Fest builds ties between India, China


India and China are working to ensure the commercial release of Indian films in China and vice versa, Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Asha Swarup said as the inaugural Chinese Film Festival kicked off here over the weekend.

Swarup said that "discussions had been held on a memorandum of understanding" in this regard. However, a timeline on when a final agreement would be inked was not given.

In his opening speech, Chinese ambassador to India Zhang Yan referred to ancient ties between the two countries and the "affinity in arts and culture including cinema."

Chinese films including "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Curse of the Golden Flower" have been released here, but Indian films have yet to see mainstream release in China, though some were screened more than three decades ago.

The Chinese Film Festival, which ends Wednesday, is organized by New Delhi-based government body Directorate of Film Festivals in collaboration with China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the Chinese Embassy.

The festival opened with "Gun of Mercy" by Xiao Feng, who was present with the film's principal actor Jiang Wu.

Nine contemporary Chinese films are featured including Wanma Caidan's "The Silent Holy Stones," which traces the intermingling of native Tibetan culture with the influence of the outside world, revolving around a lama's daily life in a monastery.

The Chinese delegation in-cludes SARFT director general Tong Gang, SARFT International Cooperation in Film Bureau director Luan Guochi, China Movie Channel CCTV-6 vp Lu Hongshi, director Zhang Jianya and actress Liu Yiwei of "Call for Love."

Other films being screened are "Fearless" by Ronny Yu, "The Banquet" and "A World Without Thieves" by Feng Xiaogang, "Courthouse on the Horseback" by Liu Jie, "Honeymoon" by Chen Jun and "Perhaps Love" by Peter Ho-Sun Chan.