SCO Film Festival begins in Mumbai today
Mumbai/IBNS: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival began with a grand star-studded opening ceremony and a colourful cultural evening highlighting the diversity of India, at NCPA in Mumbai on Friday.
With popular film personalities of Indian cinema as well as SCO countries in attendance, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State (External Affairs and Culture) Meenakshi Lekhi inaugurated the SCO Film Festival.
Bollywood star of yesteryears and Mathura MP Hema Malini, who was the guest of honour in the opening ceremony, and other eminent film personalities like Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Sajid Nadiadwala, Esha Gupta, Poonam Dhillon, Eli Avram, Hrishita Bhatt and Jacky Bhagnani were felicitated on the occasion.
The seven jury members of SCO Film Festival–China’s film director Ning Ying; musician from Kazakhstan Dimash Kudaibergen; filmmaker and film critic from Kyrgyzstan Gulbara Tolomushova; Russian film producer and journalist Ivan Kudryavtsev; film producer, actor and author from Tajikistan Mehmedsaid Shohiyon; Uzbekistan’s actor Matyakub Sadullayevich Matchanov and chairperson of the jury and acclaimed Indian film-maker Rahul Rawail were also felicitated.
Union I & B Minister stated that the SCO Film Festival is being organized to mark India’s Presidency at SCO and India’s goal in organising the festival is to showcase the diversity of films and various styles of filmmaking from the SCO region.
“We also aim to build cinematic partnerships, have an exchange of programmes, nurture young filmmaking talent and act as a bridge between the cultures of this unique region”, added the Union minister.
Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said, “The SCO and NFDC aim at making the SCO film festival a collective cinematic experience for the Indian and International film fraternity, budding filmmakers and cinema lovers across the SCO region.”
Thakur further informed that accelerating networking and pitching for Indian Cinema will be at the core of the SCO Film Festival.
He said, “Under India’s Chairmanship of the SCO, this festival is all set to be a melting pot of myriad vibrant cultures, a spectacle of aesthetic sensibilities and sheer cinematic excellence”.
We must utilise this platform to deliberate and dwell upon pertinent concerns of contemporary times such that they accurately reflect the realities of the present century and our people, through cinema, he further said.
While delivering the welcome address, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting said, “SCO Film Festival presents unique opportunities and incredible possibilities for filmmakers to network, pitch, collaborate and experience the best from the world of cinema”.
The SCO region is a confluence of diverse civilizations and a cradle of rich traditions of art and culture, he said.
This has been reflected in the cinemas made in SCO countries, which have been globally appreciated and awarded, Thakur said, adding that the countries in the grouping must come together and co-create films that reflect our civilization, culture and cooperation over the years.
The very first edition of the SCO Film Festival in India will screen around 58 films from 14 countries in both the competition and non-competition categories.
The festival opened with the screening of the Tamil film “Appatha”, directed by Priyadarshan and starring Urvashi.
At the screening of the film, the Minister of Information & Broadcasting also felicitated the film’s director Priyadarshan and lead actor Urvashi.