Now, one can watch films based on the works of author and playwright William Shakespeare at a four-day film festival which will commence in the city on Friday.
The festival is being organised by National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in collaboration with English Language Teaching Institute of Symbiosis (ELTIS) on the occasion of the 400th death anniversary of the Bard. The festival ‘Shakespeare on Screen’ will feature nine films, adapted from Shakespearean plays, which will be screened at the NFAI auditorium from April 23 to April 25.
The event will kick off tomorrow at 5.30PM with the screening of the Malayalam film Kaliyattam which is based on Othello. Among the nine films being showcased, six are from the Indian cinema industry, one from Russia, one from Japan and one from US.
These films will be screened over four days. Speaking at the press conference, Santosh Ajmera, officer on special duty, National Film Heritage Mission, said that the movies had been chosen from a wide spectrum of films.
“It covers a long period beginning from 1954 (Hamlet by Kishor Sahu) to 2012 (Ishaqzaade by Habib Faisal) and a wide spectrum of films. Besides, there will also be an exhibition of posters of films related to Shakespeare. UK, France and many other western countries are celebrating the anniversary in a big way. We too are doing our bit,” said Ajmera.
Shirish Saharabudhe, director of ELTIS, said, “Shakespeare didn’t write his plays to be read. They were meant to be performed and hence they have a lot of cinematic elements — drama, one lines, ghosts and clowns. Film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays are sometimes criticised, but I think art is always evolving and every person will have a different interpretation of art.”
The closing ceremony of the festival will be held at 6 PM on April 25. Tom Alter will be the chief guest and give a solo performance on a Shakespearean play. Madhav Vaze will also give a presentation on ‘Actor’s Shakespeare’ and Vinay Hardikar along with Anil Zankar will hold a session on ‘Shakespeare in Cinema’.
“Alter took an initiative and said that he would like to perform from As You Like It. It was a pleasant surprise for us and it will be so for those who love the author,” said Ajmera.