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Bachchan to host South African AIDS film screening in Goa
By Fakir Hassen, IANS
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan will host the screening of an acclaimed South African film on HIV/AIDS at the 35th International Film Festival of India in Goa to coincide with World AIDS Day Dec 1.
South African producer Anant Singh announced this here Tuesday.
The feature film, "Yesterday", which is South Africa's official entry for the 2005 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category, will also have a special screening at the American Film Institute Festival in Los Angeles Nov 10 as it moves both east and west after being acclaimed at several film festivals in recent weeks.
"We are delighted to be taking 'Yesterday' to the Indian festival and presenting it on World AIDS Day," Singh said.
"The film has a special relevance to India as it highlights issues that women in developing countries have to deal with and celebrates the strength of women in the face of adversity and the stigmatisation of HIV/ AIDS.
"India is also faced with a huge HIV/AIDS problem and we hope that 'Yesterday' will have some impact on the Indian audience.
"We are also thrilled that our friend Amitabh Bachchan has agreed to host the screening of 'Yesterday' at the Indian festival."
Bachchan is a close friend of Singh, who produced two sell-out live performances featuring the superstar in Durban.
The International Film Festival of India, the country's premiere film extravaganza, aims at providing a platform for world cinema and promoting excellence in the art of film while contributing to the understanding and appreciation of people and cultures from around the world.
Singh said the theme of "Yesterday", in which a rural Zulu woman defies tradition and myths to fight off the stigma of HIV/ADIS, is a perfect fit for the Indian festival as it focuses on critical social issues in a cultural context different to that of India, but with the same message and challenges.
"The American Film Institute Festival gives 'Yesterday' exposure in the important US market, which will benefit the film tremendously and, judging by the reactions at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, we are confident that it will be well received," Singh added.
'Yesterday' is produced by Singh's company Videovision Entertainment in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, pay TV channel M-Net, and the National Film And Video Foundation.