A week-long Russian Film Festival, jointly organised by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi and NOY Film Company, was inaugurated on November 19, 2012.
The inaugural ceremony took place in the gracious presence of Russian film celebrities such as theatre and film actresses Ksenia Rappoport, Anna Starshenbaum, Anastasia Zavorotnyuk, screen-writer Marina Potapova and Deputy Director-General of the MOSFILM Studio Gigory Gevorkyan.
The inaugural film “Mothers”, comprising eight novellas by several directors, was screened before a large gathering comprising ambassadors and senior diplomats from several countries, artists, film critics, media people and others. Mr. S. M. Khan, Director-General, Doordarshan News and Major Dalbir Singh, Secretary, All-Indian Congress Committee, were the Guests of Honour. It is significant that the film festival, showcasing films produced in 2011 and 2012, is dedicated to the 95th Birth Anniversary of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, and one of the pioneers of Russian-Indian friendship and cooperation.
In his welcome remarks, Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture Mr. Fedor Rozovskiy pointed out that it was unique that latest Russian movies are being shown enabling the viewers to have an impression of the Russia of today. “The film festival is devoted to an important milestone in the history of Russian-Indian relations—65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations—and cherishing the memory of a towering personality promoting bilateral relations—Mrs. Indira Gandhi”, he said.
Tracing the background of Russian-Indian cinematographic cooperation, Mr. Denis Alipov, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Russian Federation in India, noted that it was the Indian and Russian cinema that have played a vital role in creating the atmosphere of mutual sympathy and emotional affinity. Referring to the immense popularity of Indian movies in Russia, he said that a separate cable channel of Indian movies is now available in Russia. Mr. Alipov touched upon the joint projects carried out in the past and the revival of organising Russian Film festivals in different Indian cities.
Relating his long association with Russian film industry as an official working with the film festival directorate of I & B Ministry, Mr. S. M. Khan lauded the excellent direction, thematic value and technical superiority in Russian film-production. He made it emphatic that the films produced in each other’s countries made a deep impact in the life of the peoples of both sides. Appreciating the efforts of the Russian Ministry, Russian Embassy and the RCSC for presenting a good package of recent films to the people of India, Mr. Khan wished that Russian film festivals of such magnitude be organised on a regular basis.
Both Ksenia Rappoport and Anna Starshenbaum, the immaculate star attraction of the day, described their visit to India as a dream-come true. They were truly emotional in recalling the name of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Honoured Artists of Russia Ksenia Rappoport and Anastasia Zavorotnyuk said that they would be glad to consider the possibilities of being part of Indian movies, in case they get invitation from Bollywood.