NETPAC's 20th anniversary to debate on culture & politics of Asian cinema

NEW DELHI: A large number of film personalities, critics, scholars, festival directors and programmers from Asia and other parts of the world are converging here for Imaging Asia, a cultural fest being held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC). 

Eminent film critic and NETPAC President Aruna Vasudev said the four-day conference on The Culture and Politics of Asian Cinema from 19 August will through seven panel discussions focus on the specificity of film cultures and on the need to recognize and respect diversity while defining cinema; on the politics governing the cinema‘s evolving identity in the context of globalization and the shifts in technology against the dynamic landscapes of Asia; and about translating the cultural diversity from concept into practice.

The four-day seminar is being held in association with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

There will be screening of 31Asian films that have won NETPAC awards at various festivals at four venues: the Instituto Cervantes, India Habitat Centre, the India International Centre, and the Alliance Française de Delhi.

The films being screened include those from India, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and a Palestine-France-Morocco-Germany co-production.

The NETPAC award instituted in 1994 is now presented at around 30 international film festivals. These festivals include Berlin, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Jeonju, Pusan, Cinemalaya, Cinemanila, Bangkok, Barcelona, Estonia, Locarno, Antalya, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Chongqing, Bursa, and Rome. The wide-ranging films reflecting cinematic trends in different countries are also award-winners at other prestigious festivals.

Oscar Pujol, Director of Instituto Cervantes said there is an annual Imaging India film festival in Spain which is very popular. He said there would be discussion on Asian Movies, Spanish Screens during the meet here.

Eminent art historian Rajive Sethi said there will be performances of traditional picture story-telling from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Iran, underlining the forms of pre-cinema that existed in Asia before the technical invention of cinema. In addition, there are exhibitions of paintings, installations and video installations related to the cinema and to Asia, and performances organized by Asian Heritage Foundation and Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Around 35 internationally-renowned film personalities specializing in Asian cinema have been invited to speak at the conference. Led by Aruna Vasudev, they include Pusan Festival Director Kim Dong-ho, renowned filmmakers Xie Fei (China), Garin Nugroho (Indonesia) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

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