Neville Tuli, film connoisseur and founder-chairman of Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art, wants to live in a world where a much wider cross section of people—he mentioned Daryaganj and Chandni Chowk at the press conference—come and watch world movies. This might sound ambitious, but the Osian’s Cinefan Festival (OCFF) in Delhi is a big step in that direction.
A sneak-peek of some movies that will be screened at the festival
“Playing on the 10th year, we have a section called The Ten Commandments,” says Osian’s Cinefan’s joint festival director, Indu Shrikent. The films in this section will explore the manner and evolution of cinema over the past 10 years, while the Springboard section will screen films from earlier editions of the festival, selected by the festival’s founder director Aruna Vasudev.
Then, there are seven regular competition sections in categories such as Asian and Arab, N-Tolerance (films on moral, social and political issues), Indian and First Features, which will be judged by an international panel of directors, producers and critics among others that includes Kais al Zubaidi (Palestine), Nagesh Kukunoor (India) and Saeed Ebrahimifar (Iran).
While the selectors have said that they are not very impressed by the quality of the new Indian films being shown, there are some movies from Pakistan (especially after the astounding success of Khuda Ke Liye) to watch out for, such as Ramchand Pakistani and Victoria’s Stamp.
There are several workshops and discussions peppered throughout the festival, such as the Talent Campus (for young film-makers); Literature and Cinema (on screenwriting, featuring a lecture by Paul ‘Taxi Driver’ Schrader); The Archive Today; etc.
A restored version of the first Assamese film released Joymoti (1951) will also be screened at the festival.
Tickets for the festival cost Rs20 per movie, but there are some, which have free entry. The tickets will be available at the venue and at Alliance Française, Lodhi Road, from 10 July onwards. Once the festival starts, tickets may be bought two days in advance. This year, following the stipulations of the information and broadcasting ministry, OCFF has mandated a one-time registration fee of up to Rs50 for the general public.
What not to miss
Sparrow (Man Jeuk)
On 11 July, 7.30pm; 12 July, 9.30am
Director: Johnny To (Hong Kong)
This will be the opening movie of the festival. ‘Sparrow’ is slang in local Hong Kong street language for pick-pocket. An unusual story about a beautiful woman and three professional pick-pockets coming together in search of an elusive key, the director To’s skill and virtuosity is evident through the film.
Peeping Tom (Makiguri No Ana)
On 11 July, 10am; 15 July, 9.30pm
Director: Yoshihiro Fukagawa (Japan)
Ben Makiguri is a writer whose most recent project has been turned down by his publisher. He is forced to move into a dingy apartment in a run-down building. One day, Ben heads out to a bathhouse to relax and unwind. He discovers that someone has broken into his flat while he was away. While nothing is missing, holes have been drilled into his walls that allow him to peek into the apartments of two of his neighbours. Soon his inactive and forsaken career takes an unexpected turn. This film was adapted from the novel Hole by Akiko Yamamoto.
My Blueberry Nights
On 14 July, 6.30pm; 12 July, 9.30am
My Blueberry Nights
Director: Wong Kar-Wai (Hong Kong)
In Wong Kar-Wai’s debut English feature, which will be the centrepiece for the festival, the internationally acclaimed director takes his audience on a dramatic journey across the distance between heartbreak and a new beginning. After a rough break-up, Elizabeth sets out on a journey across the US, leaving behind a life of memories, a dream and a soulful new friend, in search of something to mend her broken heart. Travelling across the country, Elizabeth befriends others whose yearnings are greater than hers, including a troubled cop and his estranged wife and a down-on-her-luck gambler with a score to settle. The cast includes Norah Jones and Jude Law.
On 19 July, 7.30pm
Director: Sudhir Mishra, Rahul Dholakia, Rituparno Ghosh, Kundan Shah, Jahnu Barua, Revathy, Anurag Kashyap, Shashanka Ghosh, Ruchi Narain, Manish Jha (India)
Mumbai Cutting will close the festival. Ten of the country’s renowned film-makers have collaborated to interpret life in modern day Mumbai. A film, that claims to be as emotionally complex as the city it portrays, Mumbai Cutting alternates between the comical and the cynical, as it tells the story of a man and a woman who come together in grief after losing their loved ones; a writer who makes it his mission to connect with a troubled orphan; a Muslim woman attempting to procure a fake passport; and an aspiring actor who races the streets in order to reach an important audition.
The Elephant and the Sea On 13 July, 7pm; 17 July, 9.45pm
Director: Ming Jin Woo (Malaysia, Netherlands)
Two men—one elderly, one in his 20s—are touched by tragedies linked to a single source. Yun Ding is a young guy who earns a meagre living by leaving sharp objects on the road, and then charging motorists to help fix their inevitable flat tires. Sometimes, Yun and his friend Long catch fish from the nearby ocean. But a strange and fatal illness has been infecting the local catch putting the local fishing fleet out of business. One veteran fisherman, Ah Ngau, has lost his wife to the illness and been rendered homeless. The path of the fisherman and Yun cross when both become victims to tragedy.
For more information on the festival and the entire film schedule, visit www.cinefan.osians.com