New features in tenth Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab cinema

MUMBAI: The original ‘yahoo‘ star of Indian cinema, Shammi Kapoor, will be honoured and 21 feature and non-feature films will be screened in a two-day preview in Mumbai from today of the Tenth Osian‘s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema taking place in Delhi next month.

Apart from the films, festivals provide the platform to argue, agree, learn, challenge and ignite one‘s imagination. This year the IBM? (Infrastructure-Building for Minds & Markets) initiative in Mumbai consists of a two-day long programme at the Godrej Theatre. While a panel of intellectuals and artists will analyze and debate the recent rise in levels of cultural intolerance towards artistic creations all over the world, another session will bring together cultural experts and infrastructure builders to discuss the issues at stake - infrastructural, cultural and financial, in building a world class arts and culture institution in today‘s world.

Three Exhibitions from the Osian‘s Arts & Film Archive Collection will be showcased at NCPA. Such a theme and collection have so far never been exhibited in India. The special focus for this year‘s festival is the relationship between Writing and Cinema and this will be further explored through the Antiquarian ‘The Shakespeare Gallery‘ Engravings from the Boydell Gallery and the Original Artworks for Vintage Hindi Novel Covers (1950-70s). The third exhibition is a tribute to Mr. Shammi Kapoor. Entry is Free for all Exhibitions.

The grand finale will end with the first unveiling of the scale model of the Osianama by some of the leading lights of the cultural world. The Osianama, Osian‘s flagship cultural complex, will open in Mumbai in mid 2009.

The Osian‘s Cinefan Festival. which has gradually emerged as the largest festival of its kind in the world, will mark ten years of its inception this year with several new features in the Festival in Delhi from 10 to 20 July.

In addition to the annual award for writing, the Festival will this year bestow an additional award: the Osian‘s Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Cinema, which is being given this year to renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen. The writer‘s award, renamed the Aruna Vasudev Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Cinema will be conferred on Jose "Pete" F. Lacaba.

This year Osian‘s-Cinefan has announced over Rs. One Crore (approximately $ 250, 000) in Prize Money for its Competition Sections and Lifetime Achievement Awards. The winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented Rs. 800,000 (approx. $ 20,000) each.

In 2005, Osian‘s launched IBM2 – a series of seminars, conferences, exhibitions, auctions and panel discussions to draw attention to the entire cycle of a film‘s life. The 5th edition of Talent Campus India organized in collaboration with Berlinale Talent Campus, Berlin International Film Festival and Max Mueller Bhavan, is presently inviting applications from young aspiring filmmakers from India, neighbouring South Asian countries and Iran. 30 young aspiring filmmakers will be invited to New Delhi for a workshop from 13–18 July, 2008 to interact with renowned filmmakers and film professionals from India and abroad.

The Best Films in the Asian-Arab and Indian Competition sections will be awarded Rs two million each ($ 50,000) and the Best Director in each section will win Rs 800,000 ($ 20,000). The Special Jury Award and the Best Actor and Actress will each take away Rs 200,000 ($ 5000). The Best First Feature will receive Rs 200,000 (approx $ 5000) in addition to a guaranteed support of Rs 800,000 (approx $ 20,000) from fFOOD: The Film Fund - Osian‘s Originating Development, created by Osian‘s, for the next feature film.

A new competition section that deals with themes of In-Tolerance has been created this year. It will include feature and documentary films that respond to or deal with the intolerance of our times. The Best Film in this category will take home a cash award of Rs 800,000 (approx. $ 20,000). An Audience Award is also being set up for a film in competition and will win Rs 200,000 (approx $ 5000). In addition to these awards given away by Osian‘s, the International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI) & the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) will give away their own awards.

In the past ten years Osian‘s has grown into a major art and cultural institutions dedicated to the infrastructure-building for the arts thereby fostering a new cultural ethos for the Indian and global arts. It has also nurtured a uniquely integrated cinematic infrastructure by building and supporting the film festival, the film archive, the forthcoming arts and film complex - the Osianama – in Mumbai, and by establishing fFOOD: The Film Fund - Osian‘s Originating Development, a step towards supporting young filmmakers in their efforts towards making bold cinema.

One of India‘s most acclaimed filmmakers and a pioneer of the alternative cinema movement, Mrinal Sen in a prolific career spanning almost five decades has directed feature films, short films and documentaries of varying content and cine-aesthetics, his works being permeated by his engagement with social issues and his acute political awareness, always exhibiting a deep analytical mind and humanist ideology. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest distinction given to an Indian filmmaker by the Indian Government, Sen has also been honoured with awards at numerous international film festivals in India and abroad.

Jose F. Lacaba (a.k.a. Pete), poet, journalist, editor, translator, and screenwriter, is a bilingual writer who writes in both English and Filipino. He is the author of six poetry collections in Filipino and a collection of journalistic reportage in English, Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage. He is also the editor of a number of books, including The Films of ASEAN and Emmanuel Lacaba‘s Salvaged Poems and Salvaged Prose. He has written the screenplays of award-winning feature films that have been shown at various international film festivals, including Cannes, Venice and Toronto. His screenplay credits include Jaguar, Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim, Orapronobis, Sister Stella L., Eskapo, Segurista and Rizal sa Dapitan. Pete Lacaba is also the recipient of the Centennial Honors for the Arts for his significant contributions to culture and the arts in the twentieth century.

Latika Padgaonkar, Joint Festival Director, Osian‘s Cinefan told, "We are delighted to honour two eminent personalities from the world of cinema. Both have contributed in a seminal way to the seventh art and both have placed on their works an individual and creative stamp".

Osian‘s-Cinefan is organized by Osian‘s Connoisseurs of Art in association with the Government of the Delhi. Committed to bringing the finest films from India, Asia and Arab countries it aims to break down artistic hierarchies of the popular and the highbrow to reinvent a thoughtful and creative film culture. Cinefan began in 1999 as a small festival of Asian Cinema with just 27 films, but grew after it was acquired by and merged into Osian‘s Connoisseurs of Art in 2004 and became Osian‘s-Cinefan.

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