Osian’s-Cinefan announces opening, centerpiece and closing films


Mumbai: The 10th Osian’s-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema will open with Sparrow, a film from Hong Kong directed by Johnny To. The movie stars Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Ka Tung Lam, Hoi-Pang Lo and Kenneth Cheung.

Sparrow is slang in local Hong Kong street language for pickpocket. An unusual story about a beautiful woman and three professional pickpockets coming together in search of an elusive key, the plot is efficient and To’s skill and virtuosity evident throughout the film. The film will be screened on 11 July at Siri Fort.

"For me, film has always been a medium that documents a specific place and time. Sparrow is an embodiment of that spirit," says To.

The centerpiece film of the festival is the Indian film Rang Rasiya by Ketan Mehta, with a star cast of Randeep Hooda, Nandana Sen, Paresh Rawal, Rajat Kapoor amongst many others. Based on the classic Indian novel Raja Ravi Varma by the award-winning novelist and playwright Ranjit Desai, the film is woven around the life and times of the artist.

At the end of the 19th century in India, Raja Ravi Varma is arrested and charged with obscenity, immorality, and hurting religious sentiments of the people for painting nudes of Indian mythological characters. Woven with the court case is the classic love story of the artist and his muse, Sugandha, whose beauty inspired him to create exquisite paintings. The film is a fascinating tale of Ravi Varma’s passions, his obsessions, and his fierce struggle for creative freedom. The film will be screened on 14 July at Siri Fort.

Indian film Mumbai Cutting will close the festival. A film as emotionally complex as the city it portrays, Mumbai Cutting alternates between comical and cynical.

It tells the story of a man and a woman who come together in grief after losing their loved ones, a writer who makes it his mission to connect with a troubled orphan, a Muslim woman attempting to procure a fake passport, and an aspiring actor who races through the streets in order to reach an important audition. The film will be screened on 19 July at Siri Fort.