When the Fifth Asian Film Festival ends on November 8, 2007 it will be the first time that an international film festival will have showcased a Marathi film as its closing film.
Umesh Kulkarni’s directorial debut ‘Valu’, starring Atul Kulkarni, is the chosen one. The film tells a simple, hilarious tale of the misadventures of a bull in a remote Maharashtrian village. The cast and crew of the film will be present on the occasion.
The festival, presented by the Aashay Film Club and the Indira School of Communication, in association with the Asian Film Foundation, Mumbai, begins on November 1.
The festival will be inaugurated by director Madhur Bhandarkar at 5 pm on the first day. Chairman of the Asian Film Foundation, Mumbai, Kiran V. Shantaram will be the chief guest.
“The festival has always worked towards giving a platform to up-coming filmmakers. Therefore, we have invited Bhandarkar, who has already carved a niche for himself in the Hindi film industry,” said festival director Virendra Chitrav, at a news conference at City Pride Multiplex, Kothrud on Friday. The festival will be held at the multiplex and the National Film Archive of India. The opening ceremony will be held at City Pride, Kothrud.
This year’s ‘Zenith Asia Award’ will be conferred on veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra. Other recipients of the award include Aparna Sen and Iranian director Majid Majidi.
On the occasion, Chopra’s first film, ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ (1958) and one of his later films, ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ (1997), will be screened to give the audience an idea of how Chopra’s craft developed over the years.
The festival will open with Iranian film ‘Poet of the Wastes’, directed by Mohammad Ahmadi. The film tells the story of a street cleaner who discovers the secrets of the neighbourhood while collecting garbage and, in the process, gets involves in romantic and social adventures.
The highlight of this year’s festival is the section called, ‘Introducing Chinese Cinema' where eight Chinese films made in the last seven years will be screened.
Other categories include, ‘Spectrum Asia’, comprising 25 films from 13 Asian countries including Malaysia, Philippines, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Thailand etc; ‘Indian Vista’ with regional language films including those in Kannada, Malayalam, Assamese and Bengali; ‘Tribute to the Master’ comprising three film by Japanese maestro Akira Kurosawa; ‘Best of Asia’; FTII’s new film, ‘Jab Din Chale Na Rat Chale’ directed by Tripurari Sharan and a retrospective of Nagesh Kuknoor’s films.
There will be a whole section dedicated to Marathi films. “Post ‘Shwaas’, it has been a good time for Marathi films,” Chitrav said, adding that four films, ‘Maibaap’, ‘Tingya’, ‘Kalchakra’ and ‘Evadhese Abhal’ would be shown in this year’s Indian panorama. Other Marathi films include ‘Kadachit’ and ‘Jinki Re Jinki’.
Passes for the festival are available at City Pride, Kothrud and Satara road and at NFAI.
Poet of the Wastes (Dir. Mohammad Ahmad, Iran, 2005)
Bliss (Dir. Abdullah Oguz, Turkey, 2006)
Samar (Dir. Shyam Benegal, India, 1998)
King and the Clown (Dir. Lee Jun-ik, Korea, 2005)
The Struggler (Dir Mahesh Manjerkar, Hindi, 2007)
Tingya (Dir Mangesh Hadawale, India, 2007)
Valu (Dir. Umesh Kulkarni, India, 2007)