Promoting India-Arab cultural ties through film festival

October 27th, 2008 - 1:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh KhanAbu Dhabi, Oct 27 (IANS) As part of a series of events to promote India-Arab cultural ties, the Indian embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is organising an Indian film festival here next month that will showcase some of the best works from Bollywood and regional Indian cinema. ‘Cinemas of India’ to be held Nov 2-11 at the Al Dhafra auditorium at the Cultural Foundation here will feature select Indian movies and UAE documentaries apart from seminars and workshops on Indian cinema, India’s Ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmad said at a press conference here.

“We (UAE and India) already have a very special political and economic relationship,” Ahmad said.

“The UAE is already India’s third largest trading partner. But our cultural ties were neglected. Which was why I approached ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage) with the idea of holding a film festival,” he added.

The festival will be inaugurated by UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan with the screening of director Yash Chopra’s “Veer Zaara”, which stars Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji.

Other films to be screened at ‘Cinemas of India’ are “Anuranan” (Bengali) directed by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, “Paruthiveeran” (Tamil) by Ameer Sultan, Ashutosh Gowarikar’s “Jodhaa Akbar” (Hindi), “Daatu” (Kannada) by Shivarudraiah, filmmaker Ranjith’s ‘Kayyoppu’ (Malayalam) and ‘Gul Mohar’ (Malayalam) by Jayaraj.

The screening of each of these films, except for one, will be preceded by the screening of a UAE-made documentary.

Malayalam short film ‘The Waiting’ will be shown ahead of the screening of ‘Kayyoppu’.

“The film festival is the first of a series of initiatives we are taking along with ADACH to promote Indian culture among Emirati people,” Ambassador Ahmad said.

“After all, cinema is the most powerful medium showing what is happening in contemporary India,” he stated.

According to Ahmad, the fest will be followed by a painting exhibition featuring works of Indian artists and a literary festival, both scheduled for March next year.

The painting exhibition will feature some of the best Indian works since India’s independence, while the literary fest will see the release of Arabic translations of some of contemporary India’s best writings.

The UAE is home to around 1.5 million expatriate Indians.

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