Surabhi Force to organise cultural fest on 27 Feb

MUMBAI: Surabhi, the programme produced by Siddharth Kak, is back in action and is extending its concept to on-ground promotional events!

Surabhi Force, a trust established as a platform for the preservation and presentation of India's culture and heritage through various media related pathways, is planning to celebrate India's diverse cultural heritage with Alamkara, with a first-of-its-kind annual film, folk and food festival to be held at Mumbai's Films Division complex from 27 February to 2 March 2003.

Surabhi Foundation for Research and Cultural Exchange (Surabhi Force) organisers claims that it has been established as a platform for the preservation and presentation of India's culture and heritage through various media related pathways.

The cultural event Alamkara, is slated to be a potpourri of India's diverse traditions and encompasses cinema and documentary film screenings, seminars, folk art exhibits and regional cuisines.

Surabhi Force executive trustee Siddharth Kak says: "Alamkara highlights the interplay of popular Hindi cinema and folk traditions and mirrors the changing cultural identity and aspirations of the people of contemporary India."

"Alamkara means the `art of ornamentation'. Culture is an ornamentation that adds value to our lives, roots us and gives us a sense of identity and purpose," Kak adds.

Surabhi Force will aim to bring together the decorative and performing arts of the country in the heritage precincts of the Films Division, a pioneering institution of documentary film-making in India,

Tree-lined avenues and open spaces will be re-created to recapture the nostalgia and joy of India's cultural traditions. The quaint campus lends itself beautifully to the festival with its screening rooms, ancient trees, and vast spaces for the display of handicrafts and regional street cuisines, states a press release.

The highlights of Alamkara include Darpan - A Festival of Feature and Non-Feature Films reflecting changing aspects of Indian society; Jadooi Chitra Chhaya - the unique pre-cinema magic lantern show; Cinema Sadaa.. - A nostalgic exhibition of film memorabilia, that includes antique posters, gramophones, show cards and old cameras; Haath Ki Safai - a colourful exhibition & sale of exquisite master crafts; Dia-Log - seminars on contemporary issues featuring a plethora of industry stalwarts and veterans from various disciplines; Khane Bhi Do Yaaron - a quintessential regional street food fiesta.

Surabhi Force has obtained the support of the Ford Foundation, the Times Foundation and Club Mahindra. Event organisers also claim to have the support from union ministry of information and broadcasting and culture; department of culture, government of Maharashtra; National Film Development Corporation (NDFC) and National Film Archives of India (NFAI).

"The focus of Alamkara is to provide multiple opportunities and platforms for bridging many gaps and opening new vistas towards the promotion of arts, crafts, films, folk, culture and cuisine and this is proposed as an annual event for the city of Mumbai," says Kak.

Surabhi Force's cultural events cell aims to provide a platform to artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, audiences and media persons from various parts of India as well as from abroad, and a forum to deepen and broaden cultural exchange between India and the rest of the world.

The board of trustees of Surabhi Force includes distinguished names like Dr. Mulk Raj Anand, Dr. Jyotindra Jain, Dr S V Gorakshakar, PK Nair, Dolly H Sahiar, Gita Siddharth and Pamela Chopra.

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