Shimla: The eight edition of the International Film Festival of Shimla kicked off today at the historical and famous Gaiety Theater with full fervour.
The Film Festival was inaugurated by V.S. Kundu, Addl. Chief Secretary, Govt. of Haryana & Former Director General, Film Division, GoI. He said that the cinema bridges the gap between different languages, societies and nations.
It gives insight to the viewers and knows how of the different people around the globe. International Film Festivals help to give a platform to watch the best cinema to the viewers.
Thirty one films were screened on the inaugural day of the function. The films were screened at three screens of the Gaiety Theater. National award winning Garhwali film ‘Sunpat’ directed by Rahul Rawat was the inaugural film of the function. The film is based on the ghost villages of Uttarakhand which have been left lifeless as a result of migration of people to urban areas for better opportunities and jobs. It shows the various socio-economic impacts that have resulted due to migration and made the four thousand villages manless.
The films were also screened at Model Central Jail for the inmates. In this screening around one hundred and fifty jail inmates including thirty women jail inmates were present on the occasion. The festival was inaugurated by Sh. Jai Gopal Lodta, Superintendent Jail. He said that it was a good occasion for the jail inmates to give them experience of watching internationally acclaimed films.
‘Sheer Korma’ based on transgender issues starring Shabana Azmi, Divya Dutta and Swara Bhaskar in lead roles was also screened in the Function.
National Film award winning Film Directors Shankar Sri Kumar & Farrah Khatoon also participated in the function.
A total of 86 films will be screened at the International Film Festival of Shimla. 27 films in the international category, 34 Indian films, 4 Himachali films and 15 National Award winning films will be shown in the three days film festival.
Films across seventeen countries viz. Canada, America, Lebanon, Spain, Iran, Taiwan, Brazil, Iceland, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, Greece, Belgium, Denmark, Russia will be screened in the film festival. These include documentary, animation, feature and short films.
A total of 16 National Award winning films received from Directorate of Film Festivals, Government of India will be screened. Gujarati feature film 21 M U Tiffin directed by Vijay Giri Baba, Hindi feature film Alpha Beta Gamma directed by Shankar Sri Kumar, Kannada feature film Dolu directed by Sagar Puranik, Hindi feature film At Down Toofan Mail directed by Aakriti Singh, Marathi film Funeral directed by Rajendra Dubey, Telugu film Natyam directed by Revanth Kumar Kurukunda, Kannada film Neeli Hakki directed by Ganesh Hegde, Hindi documentary film Jugalbandi directed by Chetan Bhakuni, Marathi documentary film Marble of the Jungle directed by Sohil Vaidya, Manipuri director Haubam Pawan Kumar’s documentary film Pabung Shyam, Garhwali film Sanpat directed by Rahul Rawat, , Udia documentary film Backstage directed by Lipika Singh Derai, Hindi documentary film Naakar directed by Anant Mahadevan, Gujarati documentary film The Spell of Purple directed by Prachi Barjania, Assamese documentary film Veerangana directed by Kishore Kalita, Santali language film directed by Jackie R Bala will be the center of attraction during this three-day long film festival which has recently been conferred with the 68th National Award by the Government of India.
Apart from these films, 27 films from different countries are being screened in the International category under the competitive section of the International Film Festival of Shimla, while 35 films will be screened in the National category, all these films are documentaries, short films, feature films, animation, and music videos. Best film in each category will be awarded in the Festival.
Fifty film directors from across the country and abroad have joined this film festival. They will also be interacting with the audience at the Gaiety Theatre.
A film exhibition is also being organized by the National Film Archives of India, Pune at the International Film Festival of Shimla depicting and deliberating the history and growth of cinema in India. Various works related to the films will have been put on display in this exhibition.
Dr. Pankaj Lalit, Director, Art Language and Culture, S.N. Joshi, Retired Bureaucrat & Amritpal Singh, Director, Film Division were also present on the occasion.