Indian cinema centenary celebrated in Bangkok

NEW DELHI: Ten feature films including Dadasaheb Phalke’s ‘Raja Harishchandra’ are being screened at a three-day Indian film festival which opened at Bangkok yesterday.

The first-ever Indian Centenary Film festival, which is being held at the SF Cinema, Central World, is to mark the Centenary of Indian Cinema. Similar Indian film festivals are being held in other parts of the world to celebrate the centenary of the world’s largest film industry.

The opening day saw the screening of Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Maqbool’ based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, a psychological and action-packed thriller. This film has been to many festivals, including Bangkok. It stars Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri among others.

The restored version of the first indigenous feature film to be made in India, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ which is still incomplete as many reels are missing, was also screened.

Other films include cine craftsman Satyajit Ray’s ode to music ‘Jalsaghar’, the rarely seen 1946 movie ‘Dr Kotnis ki Amar Kahani’ by V Shantaram based on the life of Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who worked in China during the Japanese invasion in World War II, Rajesh Khanna-starrer ‘Anand’, Dev Anand-starrer ‘Guide’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke sanam’ by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and the new-age Bollywood film ‘Corporate’ by Madhur Bhandarkar.

In addition, there are two regional films – Girish Kassarvalli’s Kannada film ‘Gulabi Talkies’ and ‘Kannathil Muthamittal’ in Tamil by Mani Ratnam.

At a press meet prior to the Festival, the Indian Embassy confessed it had been a tough task selecting just ten films “to reflect the diversity of the country.” Indian Ambassador Anil Wadhwa was the chief guest.

The press meet was attended by top Thai directors like Nonzee Nimibutr and Prachya Pinkaew, as well as young indie director Choyanop Boonprakob, and actress Ae Maneerat Khamoun, all diehard lovers of Indian cinema.

Suvanee Chinchiewchan of the SF Cinema group which organised the festival was excited about holding the first-even Indian film festival in the city, and hoped the trend would continue.

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