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Delhi fails to get good International films: Sheila Dikshit

NEW DELHI: Delhi is today the venue for several international film festivals including those for Asian and Arab Cinema, Buddhist films, women’s cinema and South Asian Cinema, but Delhi’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit feels the capital is not getting the right kind of International films for regular day-to-day screenings.

‘‘Apart from the film festivals and the film-related events being held in Delhi from time to time, we are not getting the kind of International films that we deserve to get. I do not see the reason for it as we are getting clothes made in any part of the world, the shoes and even cars manufactured outside India. If we are not getting anything, it is good films being made outside India. Or, at least, they are not being shown to the public,‘‘ Dikshit said, after inaugurating the fourth edition of the Tri-continental film festival here last night.


Addressing a huge gathering of lovers of good cinema gathered at the India Habitat Centre for the inaugural ceremony of the festival featuring films from Latin America, Africa and Asia showcasing various facets of the cause of human rights in these Continents, Dikshit said, ‘‘Because of the paucity of good International film available for regular screenings in Delhi, we welcome the holding in the city of such festivals as the Tri-continental film festival, featuring the best of International cinema. However, many of the lovers of good cinema among us would like to see these films on a day-to-basis in our neighbourhood and not just at film festivals.‘‘


Dikshit also announced that the Delhi government would extend its full support to the Tri-continental film festival, being organized by international human rights organization Breakthrough that uses education and popular culture to promote values of dignity, equality and justice, in collaboration with the Habitat Film Club and the Alliance Francaise.
On this occasion, the Chief Minister also honoured Parvez Sharma, whose film A Jehad For Love being screened at the film festival has been selected by the festival jury as Best film.


Organised in Latin America in 2002, South Africa in 2003 and India in 2004, the tri-continental film festival has become an annual platform for narrative, documentary, feature and short length in the three continents.


A unique feature of the festival has been the ‘traveling screen‘ which means that screenings of the film festival are held in several areas across the country. The first Tri-continental film festival in India traveled to Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, reaching students and practitioners of human rights. The films were also screened for cultural institutions, focused groups as well as general audiences. After Delhi, the festival will go to Mumbai where it will be held from January 25 to 27, Bangalore (1 to 3 February) and Kolkata (8 to 10 February).


Each screening is usually followed by active and participatory debates and discussions on issues, which the film throws up. Films selected for the festival are judged by a jury including filmmakers, film critics and scholars as well as artistes.

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