| Singapore | 7 Dec 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Gurvinder Singh’s drama The Fourth Direction (Chauthi Koot) won the Best Asian Feature Film award at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF).
The drama, based on two short stories about friends during the Sikh separatists’ uprising against the Indian military, was first presented in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. Last month it won top prize for an Indian film at the Mumbai Film Festival.
“Through a masterful execution, The Fourth Direction makes us experience the fear and tension of the era and how the political situation is influencing the life of this family,” said SGIFF jury, headed by Brillante Mendoza, according Variety.com.
Based on two short stories by Waryam Singh Sandhu, The Fourth Direction is set during the historical conflict between Sikh separatists and the military, according to its synopsis made available on the SGIFF website.
It says: Two Hindu friends Jugal and Raj missed the last train to Amritsar. They barge into a cargo train, where they find themselves in the company of other illegal passengers. Months earlier, a family living in a rural farmhouse is caught between the opposing forces when their dog barks ceaselessly at night, breaking the veil of silence.
An elastic atmosphere of paranoia stretches over both narratives so tightly that it might just snap at any moment in the film’s tense setup. Coupled with a formal and minimalist execution, and its air of silence – the slightest gestures and sounds become amplified bolts of resounding tension in this simulation of the collective experience of common folk caught between the excesses of warring factions.
Director Gurvinder Singh graduated from the Film & Television Institute of India, and was an assistant and close collaborator with Mani Kaul. His first feature Alms for a Blind Horse (2011) premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won a series of awards, including the Special Jury Award at Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The Fourth Direction is his sophomore feature.
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