After the success of last year’s festival, hopes are high for the South Asian Film Festival which was inaugurated in Goa by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat yesterday. Bollywood stars Shahana Goswami and Anjana Sukhani were also present. The ambitious festival has an underlying emphasis on social and cultural unity and will be showcasing 60 movies from nine countries including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even the Maldives. “We believe that films are the single most effective medium for improving communication and cooperation within the South Asia region,” said Rahul Barua of the South Asia Foundation. “The influence of films on the psyche of the masses in the region is enormous. They can be used for reinforcing the initiatives that are already underway for generating peace and harmony.”
Amongst the films being screened at the Festival are Welcome to Sajjanpur, Fashion, A Wednesday, Aha!, Megher Por Megh, The Roots, the fascinating Afghan movie Opium War about two American soldiers who stumble across a family of Afghans living in an abandoned Russian tank, Ramchand Pakistani, Mohabattan Sachian, the Sri Lankan anti-war movie Death on a Full Moon Night, The Dark Night of the Soul and In An Iranian Market.
Adhyayan Suman performed some songs from his latest movie Jashnn at the opening ceremony, hindered unfortunately by a poor sound system, and he was later joined on stage by his co-stars from the movie Shahana and Anjana.