Oz Fest,to be held in various Indian cities including Pune,will see several cross-cultural collaborations in art and culture over the next four months
A unique audio-visual celebration of the life and movies popular Hindi film actor Nadia,titled Fearless Nadia,would not just celebrate 100 years of Hindi cinema,but it also remind film-goers of a little known fact: that Nadia was originally Australia-born Mary Ann Evans. Accompanied by a live score by Australian-Indian musicians Orkestra of the Underground,this presentation will be staged at the Liberty Theatre,Mumbai on the November 22 and 23 as part of the recently announced Oz Fest. Spanning across 18 locations in India,including Pune,the four-month-long Oz Fest — that will kick off on October 16 and end on February 5 — will showcase Australia’s music,art,food,films,literature,dance and sport.
We hope that through Oz Fest,Indians will know more about Australia and its story — be it our cultural diversity,creativity,the economy,and the links between our nations, said Peter Varghese,Australian High Commissioner to India,at a recent press conference along with Australian Consul General Steve Waters and Indian-Australian actress Pallavi Sharda. The latter,along with Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and Aussie cricketer Brett Lee,is also an ambassador for the festival.
The Aussie BBQ — Australias five best rock acts — will perform in Mumbai,Pune,Delhi and Bangalore; this will coincide with Pune’s Bacardi NH7 Weekender,where progressive rock band Karnivool will play. On the literary front,there’s The Bookwallah that will have six writers,Indian and Australian,embark on a 2,000km journey by train from Mumbai to Thiruvananthapuram,creating an ingenious travelling library on their way.
Pillai mentions that Pune’s importance for them is from the fact that it is an educational hub with a huge student and young working class community here. In Pune the Australian Indegenous Cricket team will be playing T20 matches with the local teams on October 17. The Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow will be in High Spirts. The RAW Comedy Competition,which is a huge hit back in Australia is aimed at scouting talent in the open mic comedy category. We will be doing the same here in Pune too, says Nitya Pillai,public affairs manager for the Australian consulate in Mumbai.
(Pune inputs by Rohan Swamy)