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Sheila opens Osian’s Cinefan

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Celebrating films: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with Neville Tuli and Aruna Vasudev lighting a lamp to inaugurate the ninth edition of Osian’s Cinefan, a festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on Friday.
Celebrating films: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit along with Neville Tuli and Aruna Vasudev lighting a lamp to inaugurate the ninth edition of Osian’s Cinefan, a festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi on Friday.

Madhur Tankha

‘It has become an important cultural event that Delhiites look forward to’

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday gave the go-ahead to the ninth edition of Osian’s Cinefan, Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema at Siri Fort Complex here.

“It is a great privilege for me to grow up at this film festival,” said Ms. Dikshit, adding, “It was brought to Delhi shakingly but now with Neville Tully at the helm of affairs with a helping hand from Aruna Vasudev, Osian’s Cinefan has become an important cultural event that Delhiites look forward to.”

Lifetime Award

After lighting the traditional lamp, Ms. Dikshit handed over the Osian’s Cinefan 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award to Japanese author, historian and critic Tadao Sato, who warmly acknowledged the love showered on him by the host country.

After speeches by the Chief Minister and organisers, dancers, singers and percussionists took over the stage.

Earlier, Osian’s founder-chairman Neville Tuli said: “We are getting bigger at Osian’s Cinefan but I am bothered about the downslide as cinematically, artistically and culturally something is amiss. All our efforts should be to leave behind a better infrastructure for our future generation. The creative spirit should not be denied or put to a little corner. We need to bring about a fundamental change to bring in idealism and resilience of creative spirit.”

Underlining the need to have in place a framework to express our creativity, Mr. Tuli said that scholars and other creative minds should not be on the defensive. “The intelligentsia should not shy away from the corporate sector. Osian’s Cinefan is a living proof of an institution that has an inherent corporate structure.”

Cultural Capital

Osian’s Cinefan president Aruna Vasudev said when Ms. Dikshit became the Chief Minister she had told her that she wanted to make Delhi the cultural Capital of the country and now it had become one.

As many as 140 films from more than 35 countries will be screened at the festival over the next nine days. There will also be exhibitions, seminars, conferences, auctions and lectures to create a vibrant atmosphere so that the film festival can be re-contextualised into a unique cultural event. The global premiere of filmmaker Babak Shirinshefat’s movie “Raami”, a co-production between Iran and Azerbaijan, was held on Friday.

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