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The First Ever Indian Film Festival Kenya Geared To Boost India-Kenya Relations

The First Ever Indian Film Festival Kenya Geared To Boost India-Kenya Relations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY JAVED KANA

PHOTOS BY DHRUV SHAH

A red carpet welcome greeted the crème de la crème including members of the diplomatic corps, Kenya Film Commission representatives, entrepreneurs and guests as they converged at Bukhara by Haandi restaurant at Westgate shopping mall for the inaugural Indian Film Festival in Kenya.

Hosted by the High Commission of India in Kenya and curated by Captain Rahul Bali, the event saw Bollywood superstar – Arjun Rampal in attendance for the premiere of the opening film, Daddy. Others included Miss World (97) Diana Hayden, Miss World Tourism India – Ishika Taneja, filmmakers Umesh Shukla, Dr Raju Chadha and Rahul Mittra.

Officiating the ceremony with the national anthems of India and Kenya,
followed by a diya lighting event, the emcee – Pinky Ghelani took members through the formal program at Screen 4 of the Westgate Cinema.

“It’s probably the first time in East Africa this kind of a festival is happening… This sort of people-to-people contact will build up the bilateral relationship and strengthening day by day. India is the third largest source destination for tourists coming here. You can imagine what would happen if one of these films are shot in Kenya… Indian films have universal values which are imbibed in people,” stated the Indian High Commissioner Hon Rahul Chhabra.

Kenya Film Commission’s Timothy Owase said, “As the five-day festival kicks off, we look forward to greater networking sessions, business discussions and possibly sign a deal before our guests exit to India. Having the Indian Film Festival as a first in East Africa is something, we can all applaud.”

CS Joe Mucheru welcomed the Indian film delegation that was set to tour iconic locations in Kenya including the Maasai Mara and Mombasa. He stated, “It’s a great opportunity for Kenya and India to come together for films. It’s an exciting time to share this amazing opportunity.”

Speaking on the occasion, Arjun Rampal stated, “I’d come to Kenya about 30 years ago, for shooting a commercial in Maasai Mara and it was breath-taking. Now with the connectivity, I’m sure more filmmakers will shoot here. This is really God’s country. The most beautiful part of entertainment is that we really don’t need a language, it’s about emotion, love and the message

because emotions worldwide are the same… I hope these baby steps become huge giant ones.”

The six films showcased from 10th to 15th August included Rampal’s Daddy, OMG – Oh My God, Highway, Wrong Side Raju, Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai and local award-winning film – Subira.

According to the curator – Captain Rahul Bali, “The festival is an endeavour to boost trade, commerce and tourism between India and Kenya as well as to promote the art and culture between the two countries via cinema featuring some of the finest Indian movies.”

 

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