Osian’s film festival opens to great response

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The 9th Osian’s-Cinefan festival opened Friday evening promising 10 days of good and meaningful cinema for movie buffs in the capital.

The inauguration was a jam-packed event with hundreds of eager Delhiites and diplomats turning up. The festival will showcase several Arab and Japanese films.

‘Osian’s is the most eagerly-awaited cultural event that Delhiites look forward to,’ said Sheila Dikshit, Delhi chief minister, at the opening ceremony at the Siri Fort auditorium.

‘Our goal is to promote cinematic culture among the audience and we will continue to do that,’ said Neville Tuli, chairman of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art. ‘We open to you a feast of cinema that will open your minds and heart.’

The organisers did not just roll out a red carpet for the event but had also gone red with the hoardings, posters, pamphlets and the decor at the entrance.

Bollywood actors Gul Panag, Manisha Koirala and Divya Dutta walked the red carpet adding the extra dazzle to the film festival after which Roysten Abel’s ‘The Magic of Freedom’ was screened.

‘Festivals like this give a positive impetus for films, especially to the small-budget filmmakers who have great stories but do not have the budget to screen them to larger sections of audience,’ said Panag.

‘Film festivals like this give recognition to some brilliant work which sometimes go unnoticed.’

The festival, which will showcase a wide variety of Arab films, gets underway with ‘Raami’, an Iran-Azerbaijan co-production.

Osian’s is also paying tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi, one of Japan’s great filmmakers who made 75 films before he died in 1956 at the age of 58. Nine of his films are being screened.

Japanese samurai films and family dramas, fantasy and modern fairy tales mingling the real and the surreal, illusion and reality will also be screened during the festival.

This year’s Osian’s-Cinefan 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished contribution to cinema went to Tadao Sato, author, historian, critic, curator, educationist and film administrator, one of Japan’s most versatile and prolific cinema experts.

A special exhibition of colour-rich Japanese posters of World Cinema from the Osian’s archive is also on display.

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