Bollywood touch to festival finale | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Bollywood touch to festival finale

From live music concerts to interactive sessions after film screenings, the final night of the nine-day Kala Ghoda Festival was a Bollywood celebrity affair, reports Aarefa Johari.

mumbai Updated: Feb 15, 2010 02:02 IST
Aarefa Johari

From live music concerts to interactive sessions after film screenings, the final night of the nine-day Kala Ghoda Festival was a Bollywood celebrity affair.

Mumbaiites gathered near the Asiatic Library steps to cheer and sway to the melodies of singers Roop Kumar and Sonali Rathod. The duo belted out songs across different genres and eras of Bollywood, and was followed by a fusion concert by singer Hariharan.

Unlike the amphitheatre at Rampart Row, rising decibel levels were no concern at the Asiatic steps. “Asiatic has always been a part of the finale concerts of the festival, and since it does not fall within a silence zone, we don’t have to turn down the sound,” said a volunteer.

At Cama Hall down the road, three Bollywood blockbusters screened back-to-back drew crowds that none of the international films did during the eight previous days of the film festival — Bimal Roy’s Devdas, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, and Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D.

“The theme of the festival was the ‘presence of the past’, so three versions of the timeless Devdas seemed most appropriate for the final day,” said filmmaker Vinta Nanda, who curated Kala Ghoda’s film festival.

Nanda also succeeded in getting celebrities from each of the films to interact with the audience. This included Roy’s daughter Rinki Bhattacharya, Smita Jaykar from the cast of Bhansali’s movie, and Kashyap himself.

The past was strongly present outside the movie hall in an exhibition of over 50 rare posters from black and white Indian films. The pictures, which included that of a 17-year-old Helen, stills from Mehboob Productions, and photographs of the premiere show of Mother India, were sourced from the 40-year collection of hobbyist Arun Puranik.