The 12th Osian's Cinefan Film Festival, kicked off here Friday with a tribute to the late actor Rajesh Khanna. A short film chronicling the career of Bollywood's first superstar, who passed away July 18, was played at the opening ceremony of the 10-day cine extravanganza.
The festival, returns after a two-year hiatus, promises to bring forth an eclectic mix of films from all over the world for the movie buffs.
"When we decided to revive the festival after two years hiatus, we knew we had a daunting task ahead, but what were clear about is that it would be a bigger better and a more exciting event," Indu Shrikent, director of the festival, said at the opening ceremony.
"We are touched by the overwhelming response and support, which has infused a lot of enthusiasm in us. It is this synergy that will be on display in the coming days of the festival," she added.
The first day saw the inauguration of an exhibition from the Osianama archives, honouring the divas of Indian cCinema, marking the year-long celebrations for the 100 years of Indian cinema.
The festival opened with the screening of controversial Japanese animated film "Asura". It was banned from being showcased in Japan for being too violent.
The ceremony also saw Egypt-based film critic Samir Farid being conferred with the lifetime achievement award. Farid is an icon in the field of film criticism not only in Egypt but worldwide. Born in Cairo, he has authored over 60 books, contributing significantly to Arab and Egyptian cinema.
Neville Tuli, Osian chairman, revealed, unlike the previous festivals, this time they are using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to connect with people and expand their reach.
"There are few new mechanisms that we have adopted - Facebook and Twitter. Earlier I thought that these mediums were just for young people, but now I realise how mistaken I was. It's a whole new world and a wonderful way to reach out," he said.
As many as 175 films from 38 countries will be screened at the festival that will end Aug 5.
The focus this time is on freedom of creative thought and expression. The curatorial team has brought together some landmark films from the history of world cinema made against prevailing censorship norms.
Movies from countries like China, Estonia, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria are set to be screened at the festival.