Sparrow, Rang Rasiya and Mumbai Cutting to be the Opening, Centerpiece and Closing films at the 10th Osianís-Cinefan Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema


New Delhi, 2 July  2008:


The 10th Osianís-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema will open with a Hong Kong film "Sparrow", directed by the maverick filmmaker Johnny To, starring Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Ka Tung Lam, Hoi-Pang Lo and Kenneth Cheung.  Sparrow is slang in local Hong Kong street language for pickpocket.  An unusual story about a beautiful woman and three professional pickpockets coming together in search of an elusive key, the plot is efficient and Toís skill and virtuosity evident through the film. The film will be screened on 11 July at Siri Fort .


ďLike a sparrow, the camera swerves through the forgotten alleyways and old buildings intent to reveal something newÖ..For me, film has always been a medium that documents a specific place and time. Sparrow is an embodiment of that spiritĒ, says Johnnie To.  Born in Hong Kong in 1955, Toís filmography is an eclectic collection of films from almost every genre and he is considered the de facto hallmark of quality filmmaking in Hong Kong. His film Breaking News was shown at Osianís-Cinefan in 2005.


The centerpiece film of the festival is the much awaited Indian film Rang Rasiya by eminent film director Ketan Mehta, with a star cast of Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal, Rajat Kapoor amongst many others. Based on the classic Indian novel Raja Ravi Varma by the award-winning novelist and playwright Ranjit Desai the film is woven around the life and times of the artist. At the end of the 19th century in India, Raja Ravi Varma is arrested and charged with obscenity, immorality and hurting religious sentiments of the people for painting nudes of Indian mythological characters. Woven with the court case is the classic love story of the artist and his muse, Sugandha, whose beauty inspired him to create exquisite paintings. The film is a fascinating tale of Ravi Varmaís passions, his obsessions and his fierce struggle for creative freedom. The theme of religious intolerance and denial of freedom of expression by fundamentalists and hardliners is depicted skillfully. The film will be screened on 14 July at Siri Fort.


The Indian film Mumbai Cutting will close the 10th Osianís-Cinefan festival of Asian and Arab Cinema with panache. Ten of India's most renowned and respected filmmakers,  Sudhir Mishra, Jahnu Barua, Rahul Dholakia, Rituparno Ghosh, Shashanka Ghosh, Manish Jha, Anurag Kashyap, Ruchi Narain, Ayush Raina, Revathi, Kundan Shah have collaborated to offer a tantalizing glimpse of life in modern day Mumbai, a city of wondrous dreams and unimaginable heartache. A film as emotionally complex as the city it portrays, Mumbai Cutting alternates between comical and cynical, as it tells the story of a man and a woman who come together in grief after losing their loved ones, a writer who makes it his mission to connect with a troubled orphan, a Muslim woman attempting to procure a fake passport, and an aspiring actor who races through the streets in order to reach an important audition.  The film will be screened on 19th July at Siri Fort.


The 10th Osianís-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema will be held in New Delhi at Siri Fort Complex and Alliance Francaise from 10-20 July, 2008.




For further details, please contact:

Supriya Chawla                         T +91 11  41743166                     F +91 11 41743177                    E

Chiranjit Chakraborty                  T +91 11 45664001                     M+ 91 9999633950                    E



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