One of the highlights of the Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival, to run from July 27 to August 5, will be Ashish Shukla’s Prague.
Starring Arfi Lamba, the movie is an Indo-Czech co-production and will screen in the prestigious competition. Lamba first appeared on the international cinema stage in Danny Boyle’s Academy Award winner, Slumdog Millionaire. The actor will be next seen in Prakash Belawadi’s The Pollutant.
Shukla sets his narrative against the historic and architectural splendour of Prague to explore the persecution of gypsies, whose forefathers are said to have travelled from the Indian subcontinent a thousand years ago. The community of wanderers still face hostility, which can be traced to Hitler’s atrocities on it during World War II.
Shukla uses this tragic turmoil of the race to weave a haunting love story between a young Indian architect, Chandan, who is in Prague on a project, and a lovely gypsy girl, Elena. She seeks Chandan’s help to build a memorial for those who were killed.
Chandan, fed on stories of gypsy cunning, finds it hard to trust her, and the only person he can rely on in the strange and new city is a man who does not exist.
Shukla weaves into this plot of romance a psychological web.
Osian's Cinefan returns to New Delhi after a two-year hiatus, and will feature more than 200 films from over 50 countries. Once the highly regarded movie critic, Derek Malcolm, who now works for London’s Evening Standard, described Cinefan as India’s best film festival. Hopefully, the 10-day event will live up to its glorious image.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival)