Film fest begins at city of pearls
Hyderabad, January 10
The 30th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got off to a colourful start with the lighting of the traditional lamp by evergreen star Dev Anand amidst a gathering of gliterrati from all over the world.
The largest cine extravaganza in the country commenced with the screening of the much-acclaimed feature film Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen, directed by Shekhar Kapoor. The dignitaries who were present on the occasion, included Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Pramod Mahajan, his Minister of State Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Film Federation of India president G. Hanumantha Rao and festival director Malati Sahai.
The septuagenarian star was assisted by Southern star Meena, who acted as the diya girl at the inauguration at the well-lit and tastefully decorated Lalit Kala Thoranam in the sprawling Public Gardens. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mahajan said the Government was keen to help the film industry and had accorded industry status to it last year.
In his address, Mr Chandrababu Naidu expressed happiness over the return of the festival to the city of pearls after a gap of 13 years. Madhuri Dixit, who released a book on Art and Cinema by M.F. Hussain, said that it was a wonderful and learning experience to work with him. Madhuri is acting in Hussain’s film Gajagamini.
Mr Chester Herberts, a connoisseur of contemporary art who came from Boston, said the Hussain Museum of Art and Cinema was unique in the world because no other museum had attempted to initiate an understanding of the “embrace between art and cinema”. The mini theatre was inaugurated by Mr D. Rama Naidu, while Mr Venkatesh switched on the projector.
The Cinema Ghar will dedicate a special section to making films without sound and colour as in the early days of cinematic history. Every year, there will be a festival of specially made five-minute silent black-and-white films. The best entry will be awarded Rs one lakh. Cinema Ghar will promote good cinema and also encourage original writing on cinema.
It will store exhaustive information on world cinema and an archives of chosen classics. (Uni)
© 1999 Hindustan Times Ltd
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