Friday, July 11, 2008

10th Osian’s Cinefan film festival

The 10th edition of Osian’s Cinefan, one of the world’s known film festivals, which is committed to promote Asian and Arab Cinema for the last 10 years, is opening today at Sirifort Auditorium ,New Delhi . The festival will showcase nearly 200 Asian and Arab films, including, for the first time, 42 short films. On the opening day, the festival paid tribute to Indonesian actress Christine Hakim by showcasing her film 'Behind the Mosquito Net'. The fest, to be held at the Alliance Francaise and at the Siri Fort auditorium , New Delhi will for the first time showcase 42 short fiction films handpicked by curator Monika Bhasin. Festival opened with the Hong Kong film "Sparrow", directed by the maverick filmmaker Johnny To and Mumbai Cutting - an Indian anthology by 11 directors - will mark the end of the ten day event. The festival presents a tribute to writer Naguib Mahfouz, stalwart of of the Taiwanese New Wave Edward Yang, and Indonesian actress Christine Hakim. The Short Fiction Films from Asian and Arab countries will find a special space in the festival this year along with a glimpse at films from Israel and Palestine. At Osian’s Infrastructure Building for Minds and Markets (IBM2), a parallel event to the screenings, Paul Schrader delivers a lecture on New Media in his Master Class on Screenwriting along with Mani Kaul, and an array of other interesting debates and discussions. This year, Osian's-Cinefan has announced a hike in prize money, increasing it to over Rs.10 million (approximately $250,000) for its competition sections and lifetime achievement awards. Some of the revamped and newly-introduced awards this year include the Best Film in the Competitive Sections, which have two awards of Rs. 20 Lakhs for both the Asian Arab Competition as well as the Indian Competition. The Best First Feature Award has Rs. 2 lakhs as its prize money as well as a guaranteed support of Rs. 8 lakhs from fFOOD, Osian’s Film Fund. The In-Tolerence section is competitive for the first time. The newly-introduced Osian’s Award for Lifetime Achievement for Contribution in Cinema is worth Rs. 8 lakhs, as is the Aruna Vasudev Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing in Cinema. The FIPRESCI and NETPAC will also present their awards. Eminent film personalities serve different juries of this fest. Ketan Mehta, Christine Hakim, Chantal Akerman , Wu Nien-jen, Kais al Zubaidi will judge the films in Asian & Arab category. Rada Sesic, Jeffrey Jeturian, Sai Paranjpye, Abolfazl Jalili and Mohammad Bakri constitute the jury for Indian films . Nagesh Kukunoor , Vimukthi Jayasundara and Tony Rayns are the jury members for judging First Features Competition. Martine Therouanne , Ed Lejano , Arun Khopkar will be the Nat Pac jury. Saeed Ebrahimifar , Bappaditya Bandopadhyay and Gonul Donmez-Colin form the Intolerance jury , Adrienne Mc Kibbins , Meena Karnik , Mohamed Gallaoui constitute the Fipresci jury . Along with the annual award for writing, the Festival will bestow an additional award, the Osian's Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Cinema, 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 from the Philippines.
Neville Tuli is the man behind this prestigious film festival . Established in 2000 as a pioneering arts institution in India, Osian’s is “at the heart of Neville Tuli’s vision of creating a new infrastructure and model for the Indian arts and culture, whereby a merit-conscious and financially self-sufficient infrastructure is put in place, independent of traditional patronage systems but grounded in its own ability to be a part of India’s developmental framework”.. With Osian’s acquisition of Cinefan, the Asian Film Festival and Cinemaya, the Asian Film Journal, along with the merger of Aruna Vasudev’s team of experts into Osian’s under the umbrella of the Film House, the cinematic infrastructural base has widened significantly.

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