Oscar-winning foreign language films will be showcased for the first time from March 5 to 11 March in Mumbai. Foundation Film Festival 2004, organized by The Foundation for Promotion of Film Arts and Crafts, showcases a collection of Award-winning cinema from across the world.
"The objective of this film festival is to bring Indian filmmakers as well as students and delegates face-to-face with the best of international cinema so that India can truly compete in the marketplace. This first festival of is targeted at Oscar-winning films because Indian filmmakers have always wanted to win the coveted statuette for a long time," says Vinod Kumar, Secretary General, The Foundation for Promotion of Film Arts and Crafts.
"We has always debated and discussed the eminent venturing of Indian Films into hitherto uncharted / unconventional markets like Europe, Latin America and the emergence of a new non-Indian audience in traditional overseas markets like US & UK. A plethora of films are now seeking to venture deep into traditional markets of Hollywood and European Cinema, with cast, crew and storylines being hired, created and managed for international consumption. The avid cinegoer has, on the other hand, been exposed to various commercially viable hits from international filmmakers," Kumar adds.
The Foundation has 40 films, of which 35 will be screened at the festival. Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thieves and The Garden Of The Finzi Continis, Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon and Dersu Uzala, Federico Fellini's La Strada, The Nights Of Cabiria, 8-1/2 and Amarcord, Costa-Gavra's Z, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring and Through A Glass Darkly, Bille August's Pelle The Conqueror, Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, Gabriele Salvatore's Mediterraneo, Jan Sverak's Kolya and Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful are some of the the films screened. There would be five shows a day for 7 days.
The highlight of the festival is the screening of the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 1968, Russian director Sergei Bondarchuk's epic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (Voyna I Mir). The film is one of the most expensive films ever made; it had one of the longest gestation periods, with Bondarchuk spending seven years filming the project (the actors noticeably age from scene to scene). Originally clocking in 507 minutes, the film is being shown in four parts over four days at the festival.
The opening ceremony on March 5 will begin with the felicitation of Oscar Nominees from India, Aamir Khan, Mira Nair, Shekhar Kapur, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Sunil Dutt, and Achievement Award to Bhanu Atthayya, the only Oscar winner from India so far. Since The Foundation is a non profit organization, there are no tickets for the festival. The entry to the festival is only through delegate cards for a payment of Rs 300.
On promotional and marketing plans, The Foundation will be using outdoor advertising, radio, advertisement in Trade journals and print journals. The organizers will be using 25 hoardings across Mumbai, twenty spots of 20 seconds each per day for 10 days before the festival on two radio channels. It is understood that it is in talks with Radio City and Midday's Go 92.5. "Nothing has been finalized as yet. We hope to finalize it soon within a day," Kumar informs.
Apart from outdoor and radio, there would be 3 full-page color advertisements in seven trade and film publications across India and campaigns will run in mainstream newspapers in Mumbai, including TOI & Midday.