Pravasi Film Festival Special



A Report by BB Nagpal

Manoj Bajpai, Mauritian President Aneerood Jugnauth

New Delhi 1st Dec 2009:  It’s a celebration time for the NRI filmmakers as the first Pravasi Film Festival organised by the Pravasi Today Group in association with the Mauritius government gives the young, talented filmmakers a platform to showcase  their films in the capital from 3rd – 6th January, 2010.

Pravasi film festival is a new concept introduced by the Pravasi Today magazine group. The festival is going to take place at India habitat centre from 3rd - 6th January, 2010. The inaugural ceremony had a panel including distinguished guests from the film fraternity and politics such as His Excellency Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President of Mauritius accompanied by his wife Sarojini Jugnauth, Mr. Harish Rawat (Hon. Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment), Milap Duggar, (Vice-Chancellor, IASE University), Shri Manoj Bajpai (Actor), Rajiv Shukla (Member of Parliament), Ms. Aruna Vasudev, Shri Shabir Ali (Member of Parliament), Shri Ashok Chakradhar (Poet), Mr. Sandeep Marwha.

The unveiling of awards was followed by the views presented by Manoj Bajpai, “Aim big, think big, do big”. He said that this festival is a platform for the expression of views and interactions and discussions over the various issues. Harish Rawat, Hon. Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment said that the language of heart has connected the two nations. According to him, the culture of Mauritius is a combination of many cultures and he emphasised that the films will reflect the cultures and traditions helping in the understanding of these across boundaries.

The Mauritian President Aneerood Jugnauth said that the message conveyed through these films will reach various audiences. He called Mauritius an ideal destination for films saying that, “Cinema dominates the world of communications. He emphasised that the experiences of the different groups will be brought together with these films. As per him, “Pravasi Film Festival is a welcome effort to unite people across countries.”

Anil Joshi the festival director called it a historical moment thanking everybody for recognising PFF. He quoted, “With this festival the Pravasi’s are being bonded with India.” He thanked the support of Mauritius. With this festival being a beginning a chain of events to give a platform for the NRIs to have a fresh bonding with their Indian counterparts, he also talked about films from Yash Chopra Films and Sippy productions will also be screened during the festival. Anil Joshi also told the gathering that Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Saeed Jafari and many other eminent NRI film personalities like Poorva Bedi, Krishan Shah, Sangita are coming to participate in 1st ever Pravasi Film Festival, to be held from 3rd to 6th January to be organised at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. From Bollywood major attraction would be Sharmila Tagore, Prakash Jha, Manoj Bajpayee, Amrita Rao, Satish Kaushik, Rahul Rawail, Karan Rajhdan. Veteran actor Saeed Jafari will be honoured by Life Time Achievement Award. The inaugural film of the festival is Life Goes On, directed by Dr. Sangeeta starring Sharmila Tagore, Soha Ali Khan, Om Puri, Girish Kannad. 

Mr. Milap Duggal the Vice Chancellor of Pravasi Film Festival, the chief host welcomed the guests and explained the motive of the festival which is an effort to bridge the gap between the NRIs and India. He also said it is a platform for the NRIs to introduce their problems, views etc. He thanked the support of Mauritian President calling it a Mini-India. Following him Pankaj Dubey festival co-director briefed the highlights of the festival which will include the interactive sessions between NRI directors and the audience present at the festival in January. He also announced the awards, which would be the best feature film, best documentary; best short film along with a lifetime achievement award will be given to Saeed Jaffrey at the Pravasi Film Festival.

There would be special sessions on Mauritius, discussions with Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Saeed Jaffery, Poorva Bedi, Rahul Rawail and other guests present during the festival. The festival will also showcase Nasreen Munni Kabir’s analogy of documentaries. Also, there will be many short films and documentaries by various new directors. The film festival to honour Saeed Jaffrey

Ashok Chakradhar, a renowned poet very creatively defined the three colours in the PFF logo, saying that the red signifies love between India and Mauritius. According to him “Promotion of Hindi is best done by movies” and this festival is one step taken forward in this respect.

Shabir Ali MP from Bihar appreciated the co-operation, relation and great heartedness of the NRIs towards India. Rajiv Shukla along with Aruna Vasudev released the montage of PFF. Rajiv Shukla also briefed the media saying that with this festival, the relationship with Mauritius has got a new start. He highlighted that not only in films but in other aspects also Mauritius should be explored.

Aruna Vasudev, advisor to the PFF, threw light on the problem of identity crisis being faced by many NRIs. She further said that cinema is the best possible way to curb this and to project the lifestyle and reactions to various issues dealt by the NRIs.

Special issue of Pravasi Today Magazine were distributed among all the guests. While discussing the PFF Mukeshwar Chunni, the High- Commissioner of Mauritius praised the media and said that no other medium communicates better. As per him “Visuals are the best way to reach the audience across the boundaries”. Through the PFF sharing of cultures, ideas etc will take place avoiding trivial issues and problems faced by people. He said that through this the promotion of films, art and culture, sports and women empowerment will take place.


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