New Delhi's Cinefan cools off with late dates

Osian's moves event from July to more temperate October

NEW DELHI -- The 11th Osian's Cinefan festival of Asian and Arab cinema will move to October this year instead of its traditional July dates.

In late April, Mumbai/Delhi-based art foundation and fest organizers Osian's had confirmed this year's dates for July 17-26.

Osian's said that the shift is a "decision pending four years" and that the October dates were finalized "keeping in mind the unbearable temperatures and humidity that Delhi experiences in July, though cinema lovers have braved these conditions and supported the festival for almost a decade," the foundation said.

Meanwhile, as announced earlier, veteran filmmaker Mani Kaul will be this year's festival director.

Cinefan will feature segments such as the competition section, which will have 15 entries from participating countries; the In Dialogue section, which will "blur genres and cross boundaries"; and panel discussions including one on "New Stream Cinema" focusing on "innovations and expanding boundaries visible in Indian films today."

Details about jury members and participating films will be announced later. Along with Kaul, Cinefan will be supervised by joint directors Indu Shrikent and Latika Padgaonkar. Last year's festival included special guests like "Taxi Driver" writer Paul Schrader.

Kaul's credits include award-winning features such as 1992's Hindi feature "Idiot," based on the Fodor Dostoevsky novel, which starred then upcoming Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

As in the past, Cinefan will see parallel art events with this year's event offering a fusion of art, cinema and tradition titled "Jashn-Osianama" which will feature select masterpieces from the Osian's archive interpreting the theme "Violence Non Violence 1000 years."

Commenting on this year's festival, Kaul said that "irrespective of its independent or mainstream origin we will strive for a dispassionate portrayal of new and bold cinema. Our program will range from uncompromising experimentation in films, to an archival kind of cross reference between cinemas of the world, to an articulation of an emerging, thinking New Stream cinema in India."