Mark your calendar for the many arts and cultural festivals that are taking place around the country this month. It’s time to march your way to them, pun intended.

Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards

23rd - 29th March, 2023 | Delhi

The curtains will be raised for ten best theatre productions to be staged at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) in New Delhi. To be held from 23 to 29 March, 2023, the event rewards all aspects of a play, such as writing, direction, performance, music, costume, light design, and more. It also presents a Lifetime Achievement Award. META explores topics such as mythology, social issues, politics, gender, and religion, among others, with an aim to give a voice to, and increase awareness and appreciation of Indian theatre across various themes.

Among the landmark productions that have been bestowed with METAs are Indian Ensemble’s Gasha (2013), The Company Theatre’s Piya Behrupiya (2014), Dramanon’s Akshayambara (2016), Black Theatre’s Nona (2018), and Black Box Okhla’s For the Record (2020).

For more information, click here.


23rd - 26th March, 2023 | Bengaluru

FutureFantastic is India’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) and art festival contemplating climate change and CreaTec solutions through Gaming, AI, VR, and the performing arts. Launched in Bengaluru between Be Fantastic and Future Everything from Manchester in the UK, spotlighting women leaders in CreaTec and climate change. It is supported by the British Council for the India/UK Together Season of Culture, marking India’s 75th Independence Day. It will be held from 23 till 26 March, 2023 across Bengaluru.

For more information, click here.

Wench Film Festival

10th – 20th March, 2023 | Mumbai

The Wench Film Festival (WFF) aims to reclaim the original meaning of the word wench, which means, “a young woman” as opposed to the derogatory connotation attached to it. It is India’s first film festival celebrating works by women, including women of colour; LGBTQ+; and non-binary individuals. The event features film screenings, discussions, and professional development opportunities for women and non-binary storytellers to present their work. The festival also has a separate category for movies by male filmmakers with a central female plot.

The current edition of the festival will feature a parallel section called Reprise, which will showcase select films across genres. The Festival will be held virtually from 10th till 20th March, 2023, and in-person between 17th and 19th March, 2023 in Mumbai.

For more information, click here.

Ladies First Street Art

8th March, 2023 | Mumbai and Delhi

Organised by graffiti artist collective, Wicked Broz, Ladies First Street Art is a multi-city festival that was launched in 2019. It aims to promote the work of female street artists; featuring workshops, film screenings, talks, and performances on street art. The event also sees dance and hip-hop, which are synonymous with global street art culture. Scheduled for 8 March, 2023, the festival will take place in Mumbai and Delhi.

For more information, click here.


4th – 5th March, 2023 | Chennai

Celebrating women, female-identifying persons, and their contribution to arts, politics, business and technology; Utsavam is an annual arts and culture festival. Visitors can expect exhibitions, performances, talks, discussions, screenings, and networking events at this two-day event that will be held on 4 and 5 March, 2023 in Chennai. It showcases the multiple perspectives on the achievements of women in India, across class, caste and genres. The festival will bring together artists, academics, and organisers across disciplines such as dance, folk arts, heritage, music, and theatre.

In its previous editions, the event has showcased presentations of Carnatic classical music, Bharatanatyam, and folk dance and drama forms such as Kattaikoothu and Yakshagana.

Utsavam is curated and presented by the DakshinaChitra Heritage Museum in collaboration with the Shreya Nagarajan Singh Arts Development Consultancy.

For more information, click here.

Under 25 Summit

4th – 5th March, 2023

Under 25 Summit is a leading youth festival that features experts in the fields of entrepreneurship, entertainment, and technology engage in discussions, talks, and performances to celebrate and inspire those under 25. Started in 2014, the event will see 1500+ thought leaders, over 500 experience zones, and curated art installations.

This year’s theme is ‘Encounter with self, surrounding and sensation’, which heralds a parallel world of art, exploration, self-discovery, interaction, and sensory stimuli. Notable names such as Faye D’Souza, Vir Das, Bhuvan Bam, and Pooja Dhingra, among others have been part of previous editions to engage on thought-provoking topics.

For more information, click here.

Nabanna Folk Art and Craft Fair

3rd – 13th March, 2023 | Shantiniketan, West Bengal

The 10-day event not only promotes and highlights folk art and craft, but also conducts a literary festival focused on discussions around arts and its creation, social evolution, innovations, and climate conscious initiatives. Organised by Suresh Amiya Memorial Trust, the fair provides participating crafts persons with free stalls and accommodation.

The fair features various crafts, such as Alpana and Madhubani paintings, Patachitra, pottery, silver and copper jewellery, Pipli art, textiles, brass and bell metal craft, and stone carvings among others. It also includes cultural programmes, a food court, art competition, health camp, and workshops for artisans, students and visitors. It will take place from 3 till 13 March, 2023 in Shantiniketan, West Bengal.

For more information, click here.

FLAME FirstCut

3rd – 5th March 2023 | Pune

A student-run film festival, FirstCut features young filmmakers, encouraging them to explore the medium of films as an agent of change. It is Pune-based FLAME University’s annual festival that has seen filmmakers including Hansal Mehta, Sriram Raghavan, Pankaj Rishi Kumar and Farida Pacha in its previous editions. The event includes film screenings, panel discussions, masterclasses, and training sessions. 

For more information, click here.

Aravali International Film Festival

3rd - 5th March, 2023 | Delhi

Cinema-lovers can mark the dates as the Aravali International Film Festival (AIFF) will be held in New Delhi from 3 to 5 March, 2023. The festival is named after Aravali, the oldest range of fold mountains in India. With the theme of cultural diversity, the festival will showcase cinema across genres, including music videos, television, and web series. Workshops and discussions will be held on the side-lines, along with screenings, wherein attendees can participate and network.

For more information, click here.

New Delhi World Book Fair

25th February – 5th March 2023 | New Delhi

The New Delhi World Book Fair, India’s second oldest book fair, is a major event in the publishing world. It is back for its 31st edition, aiming to encourage production of good literature in Indian languages. Opening a gateway for the publishing and intellectual world of South Asia, the fair is expected to have visitors from around 70 countries across the world.

Commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence, this year’s theme is “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”. The festival, to be held from 25 February till 5 March, will feature conferences, discussions, cultural and literary programs, seminars, workshops, and an opportunity for visitors to promote titles or engage in co-publication arrangements.

For more information, click here.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

12th December, 2022 - 10th April, 2023 | Kochi

One of South Asia’s biggest contemporary art festivals, Kochi-Muziris Biennale will feature 80 artists and collectives, and over 45 new commissions. Curated by Singaporean-Indian contemporary artist Shubigi Rao, this edition is titled, In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire. Starting 12 December, 2022, the event will go on till 10 April, 2023, and showcase exhibits across multiple venues, including repurposed heritage properties, near Fort Kochi.

With an aim to be the centre for artistic engagement in the country, the event seeks to introduce contemporary, international visual art theory and practice to India. The Biennale will host conversation forums, concerts, screenings, and more, to encourage discussions amongst artists, cultural practitioners, curators, and the public. This year, the Biennale spotlights Chennai Photo Biennale and the Ffotogallery Wales with Communities of Choice for the British Council’s India/UK Together Season of Culture.

Artists whose works have been part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale over the years, include Anish Kapoor, Jitish Kallat, Ranbir Kaleka, Sudarshan Shetty, and Anita Dube. 

For more information, click here.

Picture credits: Teamwork Arts

To know about more such festivals and events, visit Festivals From India, your one-stop shop for all arts and culture festivals in India.


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