India to host first IOR-ARC Film Festival

MUMBAI: The first Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Film Festival will be hosted in New Delhi from 22 February, 2008.

India had offered to host this Festival at the 7th Council of Ministers Meeting of IOR-ARC held in March 2007.

IOR-ARC is a regional cooperation initiative established in Mauritius in March 1997 with the aim of promoting economic and technical cooperation, including expansion of trade and investment and comprises 18 members: Australia, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Yemen, Bangladesh, Iran, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. There are five Dialogue Partners of IOR-ARC, namely, France, Japan, UK, Egypt and China. (Seychelles withdrew from IOR-ARC in 2003).

The IOR-ARC Film Festival will be held at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi from 22 February to 1 March 2008 in partnership with the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma will inaugurate the festival.

Ten films are being screened at the Festival from IOR-ARC member countries, viz. Australia, Bangladesh, Iran, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and India.

The Australian film Yolngu Boy has been selected to be screened at the inauguration. The directors of the films from Australia, Mauritius and Bangladesh are expected to be present at the time of inauguration of the film festival and the directors of the films from Kenya and Tanzania on the concluding day on 1 March, 2008.