The 11th edition of Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival will open in New Delhi on October 24 with a Romanian entry, “Hooked”. Directed by Adrian Sitaru, the movie is his first feature that has also been scripted by him, and was screened at Toronto and Palm Springs. “Hooked” tells crisply in 84 minutes the terse story of a couple whose car runs over a prostitute on a forest highway near Bucharest. Narrated over a single day, the film examines the relationship of the two lovers as they grapple with the unexpected tragedy.
The Festival, one of the world’s leading showcases of contemporary Indian, Asian an Arab cinema, has changed it date from July to October from this year on. It will screen a hundred movies, both features and shorts, reflecting on cultures and ideas with a special focus on India. For the first time in 11 years, India will be the country of spotlight. Helmers such as Vishal Bharadwaj (“Kaminey”), Anurag Kashyap (“Dev D”) and R.K. Gupta (“Aamir”) are some whose works will be shown.
The week-long Festival will have three sections: In Competition, In Dialogue and New Stream. The first, second or third films of selected directors will compete for the top prizes. The entries in In Dialogue will crisscross across boundaries to establish cinematic resonances between and among the movies from India, Asia and Arabia. The New Stream category will dare to redefine mainstream works.
Some of the 12 competing entries are Iran’s “Before the Burial”, Indonesia’s “Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly”, South Korea’s “Daytime Drinking”, Japan’s “Deep in the Valley”, China’s “Er Dong”, Turkey’s “Knot”, Syria’s “The Long Night”, Iran’s “Over There”, Tunisia’s “Wailing Wall” and India’s “Man’s Woman and Other Stories” and “Khargosh”.
A 30-member jury, including photographer Raghu Rai, Hindi writer Asghar Wajahat and Odissi dancer Shivani Vazir Pasrich, will present the Osian’s Connoisseurs Jury Award to the Best Film and Best Director in the Competition section. In a radical departure from its earlier years, the Festival decided to have a large jury, rather than its usual five-member panel. The jury has been so composed to represent a cross section of professionals, like college teachers and artists apart from movie professionals. Experts in different disciplines, these men and women are nonetheless passionate about the medium, an essential qualification that probably got them a place on the jury.