Culture Cinema 2021, a unique concept-based film festival that aims at celebrating world cultures via cinema is in the offing for Indian and global audiences, this July. The Festival is being supported by UNESCO New Delhi Office, CIFEJ, and JLF Litfest, among others.
Praveen Nagda, Festival Director, Culture Cinema 2021 informs, “We have received over a hundred entries already from 27 countries so far and the deadlines of submission have still a month to go. Every country has a unique culture and there are storytelling opportunities for filmmakers. Local traditions, rituals, social practices, folklore, local art, music, dance, literature, etc. form the uniqueness of each country and we want to recognize filmmakers who work with such a focus.”
Mr. Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO New Delhi Office said, “Congratulations for curating this special platform aiming at showcasing the diverse cultural expressions and creative ingenuity. UN-declared World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development, recognized the potential of culture as a means of achieving sustainable development, peaceful coexistence, and also international cooperation. The powerful capacity of cinema to bring culture to the main stage and to introduce the audience to many different perspectives from across the globe is crucial in terms of building values of intercultural dialogue, inclusion, pluralism, social cohesion, and what we call in the UNESCO parlance, global citizenship.”
“We identified 21 unique categories including History, Music, Festivals, Art & Artisans, Architectural Heritage, Education, Social Practices, Travel & Tourism, Literature, Mythology, Traditional Sports, Biodiversity, Cultural Reforms, Attire & Ornaments, Food, Traditional Medicine, Cultural Taboos, Tribal Community, Diaspora, Battles and Philosophy for this festival. Our theme for this festival is Prosperity, Development and Peaceful Co-Existence via Cinema,” explains Nagda.
Mr. Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, says, “Culture is the mainstay of any society, providing a social & historical context, an understanding of their roots and presenting an opportunity to explore and experience other societies, philosophies & histories. The Culture Cinema Film Festival will play a vital part in pushing back the narrative of hatred and violence often stemming from ignorance of minority communities and their cultures.”
Mr. Ashish Kulkarni, Chairman AVGC, FICCI and Founder of Punnaryug Artvision Pvt. Ltd., said, “I think it’s going to have a very long history because there are very few places where these kinds of festivals have been done. This kind of film festival is extremely important because it not only introduces you to various cultures in the world, but also the various ways of thinking and the way of presentation, and also gives you insights into how peaceful coexistence can really happen. I believe the complete enhancement even of the economy would happen because of the cultural values and ethos that people have. People would learn the art of self-motivation because of cultural values. And I think that’s the single most thing I always felt would bring people out of tough times.”
“Cinema has unlimited potential to facilitate intercultural dialogue and engagement between communities. UNESCO will accompany you and we will continue to support endeavours like this one in India and around the world. Protecting the diversity of cultural expressions is more important than ever,” added Mr. Eric Falt.
Originally, scheduled to be organized on the UN-declared World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development falling upon the 21st of May, the festival will now be organized this year on July 17th to 21st, owing to the sudden resurgence of the second wave of Covid19.
Prof. Ujjwal K. Chowdhury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, ADAMAS University, said, “The commonality of issues that people have across nations can be portrayed through cinema. And that encourages global citizenship. Reflecting certain cultural aspects is very critical to cinema and cinema influences culture and culture influences cinema, both ways.”
Mr. Jitendra Mishra, President, CIFEJ, “This is the most powerful medium to educate, to entertain, to empower, and to engage the audience. And if we can portray our culture, our art, our heritage, and values through cinema, I think then that’s fantastic.”
Dr. Ambrish Saxena, Festival Director, CIFFI 2020, and Professor & Dean, DME Media School said, “Cinema and culture go hand in hand, and it’s ultimately a reflection of the culture of any country if you watch cinema. If you want to understand any country and it’s culture, that the best thing is to watch the films from that country.”
Culture Cinema Film Festival is expected to be simultaneously organized in a hybrid fashion involving leading academic institutions, cinema chains, and other cultural hotspots in the country ensuring a larger spread. The festival will have its Jury mix of festival directors, artists, authors, academicians, and cultural experts. This 5-day event in July will feature intellectual exchanges, filmmaking workshops, panel discussions, and open forums with global participation.