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Freedom of expression is primary theme of 12th Osian's Cinefan Film Festival

NEW DELHI: Marking a return after a gap of two years, the 12th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival will see as many as 175 films from around 38 countries from India, Asia and the Arab world.

The Film festival will be held in New Delhi from 27 July to 5 August at Siri Fort Complex and the Osianama and Blue Frog at the Kila Complex, New Delhi in collaboration with the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It will have 15 world premieres, eight International premieres, 104 Indian premieres, and 13 Asian premieres. The screenings will also include 61 shorts.

The films will be shown within an all-embracing framework which focuses on Freedom of Creative Thought and Expression, which is the special theme this year, according to Osian’s Group Chairman Neville Tuli.

Tuli said that it is not enough to be the country producing the highest number of films in the world. “What we need is a cinematic culture,” he said. "Cultivating this will prevent bigotry, censorship and intimidation. Film Festivals are major platforms for carrying this movement forward."

He said in reply to a question that the budget was around Rs 45– 60 million, adding that there was no profit motive behind the festival which was aimed at promoting a film culture and making Delhi a film hub.

Tuli also referred to the co-operation OCFF had received from the Delhi Government, Morarka Foundation, the Tourism Ministry’s Incredible India campaign, Blue Frog and others.

He said a new component this year will be the introduction of music with performances by renowned artistes every night at Blue Frog. He announced that the Osianama complex for promoting good cinema culture will come up in Delhi by September.

Festival Director Indu Shrikent referred to the eminent jury members comprising the four juries.

The Asian and Arab competition with 12 films will be judged by Marco Mueller who is Artistic Director of the Rome Film Festival. Members include Muzaffar Ali, Iranian filmmaker Ali Mostafa, Egyptian director Magdi Ahmed Ali, and the American filmmaker James V Hart. Mueller will also deliver the first Mani Kaul Memorial lecture on 29 July and Hart will hold a master class on 2 August, which will be marked as Horror day because of the genre in which he has specialised.

The Indian jury is headed by Iranian filmmaker Hamid Dabashi, Indian director and film critic Khalid Mohammed, actor Lillete Dubey, Annemarie Jacir from Jordan, Afghan-born filmmaker Atiq Rahimi, and Dutch documentary filmmaker Sonia Herman Dolz. There are nine films in competition.

The First Features Jury judging nine films will have filmmaker Huseyin Karabey, Korean actor and writer Jeon Kyu-hwan, and Indian filmmaker Gurvinder Singh.

The shorts competition jury seeing 12 films comprises Iranian filmmaker Panah Panahi, independent Indian filmmaker Ashvin Kumar and National Award-winning filmmaker Umesh Kulkarni.

In addition, there is a jury set up by the international federation of film critics, FIPRESCI, which has Klaus Eder of Germany, Shoma A Chatterji of India, and Egyptian film critic Tarak el-Shinnawi.

The Japanese film ‘Asura’ by Keiichi Sato will be the opening film on 27 July and Chitrangada by Rituparno Ghish will end the festival. This Bengali film will have its Indian premiere at the OCFF.

Known for its bold programming and innovation in introducing new cinemas to Indian audiences, OCFF is showing some films that turned out to be milestones in the fight for freedom of expression, according to Deputy Director Kaushik Bhaumik. These include five features and two documentaries.

Participating countries include China, Estonia, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria among many others.

Some of the highlights of the Festival are:

Film Craft: the Art of Animation; Launching of 7.4: Focus on Environmental Films; Festival Summit: ‘Delhi as India’s Next Cinema City’; Freedom of Expression; Tribute to Mani Kaul; Tribute to Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi; Children at Osian’s-Cinefan; Short Films; Youth at Osian’s-Cinefan;

Celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema: The Divas of Indian Cinema – 100 Years of Beauty and Grace; 1st Osian’s-Cinefan Auction of Indian Cinema Memorabilia; and The Turtle at the Blue Frog.

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