“The Inner Path”, a first-ever Buddhist film festival organised by the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and Devki Foundation in New Delhi in April 2012, will now be held in Pune from 1-3 June 2012 by the Pune International Centre in collaboration with NETPAC, Devki Foundation and the National Film Archive of India. In Pune the Festival will showcase ten films - features and documentaries - on Buddhist themes from Asian and Western countries. They demonstrate the myriad streams of Buddhism practiced around the world, yet all directed towards ‘the Inner Path’. The event will be held in the National Film Archive of India auditorium.
An exhibition of ancient Buddhist texts from different Asian countries – taken from the archives of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute – is also being organised at NFAI concurrently with the festival. The exhibition will be held at the Jaikar Bunglow at NFAI.
Buddhist Film Festivals are routinely held in Singapore, Hong Kong, California, London, Mexico, Bangkok, Washington and in a few other cities of the world. However, in India, the birthplace of the Buddha and Buddhism, such a festival was first put together in New Delhi in April this year.
Some of these films will be now screened in Pune thanks to PIC’s collaboration with NETPAC and Devki Foundation. Conceptualized by Aruna Vasudev, President, NETPAC, in association with Suresh Jindal, Chairman, Devki Foundation, the festival promises to be a unique experience in terms of the themes and experiences handled by the various directors.
Two Indian films are part of the programme: Light of Asia (1926), a landmark work in the history of Indian Cinema, directed by Himansu Rai and Franz Osten, was the first instance of an international co-production with Emelka of Germany and the film was processed there. Shot entirely on location in Jaipur (except for the opening sequence in Bombay), with an all-Indian cast, and with Sharada Ukil, a famous artist from the Bengal school in the role of the King, Light of Asia is an example of the enormous efforts of mise-en-scene made by the directors in the early stages of filmmaking in India.
The other, more recent film, The Sandstorm (Trishagni), directed by Nabendu Ghosh, and starring Nana Patekar, Pallavi Joshi, Nitish Bhardwaj and Alok Nath, is a tale of monastic life, the pressures of young adulthood, temptation and wisdom.