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IFFI 2008 – Focus, Switzerland
IFFI 2008, opened its 'Country Focus' section from Switzerland, marking the 60th year of the signing of the Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty. 'Tandoori Love', directed by Oliver Paulus and 'Hippie Masala' already have viewers waiting for a watch
THE YEAR 2008, marks the 60th year of the signing of the Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty; this friendship treaty gains significance owing to the fact that in 1948, when the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru signed this treaty; Switzerland became the first country with whom India signed such an agreement.

It is only natural that IFFI has a section dedicated to films from Switzerland!

Dr Dominique Dreyer, the ambassador of Switzerland to India, said as he opened the country focus on Switzerland that Pt Jawaharlal Nehru signed the treaty with Switzerland because of the Swiss policy of peace and development that was so akin to India’s policy.

The film that opened the segment was ’Tandoori Love’, directed by celebrated Swiss director Oliver Paulus. The film has Swiss actress - Lavinia Wilson, heading the cast. Famous Indian actor Vijay Raaz plays the role of a male protagonist.

Maneesh Desai, director (M&C), PIB gave the subject-matter of the film saying that the film beautifully blended the Bollywood mainstream within a Swiss film.

The film has a Bollywood unit shooting a Hindi film in Switzerland. The heroine, Priya Dhawan (Shweta Agarwal) is very particular about her food feasts on the dishes prepared by unit cook, Rajah (Vijay Raaz). However, one day Vijay Raaz abandons the film shoot and joins a Swiss-restaurant as a cook. The heroine throws tantrum. How the film-unit gets the cook back – more so – because he is enamored by the fiancée (played by Lavinia Wilson) of his employer – forms the narrative.

The other films in this section are ’Hippie Masala’ – a docudrama on the flower children (the children of the hippies staying in India since 60s and 70s) living in different parts of India together with their lifestyle and their chanting of Indian mantras – Om Namah Shivaay! The film is directed by celebrated Swiss directors - Ulrich Grossenbacher and Damaris Luthi.

Die Herbstzeitlosen (English title – Late Bloomers), directed by Bettina Oberli; Vitus, directed by Fredi M Murer and Heimatklaenge, directed by Stefan Schwietert complete the ’Country Focus’ section from Switzerland.

Deepesh, a film-making student from Kolkatta said, “I am really looking forward to see Hippie Masala, I am sure it will be quite different from the other films at festival.”

Sugandha, though wants to settle for “Tandoori Love because Vijay Raaz is a fine actor particularly in comic roles,” she chuckles.

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