The grand Opening Ceremony of the 5th Delhi International Film Festival took place at the Central Park, Connaught Place by lighting the lamp by H.E Nadir Patel (Ambassador of Canada High Commission). The event was graced by many big personalities from acting and political background including Mr. Satish Upadhyay (Former President, Delhi BJP), Naresh Kumar (Chairman, NDMC) who were welcomed by Ramkishore Parcha (The director of DIFF). Hosted by actor and model Harsh Nagar, the event saw amazing dance performances and the voice of India contestant Sargam created a musical environment by singing songs from 90’s.
The opening film of the festival was ‘Cherry Letters’ – a movie by the Lady Director from Syria Sulaf Sulaf fawakherji which was screened at the Central park, C.P. The story of the film revolves around lovers who although from the same country get separated when the country is divided. Pakistani actor Meera Ali and Begum Nawazish Ali were also spotted at the event.
5th Delhi International Film Festival 2016 is a bit different this time owing to the fact that Iranian Actress Niusha Zeighami will receive the Special Honor from DIFF and Russian Actress of Mera Naam Joker fame Kseniya Ryabinkina will be honoured with the Minar -e- Dilli. Mani Rathnam will receive the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.
The specialty in this year’s edition is that Arab Cinema is in focus and Canada is the festival’s Country Partner. The festival will showcase 200 films from 63 countries. . A host of categories which include World Cinema, Indian Showcase, NRI Cinema and Cinema across the Border make the festival unique. Another important aspect is that for the last 4 years DIFF has been standing on its feet owing to its continued efforts. DIFF has also been instrumental in bringing film festivals to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan.
This is the first ever time that Delhi was associated with film festivals in many countries and the Life time achievement Award was given outside the Country. Although it is not easy to make films in Arabian countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, which are war ridden, people are making meaningful films and also are fighting terrorism and war courageously. Among the films selected for the festival are actress and Director Sulaf Fawakherji’s film Cherry Letters From Syria, Palestine Stereo by director Rashid Masharawi, from Palestine, The Silence of the Sheperd by Raad Mushatat from Iraq, such films which tell tales of cruel times prevalent there, terrorism and contradictions, also talk about possibilities. This year one of the attractions is a film by Kuwaiti Director Ramadan Khasrouh’s Habib Al Ard.
The NRI Cinema category of DIFF is another special one which has seen participation of almost 15 films from both short and feature length films. Also important are categories like Cinema across the Border. This year also showcases films especially from the North Eastern States of India like Manipur, Arunachal and Meghalaya.
The weeklong festival will be held from the 3rd to 9th December, 2016 at NDMC centre, Connaught Place where the entry is free for the public.