Cinefan wraps after fruitful week
By Patrick Frater
Mon, 06 August 2012, 21:26 PM (HKT)
The Cinefan Film Festival of Asian and Arab cinema (27 July – 5 Aug) concluded last night with a generous prize ceremony and a radical closing film Chitrangada: The Crowning Wish (pictured), by trans-sexual Bengali director Rituparno GHOSH.
Top prize in the international competition section went to Turkish film Inside, directed by Zeki Demirkubuz. Top prize in the Indian section went to B.A. Pass, by Ajay BAHL, while Turkey's Elmin Alper claimed the top award for best first film Beyond the Hill.
Back in business after an enforced two year break, the festival very much picked up where it had left off. Now headed by Indu SHRIKENT in place of founder Aruna VASUDEV, but with the private sector auction house Osian's still as its principal backer, Cinefan 12 served up a platter of fine art; a sampling of titles intended to challenge the censor's tastes, a dish of 'Arab Spring' films and a lingering tribute to the late director and Cinefan benefactor Mani KAUL.
Screenings were mostly well-attended and they continued with only a modest mis-step on Tuesday when Delhi was wracked by power cuts that knocked out electrical circuits across the country for many hours. Back-up generators are everywhere in India, and, while the Internet was dragged down by the loss of power, theatrical showings were able to restart soon enough.
One of the most talked-up screenings was Gangs of वासेपुर (Wasseypur), the avowedly commercial two-part epic which premiered in Cannes in May, and whose first installment has been on commercial release in India since last month. Cinefan had the privilege of premiering the film's second part.
There were post-screening discussions aplenty, a two day seminar on Delhi as a future film capital and nightly music events at the Blue Frog club.
Osian's itself provided some of the best spectacles of the festival. First it loaned key pieces of art and memorabilia to the festival's 'green corridor'. Later it staged a 170-lot auction of Indian film posters, lobby cards, film stills and props that raised $126,000 and helped pay for part of the festival.
The auction house's chariman, Neville TULI, said afterward that the first-of-its-kind event had helped with "price discovery" and that collectors had shown significant ability to discern the relative value of original material and reprints. "The fact that [superstar] Aamir KHAN emerged as a major buyer will encourage other stars to buy and collect," said Tuli.
While international visitor numbers at the festival seemed to be down on previous years, key local names who made an appearance were worthy of note. They included Dibakar BANERJEE, Anurag KASHYAP and Kalki KOECHLIN, Shekhar KAPUR (for an unscheduled screening of Bandit Queen (1994)), Kiran RAO, Bobby BEDI, Imtiaz ALI, Rakeysh Omprakash MEHRA, Prasoon JOSHI and Nina LATH GUPTA.
International directors in attendance included The Philippines' Jet LEYCO, South Korea's JEON Kyu-hwan 전규환 | 全奎煥, China's WU Quan 武權, Nepal's Deepak RAUNIYAR and Japan's ISHIBASHI Yoshimasa 石橋義正 and festival programmers Marco MÜLLER, DAN Kyoko 旦匡子 and Melwyn WILLIAMS CHIRAYATH.
ASIAN AND ARAB COMPETITION
- Best Film: Inside; dir. Zeki Demirkubuz [Turkey]
- Best Director: Faouzi Bensaidi (Death For Sale) [Morocco, France, Belgium, UAE]
- Best Actress: Taraneh Alidousti (Modest Reception) [Iran]
- Best Actor: Mani Haghighi (Modest Reception)
- Special Jury Prize: Postcards from the Zoo Kebun binatang (2011); dir. Edwin [Indonesia]
- Special Mention: Ishibashi Yoshimasa (Milocrorze: A Love Story ミロクローゼ (2011)), and his cast [Japan]
- Best Film: B.A. Pass; dir. Ajay Bahl
- Best Director: Ajita Suchitra VEERA with Ballad of Rustom
- Best Actress: Rii in Cosmic Sex
- Best Actor: Shadab KAMAL in B.A. Pass
- Special Jury Award: The Kite पतंग (2011); dir. Prashant BHARGAVA
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
- Best Film: Beyond the Hill; dir. Elmin Alper (Turkey]
- Special Mention: In April the Following Year There was a Fire สิ้นเมษาฝนตกมาปรอยปรอย (2011) [Thailand]
- Shorts in Competition: Silent; dir. L Rezan Yesilbas [Turkey]
- Special Mention: The Bus; dir. Olgu Baran Kubilay [Turkey]
- FIPRESCI: Hansa; dir. Manav KAUL [India]
Gangs of वासेपुर (Wasseypur)
Ambitious but hit-and-miss crime epic doesn't involve at an emotional level.
Impressionistic family portrait set during a Gujarati kite festival is likable but a tad over-stretched.
Milocrorze: A Love Story
Visual extravaganza centred on tales of fraught love has little beneath the emperor's clothes.
Postcards from the Zoo
| Kebun binatang
A pretentious collection of dreamy images with no content and little to involve the viewer.
Jeonju to celebrate Indian cinema
Indie focus in Beyond Bollywood
Filmfare awards are sweet on Barfi!
Hindi-indies crowned by critics, public
Gangster, Mystery top AFA nominations
Hong Kong may lose awards if funding not stabilised
APSA nominations spread thinly
Hill top at selection stage
Luang Prabang opens SE Asian shop window
Laos festival highlights region's diversity
Crocodile has first bite of Montreal
Three Asian films to compete at Canadian festival
Delhi debates capital role
Finance, creativity and logistics need attention
Oz titles bookend Melbourne mega selection
Asian showcase, street-level Chinese sidebar
Melbourne reveals 16 early selections
Oz and Asian titles line up alongside Haneke's Amour
Driver steers Cannes duo to world sales
Indian films find route to market
Sydney unveils competition
Indian cinema, Nikkatsu also honoured
Fortnight adds Asian threesome
Pigs, Gangs and Liaisons in independent section
Asia offers rich menu to Cannes' selectors
Will the new-look Directors' Fortnight seize its chance?
Postcards mailed to Tribeca
US festival includes Asia quartet
Buff fit for Hong Kong opener
Festival proclaims diversity, depth of retrospective work
Postcards sent to EFM buyers
Competition title set to premiere today
AFA hails Edwin as young talent
Indonesia director to collect special AFA prize
AFA nominations headed by Greater China mega titles
South Asia titles in supporting role, South Korea almost edited out
Rotterdam doubles Asian competition contingent
Six encircle Tiger prize
Postcards received by Match Factory
Indonesian film finds sales outlet
Asian blockbusters head for Berlin
Competition's first films unveiled
Kite flies high in Hawaii
Golden Orchid, EuroCinema awards announced
Mumbai festival expands
Event cooperates with Busan, Critics' Week
Asia dominates Fantasia prize list
Montreal fantasy festival hot for Japanese films
Asian quintet to play Venice
Japan, Taiwan, China, HK represented
Indian New Wave pioneer dies, age 66
NYAFF reveals anniversary lineup
New York festival includes tributes to wu xia films, Korean thrillers and Taiwan's Su Chao-pin
Nippon Connection celebrates diversity
Highlights include Sono Sion retrospective
Wealth of Asian titles in Berlin Forum
Sidebar includes retrospective tribute to Japanese director