Jai Chandiram gives her assessment of the


Stills from: (Left) Gulabi Talkies                 (Center) Mohandas                                    (Right) Hulla

- the favorites of the young crowd

Energy, curiosity, enthusiasm and  interaction  describe the Osian Festival.

The festival is not limited to screenings but understanding the cinematic cultures that surrounds “film”. Posters , sculptures, masks, provide a vibrancy  that take you through  beauty, romance, fear and  horror in the world of film. 

In the last 10 years, the Cine Fan grew from screening  20 films to over 203 films focusing on the dynamic  Asian and Arab cultures.  The sections of the festival were, Asian – Arab and the Indian Competition, First Features, and the themeSIn-Tolerance, Frescos, Indian Mosaic, Cross cultural Encounters, Springboard ( which showed the Cine Fan specials) Ten  Commandments that  searches into societies  moral  dilemmas and how cinema has widened the exploration of the erotic ,violence and politics based on the ten commandments . This cinema went underground and  looked for metaphors to by pass the moral police so current in the Asian and Arab societies.

Sessions on   Film Craft : Screenplay , the Novel in Adaptation , Special screenings , Films from Palestine , Israel, Short films and Tributes to Edward Yang , Christine Hakim, Naguib Mahfouz , Alain Robbe- Grillet and Vijay Tendulkar. A vast and rich range stimulating ideas.Conceptually outstanding and a feast for both young and old. The Indian section had its own followers among the young (who are more curious about the new trends in Indian cinema) and they related to Mohandas, Gulmohar, Hulla, (Uproar ). The new film Bioscope had many admirers and won the jury award. Girish Kasarvalli’s Gulabi Talkies reflected the warmth of a great storyteller who touched the deeper issues of gender, identity and loneliness. Girish an  audience award winner was not crushed by the fact that his films are not “box office” and he is willing to circulate his DVD’s freely  to film lovers !. 

The  IBM2  sessions were carefully timed to ensure good attendance and the interactions with writers  Kunal Basu, Jaishree Mishra ,Chetan Bhagat and Chitra Divakaruni   drew the audience to find out , what makes a successful writer and to comment on wether great cinema emerged from literature. For writers the answer was search within yourself and your experiences, your uniqueness is your success .Literature is a source and  both formats  literature and film are involved in storytelling and get translated into the  specific medium . What is important is to keep the spirit of the work intact . Other sessions had the sharing of experiences from Short Films to the Road to First Features. Co-productions  had insights from the maestros, Ketan Mehta  who talked about  the complexities of  co-productions, in  approaches to culture and aesthetics. Travellers  experiences on this  road were full of potholes and roadblocks but eventually rewarding! Other sessions covered, Reviews and Critics role in making or breaking a film! 

The exclusive mentoring sessions in the Talent Campus were inspirational and competitive. To begin with, the elite film school students were uppity in their assessment of the “others” but with interaction respect grew.

Paul Schrader’s master class on screenwriting had a full house and was  listened to with rapt attention  for his approach to teaching scripting feature films .  He narrated his experiences; that he approaches his students  with sharing of problems and the therapeutic  catharsis of writing . Sharing his experiences of being on the road, lonely , broken  had helped him to create the metaphor of “Taxi” in his screenplay  “Taxi Driver”. The film  was almost  autobiographical.

The festival is driven by promising  energies which are positive and enriching and the credit goes to Neville Tuli’s team, Latika Padagaokar, Indu Shrikent  and Aruna Vasudev.

In passing, the remarks from the  audience was , “ great , but these films  do not touch my soul, as did the films of Bergman, but enriching never the less.” 



Editor: Manohar Khushalani

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