Indian director Mira Nair's award winning film Monsoon Wedding is emerging as the hottest movie to be screened at an international film festival which kicks off in Bombay Wednesday, according to AFP.
The film, which touches on the issues of rape and homosexuality as it addresses the clash between tradition and modernity, took the Golden Lion award for best film at the Venice Film Festival.
Set among a north Indian Punjabi family living in New Delhi, the film depicts four lively days leading up to a spectacular wedding ceremony, with family members flying in from over the world, including Australia and America's Silicon Valley.
"Monsoon Wedding is definitely what we are waiting for, although a range of movies are being screened. No wonder the organizers have decided to end the week-long festival with the screening of Monsoon Wedding," Jagat Gupta told the agency, Film Information magazine film critic.
India's film industry -- known as Bollywood -- churns out hundreds of films each year, most featuring singing, dancing and slapstick villains.
But Monsoon Wedding is probably not what mass Indian cinema audiences are used to.
Around 150 movies will be shown at the festival, organized by the Bombay Academy of the Moving Image (BAMI), divided into 11 categories, including World Cinema, Indian Cinema Now, Bombay as backdrop and Indian Panorama -- a category for Indian films targeted at an international rather than domestic audience.
"The Indian Panorama will be the most watched section as most of these movies do not get screened in the domestic market widely. Everyone knows about Monsoon Wedding, but not many have really seen it," Gupta added.
"Monsoon Wedding is a big little movie," Nair told movies.thenewspapertoday.com. "It is full of life and masti and celebrates Delhi and the ups and downs of society in today's global India," she adds. "It captures the extraordinariness of ordinary life".
Costarring in the film Bollywood actors Naseer Eddin Shah, Soni Razdan and stage actress Lillete Dubey.
The festival will also be showing foreign films, including the Hollywood movie Bandits starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett, Malestorm from Canada, Sexy Beast from the UK and Betelnut Beauty from Taiwan.
"Foreign movies will basically act as an educational platform for Indian cinema makers," said Indu Mirani, publisher of Box Office magazine.
"The domestic cinema industry will watch what Hollywood has to offer this year. Even as Indian movies get a good audience, foreign offerings will be sought after," she added.
Mirani said the festival would attract attention because another film festival which was to be held in the southern Indian city of Bangalore was cancelled following the September 11 attacks in the US.
"The Bangalore film festival, which was to be held around the same time when the attacks took place, was cancelled due to security concerns and some problems faced by the local government.
So the present festival will be a good avenue for blending the domestic and foreign cinema ethos," she added.
The festival will also honor Indian actors such as Dilip Kumar and Rekha for their contribution to Indian cinema.
The festival, in its fourth year, is emerging as a rival to the government-sponsored annual international film festival held in New Delhi – Albawaba.com
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