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20 films on Buddhism to be screened at 5-day fest

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NEW DELHI: Over 20 feature and short films on Buddhist philosophy and thought from seven countries will be screened during ?Inner Path?, a five-day festival of understanding Buddhist thought and philosophy.

Union Minister for Culture Kumari Selja will inaugurate the festival on 27 April at Azad Bhavan of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Council president Karan Singh and director-general Suresh K Goel will also be present at the event.

The inauguration will be followed by ?Buddhist Sacred Dances and Rituals? by a six-member dance troupe from Sri Lanka.

Prior to the inauguration of the main event, the exhibition ?The Greatest Journey of Ideas: Spread of Buddhism? - a select range of photographs of Buddhist Art in 19 countries by art historian-filmmaker- photographer Benoy K Behl will be inaugurated the same day.

Ten films by Behl are also being screened as part of the Festival.

?The Inner Path? is being organised by the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and the Devki Foundation and is the first International Buddhist Festival in the country of his birth.

The festival, which is expected to become an annual feature, has been conceptualised by film critic and NETPAC president Aruna Vasudev, and is being held in partnership with filmmaker Suresh Jindal, chairman of the Devki Foundation.

Vasudev said the features, documentaries, and shorts are coming from Bhutan, Argentina, Korea, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and India.

Renowned directors and film personalities from these countries will be present. They include director Yoon Yong-jin of ?Hal?, Srilankan film star Thumindu Dodantenna of ?Sankara?, ?Amongst the Clouds? by Edward A. Burger; the documentary ?Peace is every step? by Gaetano Kazuo Maida, and renowned director Hector Kumarasiri whose film ?Abinikmana? will have its world premiere here.

NETPAC had organised a festival of films on Buddhism way back in 1995. Vasudev added that ?Trishagini? by Azad Bhavan which was screened in 1995 will also be shown, apart from the ten films by Behl, and Im Kwon-Taek?s ?Come Come Come Upwards?.

Behl said he had been documenting the history of Buddhism and had made 12 films on the subject.

Starting from 27 April and slated to go on till 1 May, the festival at the Azad Bhavan (Indian Council of Cultural Relations) will present Buddhist philosophy and aesthetics through various creative forms - a dance performance, films, an exhibition of photographs, and selected art works, discourses, discussions and debates.

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