Indian audiences will get a glimpse of Iranian cinema at a film festival beginning on Saturday to commemorate the 60th year of signing of cultural agreements between New Delhi and Tehran.
The struggle of a woman estranged from her husband, while her daughter lies in a hospital bed, captured in Manoucher Hadi’s engaging family drama One Wanted to Talk to You, the gripping family saga of Seyyed Reza Mir-Karim’s A Cube of Sugar and Maziar Miri’s award-winning A Painting Pool are among the films that will be screened at the Siri Fort auditorium from July 16-19.
A Cube of Sugar, Iran’s entry in the best foreign language film category at the 85th Academy Awards, will be the opening film at the festival that will see the screening of 13 other popular films.
To be jointly organised by the ministry of information and broadcasting, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Iranian embassy in New Delhi, the festival will also showcase art forms from Iran.
According to sources, the idea was mooted by the Iranian embassy after an agreement to renew cultural ties was signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s May visit to Tehran.
Sources said India was banking on the soft power of cultural links to strengthen its relations with Iran, which were recalibrated following the lifting of sanctions on Tehran by the US and the European Union.
Modi travelled to Tehran where he signed 12 agreements, including the long-standing deal to develop Iran’s Chabahar port and inaugurated the “Cultural Festival of India in Iran” and a two-day conference “India-Iran Two Great Civilisations: Retrospect-Prospects”.
“It was decided to take forward old association with Iran, through cultural exchanges, including festivals of art, literature, films and music. Thefilm festival is in keeping with that. It will allow Indians a peek into Iranian culture,” a source said.
Efforts are underway to have prominent Iranian film makers and stars in attendance at the four-day event.
“Dr. Abouzar Ebrahimi, Head of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization [ICRO] will visit India to participate in the programme, Ronak music group is being flown down for a performance and discussions are underway with several prominent film stars and makers to attend the festival,” said an official.