The 2nd Friendship Film Festival and a Photo Exhibition were opened at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) on August 1, 2011. The function, organized by the RCSC jointly with the Citizens Film Forum (CFF), Forum of Indian Photographers and Artists (FIPA) and the Embassies of CIS Countries in Delhi, is dedicated to the Year of Cultural and Historical Cooperation of CIS Countries.
The goal of the film festival is to promote the cultural values of CIS Countries in India and strengthen ties between the peoples. The inaugural ceremony was marked by the lighting of the traditional lamp by distinguished guests such as H. E. Saidbeg Saidov, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to India, H. E. Mrs. Irina A. Orolbaeva, Ambassador of Kyrgyz Republic to India, Mr. V. P. Chopra, President, CFF, Mr. Denis Alipov, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, Mr. Fyodor A. Rozovskiy, Director, RCSC, Ms. Galina V. Bubnovskaya, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in India, Mr. Doniyor Ibragimov, Counsellor (Trade & Economic), Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in India, and others.
The elite gathering comprised ambassadors and senior diplomats from CIS Countries, including a fair number of film enthusiasts which demonstrated the growing interest shown by people and the increasing popularity of film festival of such magnitude. The representatives of CIS Countries were unanimous in appreciating the commendable initiative taken by RCSC in bringing the CIS fraternity under one roof and strongly supported the idea of continued cooperation in such film festivals and photo exhibitions.
The film festival offers a good cocktail of feature, documentary and short films from eight countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Russia and India. Many of these films have been shown in various international film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin and New York. Both classic and new films are shown at the film festival, and the criterion of selection of films was their positive content of socio-cultural ideas, love, friendship and brotherhood.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Fyodor A. Rozovskiy, Director, RCSC, noted that while Indian films were acquired from Mumbai and Delhi last time, this year the films were obtained from Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, and other cities. The number of participants from CIS Countries also increased this time showing a clear sign of added spontaneous response as a potential source of encouragement to go ahead with such joint ventures in future. The photos depicting the life, history and culture of the peoples of CIS Countries are truly informative to the viewers, he added.
Mr. V. P. Chopra, President, CFF, in his introductory remarks, threw light on the background of CFF’s decade long relation with the activities of RCSC to the broader interest of peoples from India and CIS Countries.
H.E. Mr. Saidbeg Saidov, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to India, lauded the good spirit emerging from such film festival so as to strengthen relations between people of CIS member-countries and India.
H.E. Mrs. Irina A. Orolbaeva, Ambassador of Kyrgyz Republic to India, hailed the efforts of RCSC and CFF in enlivening a forum such as a film festival and photo exhibition enabling the peoples to understand each other’s culture more.
Mr. Denis Alipov, Charge’ Affaires, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, underscoring the significance of the cultural and historical cooperation of CIS Countries, traced its background. “We have a common past and being part and parcel of the CIS fraternity, we adhere to the principle of friendship and brotherhood”, he said and added, “We literally maintain the values of our past history, and bent upon developing the renewed cultural, economic and humanitarian ties between member-states”. Mr. Denis Alipov continued: “There is much in common in our cultural heritage, traditions and way of life, and still we try to highlight the unique traits of our cultures”. He hoped that against this backdrop such function will serve as important stepping stones to achieve new heights in multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
Ms. Galina V. Bubnovskaya, Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in India, while lauding the endeavour of CFF and FIPA, referred to the strong influence of Indian culture in her country. She added that cultural exchanges help to discover the inner source of each other’s cultural history, ethics and behavioral patterns.
Mr.Timur Nogaibayev, Second Secretary, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in India, thanked the organizers of the function for providing fair exposure to his country’s culture.
Mr. Doniyor Ibragimov, Counsellor (Trade & Economic), Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in India, hoped that such functions would provide enormous opportunities for greater interaction.
Mr. Toghrul Aliyev, Attache, Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in India, pointed out that cultural get-together of such feature promotes friendly ties and mutual understanding.
Mr. Vimal S. Mehta, Hon. Secretary, CFF, who proposed a vote of thanks, expressed his gratitude towards the embassies of CIS Countries which extended wonderful cooperation to make the function a great success.
An important highlight of the film festival is the screening of a documentary movie “Rama’s Bridge—a Personal Quest” by a professional Russian film-maker Alexandr Volkov, who was present at the inaugural function of the film festival. The film, which is being screened today, describes a journey from India to Sri Lanka by sea on foot. The Indian film “Classified”, short-list at New York Festival, will also be screened today, while “Jhum-Jham-Jhum”, winner of Indo-American Film Festival in Atlanta, official entry at the International Children’s Film Festival in Bangalore and Asian Children’s Film Festival in Hyderabad, will be screened tomorrow. The Kyrgyz film “The Sky of our Childhood”, the Uzbek comedy “Dada”, the Kazakh melodrama “Seker”, the Belarus documentary movie “Eden”, and short from Tajikistan and Azerbaijan are special features of the film-screening during the 2nd Friendship Film Festival.