Franco-Australian movie ‘Tree' to be a key attraction

CHENNAI: The eighth edition of the Chennai International Film Festival, slated for December this year, will have a lot of Cannes flavour in it.

The festival will feature at least seven films that were selected for the competition category in the Cannes International Film Festival, which ended on May 23. The film festival, being hosted by the Indo-Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF), will get support from the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce.

Bigger this year

Set to get bigger this year, the nine-day festival is all set to get more screens in multiplexes. The number of films to be screened will also see an increase. The Franco-Australian movie ‘Tree,' which was the closing film at Cannes, will be one of the key attractions this year, said Chennai International Film Festival director C.Thangaraj.

Films such as ‘Housemaid,' ‘Outrage' and ‘Chongqing Blues' that made waves in Cannes will be part of the Chennai festival. This year's festival will have an Indian pavilion with internationally acclaimed films such as ‘Women with a Turban' and ‘Kurukshetra' lined up for screening. Best of Hindi films and much-acclaimed Tamil movies will also be shortlisted for screening.

“South Pacific countries will dominate this year's festival with more films. Iran will be the ‘Country in Focus.' We are starting a new Latin American section and bringing in some of the best movies from the country,” Mr.Thangaraj said.

Screeners of 22 films from Turkey and 14 Iranian films have been obtained by ICAF from the distributors and film institutes that got together in Cannes.

“Filmmakers from countries such as Turkey and Iran are keen to send across DVDs of their films for the festival. They see this as an attempt to promote their countries' culture and tourism through the medium of film,” he said.

While film institutes of various countries give out screeners free as a promotional measure, procuring some of the best-made films for the festival is an expensive affair. With Rs.50 lakh being fixed as the budget for this year's film festival, ICAF has begun its fund mobilisation initiatives and will approach the State government shortly for sponsorship.

Films from Arizona, Denmark, Poland and Iceland will be part of the festival, which will be held from December 15 and 23. “We have formed an advisory committee with actors Revathy and Suhasini, and director Vasu. They would select best of the screeners,” he added. “Movie lovers will be treated lavishly this year with new countries and interesting genres.”