10th Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema begins

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Mumbai, Jun 13 (UNI) The film capital of the country was abuzz with activity as the two-day Tenth Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab cinema got underway at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) today.

Osian's Connoisseurs of Art founder and chairman Neville Tuli said the nature of any art is one of aesthetic and historical significance, and financial considerations come later when the artiste wants to show his work. He said in view of this, the role of the institution became important.

In that context, he referred to the role of Osian's and said many had cynically remarked that an auction house was the very anti-thesis of an archive or promoting art.

But he said Osian's had become the basis of taking art and culture further. There was need to direct creative energies towards transforming art into a creative value system, he added.

In the discussion in the afternoon over the tone set by him in the morning, Mr Tuli said there was no difference of opinion on the need of the state to help creative intelligentsia.

Initiating the discussion, well known film-maker Ketan Mehta said the studio system had been the first institution to help film-makers, but had collapsed with the Second World War.

Later, the Film and Television Institute of India had come up to train film-makers, while the Film Finance Corporation (later becoming the National Film Development Corporation) had helped the growth of art cinema. When the NFDC lost its relevance, groups of film-makers set up cooperatives to revive art cinema.

''An artist perceives himself as free, but cannot work without organizational support,'' he said.

Senior film critic and founder of the Cinefan Festival Aruna Vasudev said she was happy to note that many institutions had come up to support film-makers who took cinema seriously as an art form. She also briefly gave a history of the launch of the Cinefan film festivals.

Renowned film-maker Mani Kaul said Indian cinema had at one time been on the verge of collapse when the state subsidy stopped and, therefore, some institutional or state support was necessary for filmmakers to work creatively.

''The problem is that subscribing to an institution may mean an end to creativity,'' he added.

Three exhibitions from the Osian's Arts&Film Archive Collection opened at NCPA. The original 'yahoo' star of Indian cinema, Shammi Kapoor, will be honoured and 21 feature and non-feature films will be screened in a two-day Tenth Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema tomorrow. Mani Shankar will premiere his new film 'Mukhbir' on the same day.

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