Mangal Pandey draws huge crowds at FFII | india | Hindustan Times
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Mangal Pandey draws huge crowds at FFII

The Aamir-Khan starrer was screened to a packed auditorium at the Film Festival of Israel.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2006 12:01 IST

The Aamir Khan-starrer MangalPandey opened the Jerusalem Chapter of the Film Festival of India in Israel (FFII) in a packed auditorium, evoking several queries regarding Indian history and social practices from the audience.

Addressing the audience before the start of the filmon Saturday evening, director Ketan Mehta noted that people hummed Ichak dana beechak dana everytime they saw him during the last two days demonstrating how cinema can be the "best bridge between people".

"The idea for the festival originated in the tremendous and growing interest in Israel in Indian culture. Almost 30,000 Israeli youngsters travel to India every year and are there for extended period having interaction and experience of Indian culture", Indian Ambassador Arun Kumar Singh said.

The audience mesmerised by the film stayed back in large numbers to ask the director questions related to the film.

The questions dealt with various aspects including the content of the film, reactions inside India and abroad, especially in England, its historical veracity, and even if it wants to caution against the growing prominence of MNCs.

"It is beautifully crafted and was a good change back to some song and dance sequence after the intense theme of Apaharan that opened the festival at Tel Aviv on Thursday", said David Nagani, who plans to see all the films to be screened at FFII.

"The festival has provided me, a student of Indian studies, a unique opportunity to know and try to understand certain aspects of the countries society through a cultural form. I was absolutely thrilled and plan to come back for other screenings", said Lior.

The other films being screened at the festival organised by Indian Embassy, Israel Foreign Ministry and Cinematheques of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are -- Being Cyrus; Mr and Mrs Iyer (both English); Mouna Ragam (Tamil); Vidheyan (Malayalam); Vastu Purush (Marathi); and Yahaan (Hindi).

The film festival in Haifa will be inaugurated on Sunday with Being Cyrus.

The announcement of the Film Festival has generated immense interest among the Indian movie buffs in Israel providing them with a unique opportunity to see different streams of contemporary Indian cinema.