ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IS A RAGE!


For cinema lovers, a good film festival is all they need. In Mumbai there is no dearth of these festivals but the current festival called Asian Film Festival is quite a rage. Apart from just screening films, this place is abuzz with activity.
First, director Govind Nihalani, whose film 'Tamas' is also featured in the book and the first copy of the journal was
presented to 'Tamas' actor Om Puri, released a journal on Partition films. Edited by BBC journalist Lalit Mohan Joshi, "This journal talks about partition film not only of India but also of Bangladeshi and Pakistani films based on it. It talks about many films like 'Garam Hawa', 'Mammu' etc. We have tried to include a lot of films and given a broader perspective on the subject."

This journal has contributions from Gulzar, P.K Sathyu, Shoma Chaterjee among others. "This journal has a detailed interview of the mine. Though I think something like this is much better than a film because a journal is like a book kept in your bookshelf, whenever you want you can read it. And more importantly it talks about a whole lot of films made in one genre," says Govind Nihalani. Much impressed with the journal was veteran actor Om Puri, "All the institutes and film schools must subscribe to it. All the future or aspiring film-makers can benefit from this journal as it's a comprehensive study of films on a topic and they'll know what has been done earlier and what can be made in future."

The South Asian Journal has had three editions before this one based on V. Shantaram, A.R. Rahman and Shyam Benegal. The association of Govind Nihalani and Om Puri doesn't come to an end with the launch of the fourth edition but they have promised to write and contribute in the fifth issue, which will be on films with left ideologies.

And two days later, all eyes were on Soha Ali Khan. A switch from banking to acting has clicked for this youngest child of Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. Her debut film 'Iti Shrikanto' in Bengali has taken Kolkata by rage. And it was screened in Mumbai for the first time at the Asian Film Festival. "I am extremely excited that even the Mumbai audience is getting to see the film. In Bengal it was very well received. And I am glad that people can see my performance or capability through it. Festivals like these give an opportunity for regional films to be screened in different parts of the country," says a very excited Soha.

A semi-autobiographical novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, 'Iti Shrikanto' is the life of a writer torn between two women. In West Bengal, the film has been declared a hit and it will be released in Mumbai this October. "It's always nice to test your waters in the festival circuit. Being a Bengali film, the people in Bengal relate to it more but its achievement is that people in other states also understand it. I didn't want to leave this chance of not showcasing my film in this festival. And once I get the feedback I'll know what to expect when the film releases commercially all over India." says the director, Anjan Das.

Meanwhile, Soha's Hindi debut 'Dil Maange More' is starring Shahid Kappor and Ayesha Takiya. This comedy directed by Anant Mahadevan, is scheduled for a November release. This film festival also saw many actors and directors watching films. All in all, this is a festival with some really good films and lots of interaction.