Goa in for an Exciting Mix of Cine Fare

Posted on 2009-06-26
The fourth edition of the South Asian Film Festival is all set to begin from tomorrow in the city. Being held for the second time in the state, this year, the festival will also come to South Goa as the films will be screened at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao apart from the regulars, Maquinez Palace and Kala Academy in the North.
Over 50 films from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan will be shown apart from 12 Iranian films, during the four-day festival. The opening film ‘Yousuf’ from the Maldives is about a disabled boy who falls in love. Even though it is limited to South Asia, SAFF has an interesting mix of documentaries, short and feature films.
Although many of the films to be screened are unheard of, and there are no special press screenings, here are some known ones to look forward to. ‘Opium War’, directed by Siddiq Barmak (who won a Golden Globe for ‘Osama’) which is also the closing film has received a lot of acclaim and was Afghanistan’s entry to the Oscars in the foreign film category. ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ which was commercially released in India is a touching tale of father and son who wander into the Indian borders and get arrested.
Bangladeshi films have been making their mark at IFFI almost every year. Made on shoe string budgets but with gargantuan souls, they are making steady progress just like Iranian cinema, which has already made it to the top. ‘Shyamol Chaya’ directed by Humayun Ahmed tells us about the perils of the 1971 war while ‘Aha!’, directed by Emanul Nirjhar was Bangladesh’s entry to the Oscars. Sri Lanka had a couple of impressive films last year and this time, ‘Pura Handa Kaluwara’ (Death On A Full Moon Day) whose screening was banned by the Lankan government is another film to look forward to.
Like last year, this year too the offering of Hindi and Indian regional cinema is a mixed bag. While old favourites are a must-watch for budding cinema lovers, the inclusion of films like ‘Kalyug’ (Mohit Suri’s not Benegal’s), is quite amusing to say the least. Nevertheless, thanks to SAFF, cinema lovers have a lot to look forward to over the weekend.