The 17th edition of River to River, the only film festival in Italy dedicated entirely to Indian cinema, will be perhaps its most socially conscious yet: sexuality, emancipation, racial integration, women's and LGBTQ rights and a celebration of 70 years of independence from the British Raj are all key themes on the program. Forty events will take place, spanning film screenings, exhibitions, lectures, cooking lessons and off-circuit initiatives.

Among the standout films on the program is "Newton," which is India's nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 2018 Academy Awards.

New this year is a section dedicated to short virtual reality films, plunging audiences into a 360 degree experience of contemporary India.

As in recent years, the Fondazione Studio Marangoni will host a related photography exhibition, this time titled "Instant Kharma" and showcasing works by Wolfgang Zurborn of Germany. Zurborn's photographs were taken in India's major metropolitan cities between 2013 and 2015 and explore the mounting tension between deep-seated religious traditions and the ongoing effects of globalization, Westernization and mass media.