A four-day Slovenian film festival got under way at South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce theatre here on Thursday.

Inaugurating the film festival, Anton Gogala, Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, highlighted the cultural and economic ties between India and Slovenia, which is a member of the European Union.

The festival is being organised by the Embassy in association with Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation.

Reading out a message from Janez Premoze, Slovenian Ambassador to India, he said India has offered to explore shipping links. “There is an increased interest in developing business activities in Indian market among Slovenian companies,” he said.

Mr.Gogala said that an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation was signed between the countries in 1995.

While products such as newsprint and compressors are exported to India, several products, including motor vehicles and antibiotics, are imported.

Mr.Gogala said the festival would be an opportunity for people to get an insight into the Slovenian culture and achievements of the film directors.

Describing Slovenia as a country with beautiful landscape, Amit Goel, managing director of A.S.Shipping Agencies Private Limited, said it was one of the most-sought after tourist destinations in Europe. Such festivals would provide a glimpse into the culture of countries that otherwise are not familiar to the people here.

Ravi Kottarakara, Secretary, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, said film festivals help in appreciation of movies that otherwise go unnoticed.

Film Federation of India has also begun holding festivals in various cities.

B.Ramakrishnan, ICAF president, said this was the second Slovenian film festival being held in the city. Films made in 2002 and 2007 would be screened at the festival. Chennai International Film Festival vice-chairman S.Ve.Shekher, ICAF's general secretary E.Thangaraj and playback singer Rajalakshmi spoke.

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