Jerusalem: The Indian Film Festival, which celebrates 60 years of India’s Independence and 15 years of Indo-Israel ties, got off to a rousing start with the screening of ‘Dosar´, with actress Konkona Sen Sharma and director Rituparno Ghosh sharing the limelight.
“We haven’t yet forgotten ‘Mr and Mrs Iyer´, screened twice in separate film festivals here, for Konkona’s acting talent. She looks so natural and real,” Anat Yagil, an India enthusiast, said after watching the films that were screened on the first day of the fest.
Dosar, Rain coat, Munna Bhai MBBS, Black, Parineeta, Krish, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Shadow Kill and Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) will be screened in the coming weeks at Cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Rosh Pina.
The Indian community in Israel has also been organising several cultural programmes on the occasion. With acceptance to Indian culture at its peak in Israel, two channels, ‘Hot Bombay´ and ‘Yes India´,which are completely devoted to Indian films have been succesfully operating 24X7 for the past few years.
“There are 70,000 subscribers to ‘Hot Bombay´ and they are not Indians, who prefer to watch ‘Zee TV´,” Shai Sampson, Director of Shai Motion Pictures Pvt Ltd, which distributes Indian films in Israel told PTI.
“Amitabh Bachhan is of course the overwhelming favourite with most of his films now available at all the videomats and DVD shops across the country,” Sampson, who has a collection of more than 7,000 Bollywood films, said.
‘Dil To Pagal Hai´ had run house full for three weeks in Tel Aviv and its lead song can still be heard everyday on the Army Radio.