New Delhi, Mar.7 : Taking cultural ties between India and Australia forward, the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Australian Film Commission (AFC) and the Australian High Commission in Delhi is hosting a 11-day-long film festival in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The film festival began in the Indian capital last evening with the screening of the international award winning film "Jindabyne" directed by Ray Lawrence for a select invited audience.
Speaking prior to the screening of the film, Mr. Santhanam of the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the Australian film festival was being screened for the fourth time in India in recent times and lauded the effort put in by the Australian Film Commission and the Australian High Commission in organising an event that would ensure promotion of bilateral cultural ties between the two countries.
He also described the Australian film industry as a robust entity that had acquired international acclaim in a little over 100 years of its existence.
Australia's Deputy High Commissioner in India, David Holly, endorsed Mr. Santhanam's views, and said the festival's popularity was indicative of the close ties between Australia and India in many sectors.
Ambassador Holly also said that the film festival was a window to life in Australia, not only in the cities, but also in the rural outback. He said the festival also focussed on the lives, lifestyle and ancient customs of Australia's indigenous people - the Aborigines, besides giving the audience a panoramic insight into Australia's natural beauty.
In all, 13 movies will be screened during the festival-cum-road show. Apart from Jindabyne, they include popular movies like "The Caterpillar Wish", "Three Dollars", "Swimming Upstream", "Ned Kelly", "La Spagnola", "Somersault", "The Rage In Placid Lake", "The Tracker", "Harvie Krumpet", "Lantana", "Dirty Deeds" and "Australian Rules".
The themes of these movies range from sports, community living, love, deceit, sex and death to mafia, biographies, family and friendship etc.
Delhi is hosting the festival from March 6 to 9, Hyderabad from March 8 to 10 and Bangalore from March 14 to 17. By Ashok Dixit