Cinefan puts Japanese, Arab film in focus


Japanese and Arab cinema will enjoy the spotlight at one of India's better-known annual film events, organizers of Osian's ninth annual Cinefan Festival said Thursday (HR 7/6).

"Raami," an Iran-Azerbaijan co-production by director Babak Shirinshefat, will open the July 20-29 festival in New Delhi, which will screen about 140 films from more than 35 countries.

The festival's theme this year is "Re-creating Cinematic Culture," with a focus on Japan to mark the ongoing Japan-India Friendship Year, said the Mumbai-based art institution Osian's Connoisseurs of Art, which organizes the festival.

As part of this year's Japan focus, a tribute will be paid to Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, and Indian audiences will see for the first time the Japanese "benshi" tradition as narrator Yuko Sato narrates Mizoguchi's silent 1933 classic "The Water Magician."

A special section called "Hymns to Freedom" will commemorate the 150th anniversary of India's First War of Independence in 1857.

The festival's closing film will be Egypt's "Cut and Paste" by Hala Khalil.