The week-long III Friendship Film Festival, organized by the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) jointly with Citizens’ Film Forum (CFF) and the Embassies of CIS Countries in the Capital, was inaugurated at 24, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi, on October 8, 2012.
The colourful opening ceremony was attended by an elite gathering comprising diplomats from the countries of CIS Countries, film-lovers, critics, students, and others. The inaugural films screened on the occasion were the Russian film “The House of the Wind”, directed by Vyacheslav Zlatopolsky, and the Indian film “Raja Harishchandra”, directed by Dadasahab Phalke. The film festival, which concludes on October 13, presents a package of latest films from Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, as well as a dozen short films by Indian film directors. Significantly, India has become a focus country of the festival due to the centenary of Bollywood.
The distinguished guests, who graced the inaugural function at the RCSC, consisted of Prof. Vijaya Mulay, renowned film historian and documentary film-maker, H. E. Mrs. Irina A. Orolbaeva, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to India H. E. Mr. Ara Hakobyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to India, Pt. Gautam Kaul, Vice-President, Federation of Film Societies of India, Mr. Denis Alipov, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, Mr. Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary, Eurasia Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, and Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy, Director, Russian Centre of Science and Culture.
Recalling the intensive cinematographic exchanges between India and Russia, Prof. Vijay Mulay expressed the hope that cooperation between the film-makers of CIS Countries and India will become stronger in the years to come.
In his formal welcome address, Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy, hoped that the Friendship Film Festival, the third in the series successfully being carried out as an annual regular feature will follow with the participation of film directors and actors in the coming years. He profusely thanked the Citizens’ Film Forum and its office-bearers, as well as the Diplomatic Missions of CIS Countries in Delhi for their over-all support and cooperation to make the film festival a great success.
Laying stress on increasing the scope of broader exposure to the films from CIS Countries, Mrs. Irina A. Orolbaeva gratefully thanked the organizers of the Festival in bringing together the film-loves of CIS Countries and India under one roof. She also acknowledged the RCSC for making the FFF a traditional event.
Hailing the importance of a cultural event with CIS-India tie-up, Mr. Ara Hakobyan, expressed deep appreciation on the momentous initiative taken by the organizers, particularly the RCSC, in such a bold venture.
An expert in cinema, Pt. Gautam Kaul made an over-all critical assessment of Russian cinema in terms of production, thematic value, etc., spanning both Soviet era and post-disintegration period. He made a clarion call on bringing into focus more films from Russia and other CIS Countries enabling Indian audience to have a grasp of contemporary life in those countries and vice versa. The Festival is the only forum for the film-lovers of Delhi to see the latest films from CIS Countries.
Registering his immense appreciation on the efforts of RCSC and Citizens’ Film Forum on the innovative act of jointly presenting films from CIS Countries and India, Mr. Denis Alipov wished that similar events would go a long way in cementing cultural ties and mutual understanding between the peoples of those countries.
Mr. Vimal S. Mehta, Hon. Secretary, Citizens’ Film Forum, proposed a vote of thanks.