After a two-year gap,the 12th edition of the annual Osians Cinefan Film Festival starts in the Capital today. It will showcase some of the finest examples of Indian and world cinema. The 10-day festival will also include discussions by noted film personalities from the world over,and for the first time,a series of musical performances
Previously centred around the Siri Fort Complex,this year,the festival will run at separate venues it will include the swish The Kila in Mehrauli especially Blue Frog and Courtyard,A musical line-up by all the usual suspects Indian Ocean,Karsh Kale and The Ska Vengers apart from panel discussions and workshops mandates this split venue. The performances will take place after film screenings each evening.
There are a whopping 104 Indian premieres at Osians this year. Out of them,the closing film Rituparno Ghoshs much talked-about Chitrangada,has already generated a critical buzz. It touches upon the fuzzy nature of gender and sexuality with Ghosh himself playing Chitrangada. Other Indian films making their world premiere are Ashish R Shuklas Prague,a psychological thriller; Ashwini Maliks Monophobia,in which the protagonist has a crippling fear of being alone and Ajita Suchitra Veeras Rustom ki Dastan. Besides,the second part of Anurag Kashyaps magnum opus Gangs of Wasseypur will finally have its India premiere here.
Remembering the Greats
Apart from saluting the revolutionary Japanese duo Wakamatsu and Adachi,the festival will screen classics by the multifaceted Indian filmmaker,Mani Kaul. The Mani Kaul Programme is scheduled on July 28,30 and 31 and includes screenings of some of his rare films: Duvidha,Before My Eyes,Burden and The Servants Shirt. Kaul was creative director at Osians since 2006 and succumbed to cancer last year. The Cinefan has instituted the annual Mani Kaul Memorial Lecture series,the first of which will be delivered by film expert Marco Mueller,artistic director of Rome Film Festival.
The Front Row
As the event celebrates the best of Arab,Asian and Indian cinema,the guest list includes members of the film fraternity from across the globe. Filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee and Anurag Kashyap fresh from the success of their recent films will be present alongside actors such as Kalki Koechlin,Nana Patekar and Irrfan. From the world of TV and theatre,there will be Seema Biswas and Lilette Dubey. Social activist Medha Patkar will also be present.
This year,Osians will see an unusual collection of films all the way from Japan. Pink films,known as Pinku Eiga in Japan,is a genre of soft-core adult theatrical films,which first appeared in the 60s and dominated the Japanese film industry for more than two decades. Now,there has been a revival of interest in this genre in the last decade or so. These films lay great stress on plots,character development and dialogues. On show will be Naokazu Chinzeis Ring My Bell and Satoshi Yamaguchis The Smell of Curry and Rice.
Eat Your Cake,Watch it too
When Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was arrested in 2010 on unspecified charges and sentenced to house arrest for six years,his protest took an unusual form. While under house arrest,Panahi made a short film chronicling a day in his life under confinement. The recording was transferred into a flash drive and smuggled to the 2011 Cannes film festival,hidden in a cake. Upon its screening,the film met with great critical acclaim. While still imprisoned,Panahis son will attend the screening of his fathers film,This is Not A Film and address the audience.
Another collection of films and panel discussions will address freedom of expression through cinema. Films that will be screened under this category include Emperor Tomato Ketchup from Japan,Karma and Rockstar from India,and Baise-moi from France. Panel discussions will see participants such as the makers of Rockstar and Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi,among others.
The Cinefan competition is divided into four sections: Arab and Asian,Indian,First Features and Shorts. International imports on the jury include Marco Mueller,former director of the Venice Film Festival; Hollywood screenwriter James V Hart; Afghani author Atiq Rahimi; and Jordan-based filmmaker Annemarie Jacir. From the Indian contingent,there will be indie filmmaker Ashvin Kumar; painter and director Muzzafar Ali; theatre actor Lillette Dubey and Gurvinder Singh,who made the National award-winning documentary Anhe Ghorhey Da Dana.