screening. Several parallel and commercial cinemas are chosen every year to be screened annually and are recognized for their work on such a big platform.
3. Workshops. Workshops are organized for budding or established filmmakers and other attendees where minute details of filmmaking and its relevant aspects are discussed and taught by experts.
4. Q/A Sessions. To keep the audience engaged, the interactive sessions are taken that are quite fun for the budding cinema enthusiasts who get to hear from the legends themselves.
5. Panel Discussions. Panel discussions are organized where industry veterans share their views on various aspects of the Indian Film Industry.
How To Reach Lonavala for Lonavala International Film Festival
Lonavala is a beautiful hill station surrounded by hills, lakes, waterfalls, and more. It is a perfect getaway for those who look for serenity amidst nature. Visitors looking forward to attending this film festival can reach Lonavala using diverse modes of transport. Have a look at these options available to arrive at the venue.
Nearest Major City. Pune
Nearest Airport. Pune International Airport, Lohegaon, Pune
Nearest Railway Station. Lonavala Railway Station
Distance from Pune. 71 km
By Air. The nearest airport from Lonavala is Pune International Airport. After deboarding, hire a cab or look for other means of public transport to cover the remaining distance. Once you land at the airport, you can easily get local transport options like bus, cab, taxi, or auto to reach Lonavala. Another nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai which is approximately 100 kilometers away from Lonavala. This airport also receives national and international flights served by renowned airline services. Once you land at the airport, you can easily get a bus, cab, or auto to reach there. Apart from this, the local train from Dadar to Lonavala will be the easiest option which will take around 2 hours.
Distance from Pune International Airport. 70.3 km
Distance from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. 100 km
By Train. Lonavala Railway Station is the nearest railway station that is just 1 kilometre away from Triose Plaza in Lonavala. Once you reach the station, you can take a cab or taxi to reach there. If you are travelling from any other state of India, then there are also direct trains for a convenient journey.
Distance from Lonavala Railway Station. 1 km
By Road. When it comes to road connectivity, Lonavala has got smooth links with neighboring regions. While the city is served by Maharashtra State Transport, the convenient roads accompanied by beautiful nature, are a delight to the eyes. One would love to have a road journey to Lonavala.
Through its diverse film showcases and scenic venues in Lonavala, it not only mirrors societal dynamics but also highlights the vibrant tapestry of Indian cinema. As a cultural beacon, the Lonavala International Film Festival continues to illuminate the evolution and artistic brilliance of the Indian Film Industry, leaving an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Lonavala International Film Festival
Q1. When does the Lonavala International Film Festival take place?
A1. The Lonavala International Film Festival is an annual event, typically held at a specified time each year. Check the official festival website for the latest schedule.
Q2. How did the Lonavla International Film Festival start?
A2. The festival commenced in 2016 with the aim of celebrating and showcasing Indian cinema in its entirety, gaining immediate support from the Indian film industry.
Q3. What types of films are featured at the Lonavala International Film Festival?
A3. The festival showcases a diverse selection of films spanning various genres, providing a comprehensive view of the Indian Film Industry's creative landscape.
Q4. Can anyone attend the Lonavala International Film Festival?
A4. Yes, the festival is open to the public, attracting film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and audiences from far and wide to appreciate and engage with cinematic creations.
Q5. How can filmmakers participate in the Lonavala International Film Festival?
A5. Filmmakers interested in participating can find submission details on the festival's official website, which typically provides information on the submission process, criteria, and deadlines.