China’s top film festival will screen five Indian films, including Satyajit Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’, under the category of films from Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries despite strong reservations expressed by India over the trillion-dollar project.
Three other Indian movies, including Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Zero’, will be screened in other categories. The films will be screened at the Beijing International Film Festival (BIFF) being organised by Beijing municipal government from April 13 to April 20.
The five Indian movies to be screened under BRI countries category included three of Ray’s movies – ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Apur Sansar’, ‘Aparajito’ – romantic comedy ‘Love per Square Foot’ and thriller ‘Ittefaq’.
Bollywood movie ‘Sir’ will also be screened separately. The festival will be closed with ‘Zero’.
It is significant that China has included the Indian movies clubbing them along with those from the BRI countries ahead of this month’s second Belt and Road Forum(BRF) which is likely to be boycotted by New Delhi.
In an interview with state-run Global Times, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misiri has hinted boycotting the BRF meeting, which is being held to highlight BRI achievements.
India has objected to BRI as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is its flagship project is being laid through Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK). India boycotted the first BRI summit in 2017.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013. It aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea route.
China said 40 government leaders and officials from over 100 countries have confirmed their participation in its 2nd BRF meet.