From the first spark of the freedom struggle in 1857 called the 'Sepoy Mutiny' to Mahatma Gandhi's non violence movement, the Films Division is providing Gen X an opportunity to relive the moments, meet the heroes and get a taste of what pre-independent India was like at the Swatantrata Festival beginning in the capital Saturday.
"We thought we should give the younger generation an opportunity to know about the freedom struggle through films short-listed for the festival," Kuldeep Sinha, chief producer, Films Division, said at a press conference.
"The festival coincides with the 150th year of India's first independence movement and 60th year of Independence. The festival will showcase 42 documentaries and a few feature films," he added. <b1>
The festival will be inaugurated by Bhanumurthy Alur's 21-minute documentary 1857 - The Beginning. Sohrab Modi's black and white historical drama Jhansi Ki Rani will be screened the same day.
Other feature films to be screened during the four-day festival include Manoj Kumar's Shaheed, Ketan Mehta's biographical epic on Sardar Patel Sardar: The Iron Man of India, which has Paresh Rawal in the title role, Chittrarth's Shaheed Udham Singh, Jabbar Patel's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Pamela Rooks' Train To Pakistan.
Shyam Benegal's two films Making of the Mahatma and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose - A Forgotten Hero will also be shown along with Richard Attenborough's Oscar-winning Gandhi.
"If the response is good, we will take the same package to other cities also," Sinha said.
"A quarterly magazine called Documentary Today will be launched on the inaugural day. We felt that there isn't sufficient information available on documentaries hence we thought of bringing out this magazine to help young filmmakers," he added.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will inaugurate the festival. Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi as well as filmmakers Shyam Benegal and Jabbar Patel are expected to attend.
The films will be shown at Siri Fort and entry will be free.