Two major festivals were held in March 2023 in Delhi – the first, the Asian Women’s Film Festival IAWRT (March 15-17), and the second, the Habitat International Film Festival (HIFF). Both festivals were open to the public free of charge. The first festival was organized by the Indian branch of the International Association of Women In Radio and Television, which also includes local filmmakers. Israeli films were prominently featured at both festivals.
Five films by Israeli filmmakers were screened at the first festival, including student films. The opening film of the festival was “Haya Baseret,” by Israeli filmmaker Miri Orman, who appeared at the festival with the assistance of the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi. The screening took place in front of a packed house, and after receiving a long ovation, Orman answered questions from the audience. She also met with a group of film students organized by the festival.
With the conclusion of the Asian Women’s Film Festival, the second festival in Delhi, the Habitat International Film Festival, began. It is considered one of India’s best and most popular festivals, and many foreign missions participate and present new films from their countries. The Israeli embassy presented three Israeli films: “Sand Flakes,” “Closed Circuit” and “The Artist’s Daughter.” After the screenings, the filmmakers held lively discussions with the audience online.
It is interesting to note that the Israeli films shown at both festivals were created by women filmmakers, and, in addition, the Israeli documentaries were of particular interest to viewers. Rauma Mansour, Israel’s cultural attaché in India, said, “There is no doubt that presenting Israeli cinema is an excellent means of promoting a positive image of Israel. Beyond the fact that the films shown were of a high caliber, the interaction with the filmmakers was excellent and provided a deeper understanding of the creative process and Israeli culture.”
Also in India: At the end of 2022, Israel was the focus country at the Bangalore International Innovative Film Festival with the Israeli film “Fig Tree,” which won the Best Foreign Language Film award with the participation of Loganathan Murugan, Deputy Minister of Communications and Information in the Indian Government. The film is a 2018 Israeli drama written and directed by Alamork Davidian.