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Bollywood festival in China
08th Sept 2004  09.53 IST
By ApunKaChoice Bureau  


Following the success of Bollywood concerts held across China last year, films like Kal Ho Na Ho , Lagaan , Saathiya , Bhoot and Main Hoon Na are among the 20 films being screened at the fete which will go on into the next month.

Stars like Aishwarya Rai , Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee are huge favourites among the local Chinese today.



Almost five decades after the Indian showman Raj Kapoor won Chinese hearts and created awareness of the magnetic power of the song and dance of Indian cinema, films from India are once again conquering the virtually impregnable Wall with a festival beginning this month.

Other films being screened at the festival being held in three or four major cities of China, are 'Autograph', 'Dhool', 'Gilli' and 'Virumaandi' in Tamil; 'Vamsham', 'Tagore, 'Lakshmi' and 'Narasimha' in Telugu; and 'The People', 'War and Love' and 'Velli Nakshatram' in Malayalam. In addition, the festival will have Kannada films like 'Mala', 'Excuse Me' and 'Durga' and National Award-winning Bangla films Chokher Bali and 'Bhalo Theko' will also be shown. All the films screened at the festival will be subtitled in Chinese.

The aim of the festival is to ensure that the films screened at the festival are representative of Indian cinema and to promote the best of Indian cinema while exploring possibilities for expanding the existing commercial opportunities in that country.

For the past two years, India has been looking towards China and has shown interest in a festival of Chinese films in India. There will also be a separate segment devoted to China at the International Film Festival of India slated to be held in Goa.

Though China has imported several films like Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anand', Dharmesh Darshan's Raja Hindustani , Shekhar Kapoor 's 'Bandit Queen', and Santosh Sivan's Asoka in the past years, China has had no mechanism for releasing Indian films in theatres. However, Aamir Khan 's Oscar-nominated 'Lagaan' recently became the first film from India in recent years to get a theatrical release in that country.

Recent years have also seen a surge in popularity of Indian films among the 'Hollywood crazy' Chinese public. A series of Bollywood Concerts held in five cities of China - Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenving and Gnangzhon - last year generated an overwhelming response from the local public. Based on popular songs from Indian films, the 'Bollywood Dhamaka Concerts', as they were known, ran to packed houses.

More recently, 'Koshish Ek Aasha', a popular Hindi TV serial became the first Indian soap opera to be shown on Chinese television. It is also the first Indian TV serial to be imported to China. Shanxi TV station and Beijing Nuerhong Advertisement Company are jointly introducing the show.

A quarter of a century earlier, in 1979, veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra 's 'Noorie' had also got a theatrical release in China and had done roaring business. Earlier in the 50s and 60s, Indian films like Raj Kapoor's 'Awara', 'Sangam' and 'Mera Naam Joker' had enthralled Chinese viewers.



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