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69th Venice Film Festival forgets Ray in the 100th year of Indian cinema

The 69th Venice International Film Festival has unveiled its line up and given a short shrift to Indian cinema which is celebrating 100 years of its existence. Alberto Barbera, the artistic director of the festival, seems completely unaware of this fact. It is understandable that Berbera and his team of selectors could not find any Indian film worth inclusion in the festival's Competition or Orizzonti (Horizons) programmes but what is surprising and even appallingly shocking is that they picked up the Los Angeles based filmmaker Michael Singh's VALENTINO'S GHOST, a 2012 documentary, for their Venice Classics section. Singh has made a few video shorts and documentaries in the past. Now, suddenly, his name features among great names of world cinema like Ingmar Bergman, Billy Wilder, and Orson Welles.

This is a serious error of judgment and an unimaginable faux pas by the oldest and the most prestigious film festival of the world. Alberto Berbera and the other Venice Film Festival authorities seem to have completely ignored an Indian name of world cinema none can ever forget - Satyajit Ray. His 1956 film APARAJITO, the second film in his Apu Trilogy, had won a Golden Lion at Venice in 1957. Ray was also awarded the Golden Lion Honorary Award in 1982. His film and name is missing in the Retrospective list of the festival as well. Here is the complete list: -

VENICE CLASSICS

Goffredo Alessandrini, Francesco Rosi - CAMICIE ROSSE (1952) Italy,
James Benning - AMERICAN DREAMS (1984) USA, (documentary)
Ingmar Bergman - FANNY & ALEXANDER (1982) Sweden,
Ishmael Bernal - HIMALA (1982) Philippines,
Peter Brook - TELL ME LIES (1968) UK,
M. Canale, F.Farina, M.Gianni, W.Labate, A.Morri - MONICELLI. LA VERSIONE DI MARIO [DOCUMENTARY] Italy,
Michael Cimino - HEAVEN'S GATE (1980) USA,
Adolfo Conti - GLI ANNI DELLE IMMAGINI PERDUTE [Documentary] Italy,
Noelle Deschamps - CONTEURS D'IMAGES [Documentary] France,
Carl Dudley, R.Goldstone, F.Lyon, W.Thompson, B.Wrangell - SOUTH SEAS ADVENTURE (1958) USA,
Giuseppe Giannotti, Enrico Salvatori, Davide Savelli - DAI NOSTRI INVIATI ALLA MOSTRA DI VENEZIA [Documentary] Italy,
Howard Hawks - GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) USA,
Sophie Huber - HARRY DEAN STANTON PARTLY FICTION [Documentary] USA, Switzerland,
Kinoshita Keisuke - KARUMEN KOKYO NI KAERU (1951) Japan,
Emilio Maillé - MIRADAS MULTIPLES [Documentary] Mexico, France, Spain,
Joseph L. Mankiewicz - THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947) USA,
Pier Paolo Pasolini - PORCILE (1969) Italy,
Luca Maria Patella - TERRA ANIMATA (1967) Italy,
Luca Maria Patella - SKMP2 (1968) Italy,
Francesco Patierno - PATIERNO - LA GUERRA DEI VULCANI [Documentary] Italy,
Elio Petri - LA DECIMA VITTIMA (1965) Italy,
Elio Petri - INDAGINE SU UN CITTADINO AL DI SOPRA DI OGNI SOSPETTO (1970) Italy,
Francesco Rosi - IL CASO MATTEI Italy,
Roberto Rossellini - STROMBOLI, TERRA DI DIO (1950) Italy,
Michael Singh - VALENTINO'S GHOST [Documentary] USA, India,
Monica Strambini - SEDIA ELETTRICA. IL MAKING OF DI IO E TE [Documentary] Italy,
René Vautier - AVOIR 20 ANS DANS LES AURÈS (1972) France,
Orson Welles - CAMPANADAS A MEDIANOCHE (1965) Spain,
Billy Wilder - SUNSET BLVD. (1950) USA.

RETROSPECTIVE

Renato Castellani - IL BRIGANTE (THE BRIGAND) (1961) Italy,
Vera Chytilová - PYTEL BLECH (A BAGFUL OF FLEAS) (1963) Czechoslovakia,
Manuel Conde, Salvador Lou - GENGHIS KHAN (1950) Philippines,
Gianni Da Campo - PAGINE CHIUSE (1968) Italy,
Jean Delannoy - DIEU A BESOIN DES HOMMES (1950) France,
Julij Jakovlevic Rajzman - POSLEDNJAJA NOC' (THE LAST NIGHT) (1936)Urss,
Raoul Ruiz - AHORA TE VAMOS A LLAMAR HERMANO (1971) Chile,
Carlos Saura - STRESS-ES TRES-TRES (1968) Spain,
Gregory Shuker, James Desmond, Nicholas Proferes - FREE AT LAST (1968) USA,
Václav Táborský - ZABLÁCENÉ MESTO (MUD-COVERED CITY) (1963)
Czechoslovakia.

Rajesh Kumar Singh