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Saudi- 7th Asian Film Festival: Uniting cultures and traditions  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 03/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Twelve movies from a host of asian countries were screened at the 7th asian film festival which began early march in jeddah at the japanese consul general’s residence. the festival opened with a japanese feature film “fireworks from the heart” based on the true story of a young girl


The 12-day extravaganza concluded on march 31 with the indonesian film “habibie and ainun” a beautiful film based on the biography of former indonesian president b.j. habibie and his wife the late hasri ainum besari


The story was adopted from a book “habibie and aniun” that was released in four different languages. the movie was an emotional roller coaster ride for the audience. the overwhelming message at the end of the film was that anything is possible in the name of love


The festival was organized by the asian consulates general club (acgc) comprising 13 asian countries. this year however thailand and the host country saudi arabia did not participate


A number of feature films and documentaries from countries such as bangladesh china india indonesia japan korea malaysia pakistan philippines singapore brunei and sri lanka brought on one platform a plethora of different cultures to be enjoyed exchange and understood. indeed films are an excellent medium to understand the cultures of different people and countries


At the opening ceremony anwar habiballah consul general of china and coordinator of the acgc for this year welcomes guests and journalists on behalf of the acgc. he said films are art that represent culture tradition and are very close to human life and emotions


“movies are among the most efficient tools to depict societies and cultures; no doubt the film festival is a collective effort of 13 acgc countries to showcase their diversity culture and traditions to the international community of jeddah and cultivate mutual understanding” he said


Habiballah said the main aim of the film festival is to promote cultural exchange between asian countries and saudi arabia


“we started with a japanese film ‘fireworks from the heart’ that represented the culture and people of japan. i hope this annual asian film festival will help in strengthening ties and relationships between asian countries and saudi arabia” he said


Japanese consul general matahiro yamaguchi also welcomed guests and thanked the acgc members for organizing the event that started with a japanese film that he said represented family bonds


“family is very important in japanese and arab cultures. this japanese film is about the story of one such japanese family” he said


“fireworks from the heart” is based on the true story of a family where hana a 16-year-old teenager suffers from health problems and comes to know during her treatment that her 19-year-old brother taro has become a social recluse. she convinces the reluctant taro to join a youth group who are planning to organize fireworks the following year


The love and affection between the brother and sister is beautifully depicted in the film


Brunei’s feature film “ada apa dengan rina” (what’s so special about rina) is about the weeding culture in brunei


Korean consul general shin yong gi told arab news that they choose ‘architecture 101’ as a movie representing their country because it best displays their culture family values and the importance of a home. “the home is a place of memories and ideas where in the movie two architects come together to build a house of their dreams” he said


Malaysia “gateway to health” and “tanda putera” the story of two malaysian leaders’ courage and inspirational visions of political tension in the late 1960s and early 1970s were screened. directed by award-winning malaysian director shuhaimi baba the film chronicles the life of the late tun abdul razak (the father of present prime minister dato’ seri najib) and how he came to power as the country’s second prime minister


Malaysian consul general khalid abbasi abdul razak in his speech said the saudi-malaysian relations are strong and with cultural exchange the ties are bound to strengthen. a traditional malaysian song and dance performance was also presented at the screening


Sri lankan love story “asai man piyabanna” and philippines’ “the womb” were screened to much applause


Filipino consul general uriel norman garibay said the film shows the true meaning of unconditional love and sacrifice of a wife who only wishes to see her husband happy by providing him a gift that she could never produce herself


Prior to the main feature film a documentary was screened about how the country’s geopolitical stability and its english-speaking community have made it the world’s call center capital


Hit indian movie “bhag milkha bhag” was screened as was chinese action film “chinese zodiac” staring jackie chan. it tells the story of an old palace and its looting and destruction by foreign solders in world war ii


The singapore film night was a fun-filled one. singaporean consul general syed muhammad raziff aljunied welcomed the guests and opened the event with “a new singapore” before the screening of the feature film “ah boys to men.&rdquo


Bangladeshi film “amarbondhu rashed” featured the story of the great liberation war of bangladesh while pakistani film “ramchand pakistani” told the story of a hindu family belonging to the untouchable cast and the extraordinary consequences upon the lives of a woman a man and their son


All films were screened in their original languages with english subtitles.


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