200 flicks for Osian Asian-Arab film fest
Movie-buffs are preparing for an 11-day mega celluloid treat in New Delhi from Thursday, with nearly 200 films from the Asian-Arab world, along with a host of allied activities, featuring in the 10th edition of the Osian's Cinefan Film Festival.
For a country that boasts of one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world, almost on a par with Hollywood, generating more than Rs.100 billion annually, this is a festival that stands apart.
"India is a great lover of cinema and we want India to become a great cinematic culture," Neville Tuli, founder chairman of Osian's Connoisseurs of Art, told reporters here.
"It took 10 years to prepare only a basic platform in India so that people would come to us. Cinema of this kind should be supported," Tuli added.
The fest, to be jointly held at the Siri Fort auditorium and the Alliance Francaise here, will for the first time also showcase 42 short fiction films handpicked by curator Monika Bhasin.
Day one of the fest will open with Johnnie To's Sparrows. While the centerpiece of the event will be Wong Kar-Wai's My Blue Berry Nights, Mumbai Cutting - an Indian anthology by 11 directors - will mark the end of the fest.
The Osian's-Cinefan will bestow the Osian's lifetime achievement award on eminent director Mrinal Sen and the Philippines' versatile poet and writer Jose 'Pete' F. Lacaba for their distinguished contribution to cinema.
This year, Osian's-Cinefan has announced a hike in prize money, increasing it to over Rs.10 million (approximately $250,000) for its competition sections and lifetime achievement awards.
The festival will also pay a tribute to renowned playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Nobel laureate Naquid Mahfouz, cinema personality Alain Robbe-Grillet, Taiwanese director Edward yang and Indonesian actress Chrisine Hakim.
The other highlights of the event will be Talent Campus India - a six-day workshop for aspiring filmmakers from South Asia, unveiling of the scale model of Osianama - Osian's flagship cultural complex, and The Ten Commandments of World Cinema to mark 10 years of the annual fest.
There would also be special sessions with eminent writers and directors including Chetan Bhagat, Kunal Basu, Chitra Banerjee, Jaishree Mishra and others.