The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Devdas deluge at film festival

New Delhi, Sept. 29: The Union ministry for information and broadcasting cannot have enough of the eternal tragic hero, Devdas.

Minister Sushma Swaraj and Co. were personally present earlier this year at the Cannes festival when Sanjay Leela Bhansaliís Rs 50-crore take on Sarat Chandraís tear-jerking protagonist was launched.

A month ago, the ministry had organised a private screening of the film. Now the ministryís Directorate of Film Festivals has arranged for seven celluloid versions of Devdas to be screened at the 33rd International Film Festival of India beginning here on Tuesday.

The versions include the first one made in both Bengali and Hindi by P.C. Barua.

None of the Devdas films, though, will set the festival rolling. That honour will be a toss-up between Roman Polanskiís Pianist and Aki Kaurismakiís Man Without a Past.

The Devdas films will form a bulk of the tragedy section under the mainstream Indian cinema category that will screen productions from 1935 to 2002. Also to be screened in this category are Lagaan, Gadar, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Chashme Baddoor.

The retrospective section will be dedicated to Italian actor Marcello Mastroanni, 10 of whose films, beginning with Anna Mariaís I remember, yes, I remember,will be screened.

Films from South Africa, Vietnam, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany and Croatia will be shown under nine different segments. The world cinema section will comprise 65 films from 40 countries produced over the last two years. The Indian Panorama section will have 20 features and 11 non-features.

In the competition section, 15 films will vie for the Golden Peacock award for the best film by an Asian director. Singer Lata Mangeshkar is to inaugurate the festival.

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