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River to River. Florence Indian Film Festival

Today, Thursday 14th December, is the last day of the sixth River to River. Florence Indian Film Festival (8-14 December 2006), Firenze directed by Selvaggia Velo.

The last evening will see the special screening of Notturno Indiano by Alain Corneau, from Antonio Tabucchi’s short story, in which a nameless traveller arrives in Mumbai in search of a friend, then heads on down.

The winners of the FIFF Digichannel Audience Award have also been announced and will be screened on the last day of the festival:
- feature films: the very of-the-moment Infinite Justice by Pakistani director Jamil Dehlavi, a brave story inspired by the real murder of the American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl;
- short films: the ironic Dog by Daniel Lang, in which the director imagines he dies and reincarnates in an Indian stray dog;
- documentaries: the 40-year-long filmed letters of I for India by Sandhya Suri.
Each one of these 3 works will be visible in 15-minute excerpts in streaming mode throughout 2007 at www.digichannel.net.

This year, the festival offered a widely varied program, which tried to seize the different faces and sides of the human soul, each section ranging through different subjects.

As well as the winning films, the favourite feature films have been: Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (I did not kill Gandhi) by the Assamese Jahnu Barua, dealing with the universal subject of senile dementia in a quintessentially Indian setting, the death of Gandhi; the curry-flavoured gangster-story Dubai Return by Aditya Bhattacharya; and the ordinarily crazy day of Madhav Apte, the main character of Dombivli Fast by Nishikant Kamat.
In the short films section, the surreal The Cherry on Top and Flower Girl deeply moved the audience.
The favourite documentaries have been the delicate Kalasam by Anna Pitscheider, the curious Cricket Cup by Massimiliano Pacifico and Diego Liguori, and the pain of the “half widows” in Waiting… by Shabnam Ara and Atul Gupta

The retrospective on Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay and Monsoon Wedding) has been a hit with the Florentine audience, as well as the meetings with the film directors: for feature films, directors Aditya Bhattacharya with Dubai Return and Jamil Dehlavi with Infinite Justice. And the documentary film-makers Pietro Silvestri wih Le nozze di Mongla, Anna Pitscheider with Kalasam, Nicole Maria Krieger with Ayurveda-The Wisdom of Life, Filippo Papini with Varanasi Bang and Massimiliano Pacifico and Diego Liguori with Cricket Cup.

An excerpt from the festival will be screened in Milan from 19th to 21st January 2007 at Cinema Gnomo, in conjunction with the Cinema Department of the Municipality of Milan.

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Chatelin Bruno
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