The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Film Festival began with a grand star-studded opening ceremony and a colourful cultural evening highlighting the diversity of India, at NCPA in Mumbai on Friday. With popular film personalities of Indian cinema as well as SCO countries in attendance, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State (External Affairs and Culture) Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi inaugurated the SCO Film Festival.
The Guest of Honour in the opening ceremony Ms. Hema Malini and other eminent film personalities like Akshay Kumar, Tiger Shroff, Hema Malini, Sajid Nadiadwala, Esha Gupta, Poonam Dhillon, Eli Avram, Hrishita Bhatt and Jacky Bhagnani were felicitated on the occasion.
The seven Jury Members of SCO Film Festival –China’s film director Ms. Ning Ying; Musician from Kazakhstan Mr. Dimash Kudaibergen; Filmmaker and Film Critic from Kyrgyzstan Ms. Gulbara Tolomushova; Russian Film Producer and Journalist Mr. Ivan Kudryavtsev; Film Producer, Actor and Author from Tajikistan Mr. Mehmedsaid Shohiyon; Uzbekistan’s actor Mr. Matyakub Sadullayevich Matchanov and Chairperson of the jury and acclaimed Indian film-maker Rahul Rawail were also felicitated.
While delivering the welcome address, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting said, “SCO Film Festival presents unique opportunities and incredible possibilities for film makers to network, pitch, collaborate and experience the best from the world of cinema”.
MoS (External Affairs and Culture) Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi said, what we are establishing through this film festival is actually our friendship in the region through SCO, which is a multilateral body and speaks volumes about friendship amongst the neighbours has to be. On 17th September, 2022, India assumed the chairmanship of SCO states. This film festival is one of the events as part of SCO celebrations.
The very first edition of SCO Film Festival in India will screen around 58 films from 14 countries in both Competition and non-competition category. The festival opened with the screening of Tamil film “Appatha”, directed by Shri Priyadarshan and starring Smt. Urvashi. At the screening of the film, Honorable Minister of Information & Broadcasting also felicitated both Director Priyadarshan and Urvashi, the lead actor.