Chandigarh Film Festival opens with Benegal's 'Junoon'

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Chandigarh, Feb 1 (UNI) The Second Chandigarh Film Festival opened here today with the 1978 Shyam Benegal Hindi film Junoon, starring Shashi Kapoor and Nafisa Ali.

The occasion was graced by renowned film directors, Shyam Benegal, Dr M S Sathyu and Nafisa Ali.

Adviser to UT Administrator, Mr Pradip Mehra formally opened the festival at the Bhargava auditorium of the PGI.

As part of the film festival, noted film actress Hema Malini gave a performance of the ballet, 'Durga' at the Leisure Valley later in the evening.

Earlier, while addressing the audience, Mr Mehra said that Chandigarh Administration had taken many innovative and novel measures like wedding tourism, medical tourism, golf tourism to promote Chandigarh as the hub of north India.

He announced to promote Cinematic Tourism, Sports Tourism and Medical Tourism in a big way.

The Adviser said that the Administration was consistently promoting Chandigarh and the Northern region as a destination for cinematic tourism for representatives of the film industry.

"Chandigarh has been a preferred destination for Bollywood in the recent past and a large number of films have been shot in and around the city", he added.

Mr Mehra underlined various initiatives of the Administration like facilitating film makers as per the advice of Chandigarh Film Advisory Committee which has been set up under the Chairmanship of eminent Film Producer and Director, Yash Chopra.

While addressing the audience at the inagural ceremony, Mr Benegal said Chandigarh was a "great place to come to". He appreciated the Administration's move to hold an international film festival.

He said "It was important that all capital cities of the country should have international film festivals and the momentum has already begun with the likes of Delhi, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh". He also referred to the rich cultural heritage of the area and its contribution to the Hindi film industry.

Renowned film director, Dr M S Sathyu also addressed the gathering. Mr Benegal, Dr Sathyu, Nafisa Ali, Ms Rani Balbir Kaur, Ms Neelam Mann Singh were honoured on the occasion.

Short Films, Feature Films and Documentaries will also be screened during the festival which closes on February 4.

Six international films that are going to be screened in the festival are from France, Croatia, Hungary and Iran.

The Festival aims at projecting the excellence of the film art by providing a common platform to these national and international films. It also aims at promotion the understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations through the medium of international films and promoting friendship and co-operation among different nations.


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