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India to host first BRICS Film Festival from 2–6 Sep

MUMBAI: The first BRICS Film Festival will be held at the Sirifort Auditorium Complex, New Delhi, from 2 to 6 September.

The film festival would act as a platform for people of the film industry of member countries to explore areas of cooperation in the domain of ‘cinema, culture and cuisine’.

Minister of Information & Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu said that the idea of organising the BRICS Film Festival originated at the last BRICS Summit where PM Narendra Modi proposed a BRICS film festival and film awards.

The festival would celebrate the excellence of cinema by rewarding filmmakers, actors, producers and directors. The minister stated this while addressing the media at the curtain raiser press conference for BRICS Film Festival at New Media Centre. Minister of State in the MIB Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore was also present on the occasion.

In the course of the five-day event, 20 films will be screened in the competition section, four from each of the countries.

The film festival will showcase an amalgamation of culture, films, song & dance, and food of the five member countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Exclusive cuisines from all the BRICS nations would also be available at the food court, arranged in the festival venue. A craft fair is also being organised at the Sir Fort auditorium complex with all member countries putting up stalls with souvenirs and other properties for sale.

Beyond films, the festival will bring to stage performances by the Chengdu Performing Arts Theatre (China), Theatre Leningrad Centre Dreams of Russia and MBZ Music Production (South Africa).

Naidu mentioned that under India’s BRICS chairmanship, which is scheduled in Goa from 15–16 October, a five-pronged approach would be adopted keeping in view the theme of the summit which is ‘Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions’. The five-pronged approach includes:

  • Institution building to further deepen, sustain and institutionalise BRICS cooperation;
  • Implementation of the decisions from previous summits;
  • Integrating the existing cooperation mechanisms;
  • Innovation, i.e. new cooperation mechanisms; and
  • Continuity, i.e. continuation of mutually agreed existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms

Elaborating further, Naidu said that the BRICS Film Festival would be a bioscope that would showcase distinct cultures, cuisines and arts from the participating countries. A step taken to build bridges and bring harmony among the BRICS countries, the festival would ensure more people-to-people contact between member countries especially youth. In this context, the minister said that India had planned activities like U-17 Football Tournament, Youth Summit, Young Diplomats’ Forum and a special screening of student films from some BRICS nations during the course of the festival. He also unveiled the poster for the BRICS Film Festival.

The minister also gave an overview of the jury members including the chairperson who is from India.

· TS Nagabharana (India): A National Award-winning Kannada director, writer, actor, a pioneer of parallel cinema, served as the Chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy and founder of a theatre organization called Benaka

· Francis Vogner do Reis (Brazil): A journalist, producer and curator of film shows, professor of theory, history and film criticism and co-founder of the electronic magazine Cine Imperfect

· Kirill Razlogov (Russia): A graduate of the Moscow State University Lomonossov, Historical Faculty, Arts History, served as a special adviser for 11 years on film history and international affairs to the President of Goskino of the USS

· Hou Keming (China) – A professor of the direction department of Beijing Film Academy; also the chairperson of China Children’s Film Association and the president of China International Children’s Film Festival

· Xoliswa Sithole (South Africa): Founder and director of Nayanaya Pictures, she is also a member of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and is the founding member of Filmmakers against Racism.

The opening film for the festival would be the world premiere of the Malayalam movie ‘Veeram’, directed by Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair and starring Kunal Kapoor. The film is a transcreation of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and flawlessly portrays the greed for power and the extent a person goes to attain them.