Mumbai, January 27, 2023 :The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival began with a grand star-studded opening ceremony and a colourful cultural evening highlighting the diversity of India, at NCPA.
While delivering the welcome address, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting said, “SCO Film Festival presents unique opportunities and incredible possibilities for film makers to network, pitch, collaborate and experience the best from the world of cinema”.
Union I & B Minister stated that the SCO Film Festival is being organized to mark India’s Presidency at SCO and India’s goal of organising the festival is to showcase the diversity of films and various styles of film making from the SCO region. “We also aim to build cinematic partnerships, have exchange of programmes, nurture young filmmaking talent and act as a bridge between the cultures of this unique region”, added the Union Minister.
MoS (External Affairs and Culture) Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi said, what we are establishing through this film festival is actually our friendship in the region through SCO, which is a multilateral body and speaks volumes about friendship amongst the neighbours has to be. On 17th September, 2022, India assumed the chairmanship of SCO states. This film festival is one of the events as part of SCO celebrations. “All our friends from this region get to be represented in this festival of storytelling, narrative-building, bringing hearts close to each other because there can be no unity until and unless we all understand each other and stand by each other”, she said. Referring to the ancient Indian text ‘Natyashastra’ which defined theatre, Smt. Lekhi said, India has a great tradition of storytelling.
The dignitaries present on the occasion included MP (Mumbai North-East Constituency), Manoj Kotak, MP (Mumbai North Constituency) Gopal Shetty, Minister for Tourism, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Women & Child Development, Government of Maharashtra Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Additional Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Neerja Shekhar and Festival Director and MD, NFDC Shri Prithul Kumar amongst others.
The very first edition of SCO Film Festival in India will screen around 58 films from 14 countries in both Competition and non-competition category. The festival opened with the screening of Tamil film “Appatha”, directed by Shri Priyadarshan and starring Smt. Urvashi. At the screening of the film, Honorable Minister of Information & Broadcasting also felicitated both Director Priyadarshan and Urvashi, the lead actor.