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B.B. Nagpal




NEW DELHI, AUGUST: It is a well-known fact that Asian cinema is known all over the world today because of the contribution of the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) formed around twenty years earlier.

Since then, NETPAC has turned the spotlight on Asian cinema in several countries both in Asia and the rest of the world, showing it is rich in content and emotion apart from its use of high technology, and has won the hearts of billions of viewers. This has been done either through film festivals, or NETPAC juries choosing the best films from the region.   

To mark twenty years of this organization, a vibrant and multi-faceted event, IMAGING ASIA, will be held in New Delhi from 18 to 22 August

Presented by NETPAC and CII at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Instituto Cervantes, Alliance Française, India Habitat Centre and India International Centre, the IMAGING ASIA festival will be an artistic, popular and intellectual delight.

The event will include a festival of 30 plus NETPAC award-winning films; a conference on Asian cinema; exhibitions featuring Asia’s proto-cinemas and Sumi-e artists of Delhi; and performances of traditional Indian and Asian forms of pictorial storytelling.

The event is being held in collaboration with UNESCO, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Max Mueller Bhavan, and the Habitat Film Club, and supported by the Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs.

The four-day seminar in association with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is on ‘The Culture and Politics of Asian Cinema’ and will begin on 19 August. Through seven panel discussions, it will focus on the specificity of film cultures and on the need to recognize and respect diversity while defining cinema; on the politics governing the cinema's evolving identity in the context of globalization and the shifts in technology against the dynamic landscapes of Asia; and about translating the cultural diversity from concept into practice.

Over twenty-five internationally-renowned film personalities specializing in Asian cinema have been invited to speak at the conference. Led by Aruna Vasudev, they include Pusan Festival Director Kim Dong-ho, renowned filmmakers Xie Fei (China), Garin Nugroho (Indonesia) and Adoor Gopalakrishnan, as well as Arab cinema specialist and programmer Intishal al-Timimi, apart from many critics and representatives of funding agencies.

The NETPAC Award-winning films will be screened between 18 and 22 August in association with Instituto Cervantes; Alliance Française; India International Centre and Habitat Film Club.

Over 30 Asian films that have won the NETPAC Award since it was launched in 1994 and is now presented at 30 international festivals will be screened. These festivals include Berlin, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Jeonju, Pusan, Cinemalaya, Cinemanila, Bangkok, Barcelona, Estonia, Locarno, Antalya, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Chongqing, Bursa, and Rome. The wide-ranging films reflecting cinematic trends in different countries are also award-winners at other prestigious festivals.

In association with Asian Heritage Foundation and ICCR, there will be a cultural festival from 18 to 22 August featuring traditional forms of telling tales in India and other Asian countries: performances by picture storytellers that may be interpreted as proto-cinema. These include Shadow puppets from India; live demonstrations by Pata artists and by puppet makers from Nimmalakunta; and by practitioners of narrative pictorial traditions. There will also be an Exhibition of hand-painted narrative scrolls organized by the Asian Heritage Foundation. Shadow plays and puppeteers from Asian countries have been invited by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations

"NETPAC has become known as the one pan-Asian organization that has worked assiduously to promote Asian cinema," says NETPAC President Aruna Vasudev. Editor of CINEMAYA The Asian Film Quarterly and founder of CINEFAN Festival of Asian Cinema, Ms Vasudev has been honoured with titles from France, Italy, Korea, India and the Philippines.