Centenary film festival starts with screening of silent movie

Updated: Apr 25, 2013, 20:25 PM IST

New Delhi: A six-day-long film festival, marking the 100 years of Indian cinema, kick started here with the screening of silent movie `Throw The Dice` accompanied by Ustad Nishat Khan`s live musical orchestra.

The festival and an exhibition on legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray were inaugurated by I&B minister Manish Tewari.

"The challenge was how do you commemorate 100 years of magical experience. As we look for the next 100 years we at the government try to ensure the potential of filmmakers is not wasted running around bureaucratic hurdles. Our aim is to make it easier for the industry to shoot for films overseas and here," said Tewari.

The 1929 silent film `Throw The Dice`, by German-born director, Franz Osten, was the highlight of the opening day. Based on an episode from the Indian epic The Mahabharata, the movie was screened in an old fashioned way and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audiences

Osten made 19 films in India between 1926 and 1939, and `Throw The Dice` formed the final part of a trilogy of Indo-German productions, between him and Indian actor-producer Himanshu Rai.

The event was attended by Ramesh Sippy, Vishal Bhardwaj Rana Daggubati and Nagarjuna. For `Sholay` helmer Sippy, being a part of the grand celebration is a great moment.

"Privilege being here as part of celebration of 100 years of cinema. We have seen some great moments on-screen from greatest talents. We have seen the cinema grow over the years and I am proud and happy to be a part of it. I hope the next 100 years are equally beautiful."

"I always used to think what would I do if not making films. I am happy that I don`t have to worry about that anymore," said Bhardwaj.

Southern star Nagarjuna said that in his career span of 25 years, he witnessed many changes in Indian cinema.

"Privilege to be part of 100 years of Indian cinema. My journey has been incredible with lots of changes. I have. Completed just 25 years and I am proud to be part of it. I am also happy that because of films that border between north and south is blurring."

The film extravaganza includes screenings of classics as well as contemporary Indian films by renowned directors like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Shyam Benegal and Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

Amongst new age filmmakers Anurag Kashyap`s `Gangs Of Wasseypur, Onir`s `My Brother Nikhil`, Punjabi director Gurvinder Singh`s `Anhey Ghorey Da Daan` and Nandita Das` `Firaaq` will be shown.

`Bombay Talkies`, an Indian anthology film consisting of four short films, directed by Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar will be premiered at the fourth day of the festival.

The movie`s directors will attend a panel discussion before the screening of the film, which also marks the centenary year of Indian cinema and will hit the theaters on May 3.

Other celebrities to be a part of various panel discussions are director Sippy, Bhardwaj, Kunal Kohli, Jahnu Barua, Ekta Kapoor and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

The festival will also pay tribute to late actors of Indian cinema and include special screenings on films starring Balraj Sahni, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, among others.

A play on the life of Dadasaheb Phalke by Aamir Raza Hussain will bring the curatins down on April 30.