In 2011 NETPAC followed up the Imaging Asia festival in New Delhi in August 2010, with a series of activities. The NETPAC award was instituted at the Kolkata and Bengaluru festivals in India, Cape Winelands Festival in South Africa and in Warsaw in Poland. For the Bengaluru Festival, we helped put together a package of the Asian films for the Netpac prize which comes with a prize of US $4,000, offered by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. The winner of the 2011 APSA NETPAC Development Prize with a bursary of US $5000 bursary, was Sheron Dayoc for Halaw (Ways of the Sea).
In late September, Lasalle College of Art and Design in Singapore held a two-day symposium (with film screenings) on Asian Cultural Cinema with the collaboration of our Vice President, Philip Cheah, in which a large number of young filmmakers from principally Southeast and South Asia, as well as some NETPAC Board members, participated.
Asiapacificfilms.tv, the online film festival which is our Vice President Jeannette Hereniko’s dream child and in which NETPAC plays a significant role, was presented at the beginning of this seminar. Tan Bee Thiam who will be the editor, made a presentation of our planned internet magazine Cinemas of Asia. It will be on the NETPAC website before the end of the year. On this occasion, our President Aruna Vasudev, the founder of Cinemaya which is the inspiration for the new online journal, spoke with nostalgia about Cinemaya and with enthusiasm about the upcoming Cinemas of Asia.
At the International Childrens’ Film Festival in Hyderabad, India, we were able to help them programme some Chinese films which then became a major focus of the festival. Bringing cultures and countries together through films and making the cinemas of different Asian countries known to each other, has been NETPAC’s mission in the past twenty years….
NETPAC India collaborated with the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris (the former home of the Impressionist paintings in France) to present a retrospective of Indian filmmaker Jahnu Barua which is being presented by the museum together with another retrospective on Adoor Gopalakrishnan. This homage to two eminent figures of Indian cinema has been organized by Daniele Hibon, and together the two retrospectives, which continue for three months, form a part of the prestigious Paris Autumn Festival.
At an impressive opening in the charming Museum theatre, Jahnu Barua and NETPAC President, Aruna Vasudev were present along with a large gathering of eminent French film personalities. Present also was the Paris-based Indian artist Vishwanath for whose documentary Ganga on the river Ganges, Adoor Gopalakrishnan was the cameraman. This opening was followed two weeks later by the opening of Adoor’s oeuvre. In 1999 the Cinémathéque Française in Paris had held the first complete retrospective of Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s films organized by its then President, Dominique Paini. Cinemaya had collaborated very closely with the Cinémathéque to put this together.
Hopefully the current tribute to two Indian directors at the Jeu de Paume will be followed by presentations of more Asian filmmakers, something that Daniele Hibon is already envisioning.NETPAC/USA received a grant from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and sponsorship from Shangri-La, a center for Islamic Arts and Cultures, to present an educational program for universities, institutions and individuals interested in understanding Persian culture through film. This includes 24 critically-acclaimed Iranian films with introductions, a panel discussion, and a multitude of educational resources. They can all be accessed here: [http://www.asiapacificfilms.net/persianfilms/
NETPAC/USA also sponsored a luncheon in honour of the NETPAC jury and all the Asian filmmakers, scholars and critics attending the 31st Hawaii International Film Festival. The occasion gave them the opportunity to talk about their projects and exchange ideas. This is the fifth annual luncheon for the NETPAC jury and Asian filmmakers at HIFF that NETPAC/USA has sponsored.
Asian Film Centre, the Sri Lanka Branch as well as the Secretariat of NETPAC, organised a master class on “Creating Images on Celluloid and Video” by the eminent Indian filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta. The workshop was held in Colombo from 11 to 17 September 2011 for which thirty students were selected by AFC. To coincide with the Master Class five of Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s films were screened.
by NETPAC Bureau