• Locomotivation by Hostels 8 and 9 – (1992) was the first time PAFs took on their current avataar, that of large scale production, special effects et al. The script was inspired by Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Starlight Express” and had the main actors on roller skates, skating through the audience, while enacting a race of locomotives engines. Not surprisingly, it was the winning PAF that year and many old timers rated it the best in its times
  • Raga Saga by Hostels 7 and 8 (1993) and Harlequin Chevalerie by Hostels 2 and 7 – (1994) introduced a new genre of PAFs, with many subsequent PAFs being based on a strong central evil character. The use of revolving prisms standing side by side, to change the backdrop almost instantly was used very effectively in Harlequin Chevalerie
  • Perhaps the most (in)famous of the PAFs are Kastūrī, an Hostel 4, 8, 12 production in 2005 and Moonstone, an Hostel 6 – Hostel 9 production in 1991. The word fiasco is often replaced by Kastūrī and Moonstone in IIT Bombay’s lingo after those famous performances.
  • PAF was staged at IIT Bombay’s Convocation Hall till the year 1999, at which point the venue was moved to the institute’s Open Air Theater (OAT)
  • The move to the OAT brought with it 2 primay changes : 1) The use of huge production, with multiple sets spread across OAT, (which was necessary to create impact in a wide diffused space as compared to the convocation hall. 2) The spectacular success of Abhimanyu (H4/H7), also led to the popularisation of Hindi PAFs; which hitherto had been more an exception than a rule.
  • Sarhad (2000) divided the venue into two halves using a curtain and enacted different stories in each. The two enactments however, used exactly the same script. The plot was based on the conflict between India and Pakistan, and the similarity in the actions of politicians and religious fanatics in both countries. At the conclusion of the play, the dividing “wall” was brought down and the countries were symbolically united – only to be repartitioned immediately by communal riots instigated by the politicians and fundamentalists.
  • Al Qasas (2000) won 9 out of 10 trophies awarded for PAF in 2000. The only trophy which it lost was for “Best Costume” won by a PAF based on Chanakya, for which a several actors shaved their heads in order to portray students of the era. Abhimanyu in 1999 and Al-Qasas in 2000 sparked a series of PAFs in Hindi.
  • Nimad (2001), by Hostel 3 alone, did an extravagant prod experiment by creating a 60 meter long and 5 meter wide river like water body inside the open-air theater. The story dealt with the trauma caused by Reva river changing it course because of a dam being built. So, the Nimad team actually drained out the water from the river during the staging of the play. The play, though appreciated for effort, was not very popular because of over-dragged tragic ending.
  • Dastak (2005) introduced the concept of street-plays, as a sub-drama inside a drama, to the Festival.
  • Déjà Vu (2006), by Hostels 4, 9 and 11, which perhaps is the best PAF in recent times focused on IIT life and dealt with issues like entrance examination, academic competition, friendship, isolation, suicidal tendencies, and dilemma of those who never desired to pursue core engineering. The PAF won 7 out of the 9 awarded trophies in addition to the overall trophy. A movie sponsored by IIT is waiting to be released based on this PAF. The movie has been premiered in IIT-B and is ready for a nationwide release. Critics say that the movie may make it to Cannes (Times of India- April 17, 2007 Pg 4)
  • If Tomorrow Comes(2009) by hostel 3, 8, 11 had one of the most technically advanced production sets which depicted a Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport Scene with a working escalator, conveyor belt, LCD TV with slide show, etc. The sets also included a 22 foot scaled replica of Gateway of India. A non-stereotypical PAF inspired by the English movie “Groundhog Day”, focused for the first time in the PAF history, on pure entertainment. It received tremendous applauds from the judges and audiences but lost the race with Arthur Road Jail which won 7 awards out of 9 which includes Script, Prod, Lights, Choreography, Screenplay, Direction, Acting.