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Sharmila Tagore to get lifetime award, Zohra Sehgal to get Minar-e-Delhi at first DIFF

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NEW DELHI: Veteran thespian Sharmila Tagore is to receive the lifetime achievement award while centurion Zohra Sehgal will be awarded the Minar-e-Dilli award at the first Delhi International Film Festival later this month.

A total of 174 films from 32 countries including at least 20 per cent from the SAARC countries will be screened at the Festival to be held from 21 to 27 December. It will be inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at Sirifort Auditorium but the screenings will be held in the three auditoria of the NDMC Convention Centre.

Tagore unveiled the Golden Minar and the Silver Minar awards of the Festival at a press meet organised by the Social Circle which is organising the festival for which around 700 entries were received. Delhi Tourism is also collaborating in the Festival.

She also released the DVD of a song, ‘Yeh Dilli Hai’, written by Rani Malik and sung by Ravinder Singh who was present.

Tagore said passion was an important ingredient for starting any new venture and she had found this in ample measure among the organisers. She particularly appreciated the focus on south Asia.

DIFF Founder President and senior journalist Ram Kishore Parcha said the festival had been timed to coincide with 100 years of Indian cinema and a century of Delhi as the capital of India.

Parcha said there had been a vacuum of an international film festival since the International Film Festival of India was shifted to Goa, and there was also a need to have a filmmaking hub in north India. This festival would fulfill all these needs. He said in reply to a question that DIFF had been registered as a brand for ten years.

Festival Secretary Suresh K Goswami (a senior filmmaker himself) introduced various sections of the Festival and said there will be as many as 16 films from Pakistan with ‘Lamha’ from that country being the closing film. The Polish film ‘80 Million’ by Waldemar Krzystek is the opening film.

The World Cinema section will showcase films like “Daughters of Hill” by Patrizia landi, “The Artist” by Michel Hazanavicius, “Jeremiah” by Eran Paz, “Love Bird” by Susan Collins, “The Sunshine” in The Corner by Sun Hao Young, “Mar” by Caner Erzincan and many more. India’s Zia-Us-Salaam is on the International Jury.

Parcha said while international Film festivals were being held in many cities like Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram, there was none in Delhi.

Parcha announced that a film library of DVDs of classics was being established at the Indian Media and Communication Centre in Gautam Nagar in south Delhi.

A script writing workshop by Tigmanshu Dhulia and a Mohammed Rafi evening on the singer’s birth anniversary later this month will form part of the Festival.

The legendary Malayalam Filmmaker and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee Adoor Gopalakrishnan is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Festival. The Board consists of Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sandeep Marwah, Shriram Raghavan, Uma Da Cunha, Shiney Ahuja, Yashpal Sharma, Shonali Bose, Sushma Parcha and Bela Negi from India, Alain Jallladeau, Phillip Jalladeau from France, Jamal Shah, Satish Anand from Pakistan, Sajedur Rehman Firoze from Bangladesh, Reza Degati from Iran, Andrej Karawakoski Avner Faingulernt, Erez Pery, Lina Murad from Syria, and Kai Syng Tan from London. About 80 Actors from India and overseas are also connected with this festival.

The best amongst selected films will be honoured with the Golden Minar and Silver Minar awards respectively. The festival in its first edition will not only honour the films, filmmakers, artists and writers, but will also honour outstanding persons who have excelled in their contribution towards the welfare of society and the people with Minare Dilli award.

Classic Films from Overseas and India are included as special sections along with Delhi Scope section in the festival. Retrospective, Tributes and Homage sections will include films of Dev Anand, Balraj Sahni and other legendary filmmakers and actors. This section will also include films of Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the distinguished actor Soumitra Chatterjee from Bengal.

A special section called NRI Cinema has been included in the festival. Under this section at least 15 films by Non Resident Indians living in different parts of the world will be show cased. In this section films like “A Gran Plan” by Sangeeta Nambiyar of Singapore, “Oas” by Shiv Tiwari of New York, “The Happy Pulse” by Jay Bajaj of Canada, “Children of God” by Foukia Akhtar of United Arab Emirates will be showcased and the best film will be awarded the Golden Minar. There will be a special emphasis on women filmmakers in this section.

In addition to the Non Resident Indian Films, a section dedicated to the NRI writers has also been specially included in the festival in which a poetry collection book shall be launched as well. The book is edited by none other than the well-known senior journalist, Poetess and writer, Anita Kapoor from California. The best poem in this collection will be honoured with the Silver Minar.

Three seminars and some workshops shall be organized during the festival. The Festival has a dedicated section for the artwork from all over the world, the theme of which is the Cinema and Delhi. The art work will have a special exhibition during the festival and the best artwork will be honoured with the Silver Minar Award.

The organisations that have partnered with the festival are Broadway International Film Festival, Los Angeles, South Cinema South Film Festival, and JMT from Israel, Slade school of fine arts, London, Film factory china, Turkish Film Industry, Cinetech Nationale Mexico, Brazil films, Media Box Bangladesh, Hunarkada from Pakistan, Film Boutique from Germany, Second largest Nantes film festival of France and French cultural centre.

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