India hosts China film festival


NEW DELHI -- India and China are working to ensure commercial release of Indian films in China and vice-versa, Indian Information and Broadcasting Ministry Secretary Asha Swarup said Saturday.

Inaugurating a festival of Chinese films in New Delhi, Swarup said “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 inauguration speech, China’s ambassador to India, Zhang Yan, referred to ancient ties between the two countries and the “affinity in arts and culture including cinema.”

Chinese films such as “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 although some were screened over three decades ago.

The Chinese Film Festival, which ends April 2, is organized by New Delhi-based government body Directorate of Film Festivals in collaboration with China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) 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 mountain monastery.

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

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

The festival is a reciprocal event following a 2006 festival organized in China as part of the “India China Friendship Year” where 10 Indian films were screened including Bollywood hits such as “Dil Chahta Hai” ("Desires of the Heart").