A film festival highlighting the social, cultural and political themes of emerging India and offering an insight into the Indian way of life, began in Canadian capital Ottawa on Friday.
The festival, organised by the Indian High Commission in cooperation with the Canadian Film Institute to commemorate the 59th anniversary of India's Independence, is attracting substantial attendance by Canadians, apart from the Indo-Canadian segment.
Films screened would include commercially and critically successful Bollywood movies like Amitabh Bachchan starrer Baghban, Amol Palekar's Paheli, noted South Indian actress-director Revathy's Phir Milenge that deals with HIV/AIDS, and Mahesh Manjrekar's Viruddh.
Titli, the Bangla film by Rituparno Ghosh, Sudhir Mishra's Chameli, and Jahnu Barua's Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara will also be shown at the festival.
Opening the festival, Shyamala B Cowsik, the High Commissioner of India to Canada said, "India is more relevant to Canada than ever before. India's emergence as a knowledge power and excellence in the field of hi-tech areas could help Canadian firms increase their global competitive edge."
She noted that the on-going expansion and intensification of the bilateral India-Canada relationship would further accelerate economic and trade relationship between the two countries.
In a special gesture, Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli declared August 15, 2006 as 'India Day'. This was also the seventh year running that the city hall in Ottawa was made available to the India-Canada Association for the celebration of India's Independence Day. The festival concludes on August 26.