In order to preserve India’s finest cultural legacies, aadhar initiated The Heritage Film Festival to explore India’s glorious heritage through audio-visual media. The Heritage Film Festival is the initiative to spread awareness and educate public about India’s heritage through films.

The Heritage Film Festival is not just an EVENT… but a CAUSE with the aim to REVIVE the dying traditional art forms,

it a Movement to embellish & enrich the Rich Heritage of India…!

Overall aim of the Heritage Film Festival (HFF) is to encourage film submissions, encourage documentary creation, organise film making projects, review film competitions, and screen films to different audiences. Our primary audience is children and youth. We also incorporate individuals and organisations related to film, art, design and heritage. Tourists and international communities are also one of our target audiences to promote Indian heritage worldwide. This unique endeavor is towards creating excitement for India’s glorious Heritage as part of our awareness objective.

The FIRST Heritage Film Festival happened during the UNESCO World Heritage Week celebration in Ahmedabad in November 2012, where the juried films were screened at various venues in and around the city. Festival has started traveling at national level, check HERITAGE FILM TRAVEL. The Festival aims to travel across the globe to reach different audiences to promote Indian Heritage. We welcome individuals and organisations to collaborate to host the festival.


  • To encourage documentary creation
  • Organise film making projects
  • Mentor film makers on festival theme
  • Review film competitions
  • Showcase films to different audiences
  • Engage artist, artisans, craftspeople to be part of the festival

Festival Director

During the first year of the festival there was a doubt in my mind whether anyone would make / submit a film related to the festival ! But within a short span of few weeks we received more than 100 entries, which was like a dream come true.

One of the reasons why the festival initiative is close to my heart is the focus is about art, craft and heritage of India; though it is a film festival, emphasis is given to the research, process and understanding the situation of a heritage aspects of India, rather than just being critical or praising the film making.

The audience till now is quite varied and they take home knowledge with diverse learning from the films. Some impacts are tangible and can be presented in numbers while there are also intangible aspects which for me are more meaningful for sustenance of India’s Heritage which is difficult to record.

It is very appalling for me to know that though till now most of our audience in spite of being Indian, where not aware of some of the vary famous art / craft / festivals / rituals of India. Not only the general audience but we have got similar response from artists, craftspeople, designers, and subject experts that they didn’t knew about many subjects in the films they viewed during the film screening.

For us the purpose of the festival is simple; to promote India’s Heritage through audio-visual media. And in all the previous years we have begun to achieve the aim.

We further forge ahead to take the film collection to wider audiences in India and abroad. My hearty invitation to join hands.

The Heritage Film Festival

HFF 2012

HFF 2013

HFF 2014

HFF 2015

HFF 2016

A panel of experts views the entries and compiles a selection of films for public viewing as well as awards every year. All the films received for the Heritage Film Festival will be added to Heritage Archive. Our eminent jury experts in respective area of their professions are Aditi Desai, Aditi Ranjan, Ashoke Chaterjee, Esther David, Gurpreet Singh, Hridaynath Gharekhan, Margie Sastry, Ravji Sondarva, Nirav Barot, Sangeeta Shroff and Villoo Mirza on the jury panel for the festival up till now.

In 5 years (since 2012) the festival has received 450+ short-film / documentary / animation films. The Heritage Film Festival and Heritage Archive (HA) are two complementary initiatives that are part of the archival and promotional objectives of aadhar. 87+ films are selected by our eminent jury for public viewing from the entries up till December 2016. By now we have well researched audio-visual documentation on a number of arts and crafts of India that have been covered in HA documentary collection. Few to name are Gond painting, Storytelling traditions of India, Hand-woven textiles, Traditional pottery and Terracotta art, Phad painting, Bagru hand-block printing, Kutchhi appliqué & hand embroidery, Bhopa – the phad performer, Batik, Ajrakh textile, Turn wood lacquer, Metal bellmaking, Sanjhi traditional paper art, Miniature painting, Handmade tile-making, Leather juti-making, Mata-no-Chandarvo , a religious textile art India, Aari & Zardozi, Bidri craft, Hand-embroideries, Crochet, Wooden Block-making, Dancing dolls, Thanjavur painting, Art platemaking (silver, brass, copper), Handmade metal utensil-making, Machlipatam chintz textile, Wood carving, Bamboo craft, Cane craft, Paper craft, Palm leaf craft, Banana fiber craft, Sanganeri Dhabu printing, Candle making, Elephant decoration, Leather puppets, Wooden toy making, Filigree art, Bandhani (tie-dye), Ritual for Lord Shiva, Theatre art for charity, Puppets – wooden, leather, fabrics, Contemporary Indian painters, Bhil Art, Master craftsmen from India, Playing card making, Bengali painters Bengali wedding ceremony, Sword making, Enameling.

Heritage Film Travel

Roadmap of future:

More than 150 individuals and organisations have collaborated for this initiative from 2012 till 2015. One of a Special Collaboration of the project is the Award Sponsors who are none other than the traditional artisans of India. The awards for winning entries are traditional art pieces / exclusive collector artifact that are sponsored by traditional artisans from Gujarat and Rajasthan till now.

We are happy to share that the festival is well received and supported by many enthusiastic and passionate individuals / organisations; as it is not just promoting heritage arts but also encouraging ‘Make in India’ and ‘Made in India’ thus facilitated towards a sustainable employment generations of various art and craft communities. The program has a noticeable impact on locals to endorse products that are made in India and appreciate craftsmanship when they learn about the process of the art / craft from the festival films. Children and youth have shown a keen interest to meet the artisan, craftspeople and support them.

To date our films have been showcased at 28 venues in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar and other places in India; more than 39000 viewers of all age groups and all walks of life have seen the films (until November 2016).

We are working towards partnerships from different parts of India as well as the UK, USA, Australia, Africa and other parts of the globe to bring the Film Screening along with art and craft demonstrations, artist & film maker’s talks, workshops. Our team is enthusiastically working to strategic collaborations for the festival to travel. Reach our team at email: In our mission to reach to possibly more audiences we welcome hosts (individuals and organisations) from across the globe for collaborations, sponsorship and donations.