First film festival of Indian Ocean nations in capital from Feb 22

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (UNI) The capital will host from February 22 to March 1, a film festival of India Ocean nations showcasing the latest in cinema of the member countries.

India had offered to host the event at the 7th Council of Ministers (CoM) of India Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) held in Tehran in March last year.

''This is for the first time that such a festival of member countries of the Association is being held,'' Mr Malya Misra, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs said at a press conference here today.

He said ten of the 18-member countries would be participating in the festival during which personalities connected with the film industry of those countries will also be present.

The inaugural film of the festival is from Australia-- 'Yolngu Boy', directed by Stephen Michael Johnson. Indian entry in the festival is Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Chak De! India' by Shimit Amin.

''We selected 'Chak De' because this is one of the best latest and most popular films produced in the country,' said Director of the Film Festival Neelam Kapur.

Mr Misra said the aim of organising the event was to promote cultural cooperation among the member countries, and give them an opportunity to explore the possibilities of joint collaboration.

Besides India and Australia, other countries whose films will be screened during the festival are South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, Thailand, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Tanzania.

The festival will be inaugurated by Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

UNI NAZ HS KN1643

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