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SCO Film Festival begins today at Mumbai

A still from Tamil film 'Appatha' which open the SCO Film Festival in Mumbai today

To mark India’s Presidency of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – a multilateral organisation of eight countries — the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is organising a five-day SCO Film Festival from today at Mumbai. The opening ceremony will be held at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

The festival will open with the world premiere of Tamil film “Appatha”, directed by Padma Shri awardee and National award-winning filmmaker Priyadarshan. The lead role in the movie is essayed by Urvashi and this is her 700th film in 51 years in the industry.

A total of 57 films from SCO countries will be showcased at the event, including 14 in the competition section and 43 in the non-competition section. There will be various prestigious awards like Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Director (Feature Film) and Special Jury Award in the competition section.

Nikhil Mahajan’s Marathi film “Godavari” and India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category, “Chhello Show”, a Gujarati film will be screened in the competition section.

Apart from these, other Indian films to be screened include Shoojit Sircar’s “Sardar Udham”; S.S. Rajamouli’s period film “RRR” in Country Focus section; Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Gangubai Kathiawadi” in Director Focus section; Mridul Toolsidas’ “Toolsidas Junior” in Children Focus; and Chetan Bhakuni’s short-film “Jugalbandi”.

The Director Focus segment of the festival will show films of a well-known director of the SCO Country. Eight films in this category will be screened.

To showcase India’s rich film industry, five restored classics will be screened and these include “Shatranj Ke Khiladi” (Hindi, 1977) “Subarnrekha” (Bengali, 1965); “Chandralekha” (Tamil, 1948); “Iru Kodgul” (Tamil, 1969); and “Chidambaram” (Malayalam, 1985).

There will be Masterclasses and In Conversation sessions that will feature eminent filmmakers and actors of the SCO countries attending the festival along with Indian film personalities. Industry experts will trace the history of animation and also present the endless possibilities of creating the shot with the help of animation and visual effects in a special session.

Apart from this there will be a session titled “Rising Indian Cinema Popularity in SCO region” by. filmmaker Rahul Rawail, Ramesh Sippy, and veteran actress Asha Parekh and actor Chaitanya Chinchlikar.

The festival will conclude on January 31.

More information on the event is available at: https://sco.nfdcindia.com/