azadi ka amrit mahotsav


Mumbai, January 28, 2023

The first ever in-conversation session at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival witnessed a packed hall, today. Discussing Indian Cinema’s rising popularity in the SCO region, were panelists, Rahul Rawail, filmmaker and writer; Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy and veteran actor Asha Parekh. Moderator for the session was Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice President at Whistling Woods International. The panelists discussed factors that make Indian cinema so endearing and about cross cultural influences.

During the session, panelists talked about the connect that Indian Cinema enjoys with the populace in the region. Rahul Rawail illustrated how Raj Kapoor was liked by people not only in USSR but also in Iran and Turkey. Ramesh Sippy further elaborated that the simplicity of characters in cinema is what made blurring of boundaries possible. Asha Parekh singled music as the reason behind these connections.

Ramesh Sippy also talked about his experiences in the making of Chandni Chowk to China. He was mesmerized by the hardworking and cooperative nature of Chinese citizens. This renders SCO region more favourable in terms of film making. He also lauded the presence of Kung-fu and action sequences in Chinese Cinema.

Charm of Indian Cinema is the reason why people are attracted towards it, stated Rahul Rawail. As for Asha Parekh and Ramesh Sippy, emotions are always universal. Popularity of films like Secret Superstar in China is testament to how stigmas prevalent in society can be a common denominator for people across the region.

Asha Parekh further insisted on keeping the Indianness in Indian films alive by stymieing the process of westernization. Ramesh Sippy insisted that while maintaining Indianness, equal eagerness must be shown to explore the possibilities around the world.

On the add-ons that they want to see in SCO film festival, panelists were of the unanimous view that people of the region need to know more about geography  and society through better collaboration in film making. Ramesh Sippy also pointed that uniqueness of film festivals around the world lies in the fact that they give platforms to offbeat films which are otherwise ignored.




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