Cinema lovers in the Capital live for these 10 days and exist for the other 50-odd weeks in a year, say many about this decade-old annual film festival that has become a landmark event for world cinema fans across the country.
Now in its 11th year, the Osian’s-Cinefan Film festival is starting Saturday, three months later than its usual July appearance, and has shifted focus to Indian films and film-makers. With the number of days down to seven from 10 because of unavailability of venues, the film kitty has been halved to around 100 films from last year for “an in-depth analysis into each film”, according to Mani Kaul, director general of the film fest. “We don’t want to just screen films,” he said at a press conference last week. The screenings have been divided between the Siri Fort auditoriums and Alliance Française.
‘Deep in the Valley’ by Atsushi Funahashi (In competition).
The magic number
The 100-odd films include 56 feature films, with 17 being from India; the rest are short films. There is an increased focus on Osian’s Learning Experience, or OLE, so there will be daily Q&A sessions and panel discussions where cine experts will talk about the finer nuances of film-making and film appreciation. “For every film there will be a related event to make the public understand what that movie is all about,” says Neville Tuli, founder-chairman of Osian’s. Part of OLE is the NewStream cinema section, which comprises recent releases—Raj Kumar Gupta’s Aamir, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D, Zoya Akhtar’s Luck by Chance, Imtiaz Ali’s Love Aaj Kal and Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
From this year, Cinefan has decided to dedicate its feature and short InCompetition sections to the first, second or third film by a director from Asia and the Arab countries. The 11th edition will include films by Yang Jin (China), Elyes Baccar (Tunisia) and Amit Dutta (India), whose films have been screened earlier at Osian’s-Cinefan. Yang’s Black and White Milk Cow received the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (Netpac) award at the 2007 Osian’s-Cinefan. The InDialogue section will include Rituparno Ghosh’s Shob Charitra Kalponik (Afterword, Bengali; the story of an urban Bengali girl who gets married in Kolkata, and how marital strife drives her towards another man), Igaal Niddam’s Freres (Brothers, Hebrew; the story of two brothers who find themselves reunited in Israel after years of separation) and Roh Gyeong-tae’s Heosuabideuleui Ddang (Land of Scarecrows, Korean; an experimental feature on three lost and confused people and how they play out the drama of their lives on a devastated landscape), to name a few.
‘Man’s Woman and Other Stories’ by Amit Dutta (In competition).
Also, this year the small panel of judges has given way to a large body of around 30 film connoisseurs from multiple disciplines, such as photographer Raghu Rai, thespian Mana Chawla, Odissi dancer and TV host Shivani Wazir Pasrich, playwright Asghar Wajahat and Oscar Pujol, director of Instituto Cervantes.
There will be a comprehensive exhibition on Indian film history, consisting of a show of posters, lobby cards, showcards, song-synopsis booklets, film stills, hoardings and much more from Osian’s archives. There will be a specially curated show of film memorabilia, covering the years from Devdas (1935) to Dev D (2009).
‘Luck by Chance’ director Zoya Akhtar will interact with film buffs at Cinefan.
The opening and closing
The festival will open with Romanian film-maker Adrian Sitaru’s Pescuit sportiv (Hooked), which tells the story of a man and his married lover who go for a clandestine picnic in the countryside. Things get complicated when their car hits a prostitute. The festival will close with the internationally acclaimed animated film Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman. It’s about the Lebanon War in 1982, when Folman was a 19-year-old infantry soldier in the Israel defence forces. In 2006, he meets with a friend from that phase of his life, who tells him of the nightmares about his war experiences. Folman is surprised that he remembers nothing. Later that night, however, he has visions of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, but is unsure of how real it all was.
Possibly one of the best pieces of news for cinegoers is that all you need to do is pay a one-time registration fee of Rs300, which also buys you the prized Cinefan catalogue—and you can watch all the films. You can register online or at the venues from 23 October. Tickets for movies will be available on first come, first serve basis.
The 11th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival will be held from 24-30 October at Siri Fort auditorium and Alliance Française. For details and online registration, log on to http://www.osians.com/cinefan11/cine11.php
Click here to view the schedule of 11th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival