SCO Film Festival in Mumbai from 27th to 31st January, 2023

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is organizing the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Film Festival from the 27th – 31st of January, 2023, in Mumbai, through the National Film Development Corporation. The SCO Film Festival is being organized to mark India’s Presidency at SCO.


The festival will open with a world premiere of an Indian film as the SCO Film Festival is being organized during the Presidency of India at the SCO. The Opening Ceremony will be held at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai on 27th January, 2023.

Film Festival Screenings will take place at two locations in Mumbai, 4 auditoriums at the Film Division Complex at Pedder Road and 1 NFDC Theater at Nehru Planetarium Building at Worli.

The digital catalogue and detailed screening schedule of SCO Film Festival was ceremonially released by Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, MD- NFDC and Festival Director Shri Prithul Kumar in Mumbai today. Addressing a press conference on the Film Festival in Mumbai today, the Festival Director, SCO Films Festival Shri Prithul Kumar informed, “This film festival has been organized to mark India’s Presidency at SCO, which is multilateral organization of eight countries”. It is an offshoot of long-standing popularity of Indian films in the SCO member countries, he said.

The Festival Director further said, the SCO Film Festival aims to build cinematic partnerships and act as a bridge between the cultures of various countries in the SCO. It will also create synergies in the film fraternity of SCO Members by way of collective cinematic experience.The films being showcased in the SCO Film Festival, all brought by the SCO states, will allow spectators to experience different cultures and the films will be a window for people from the SCO countries to know each other better.

The festival will open with a world premiere of Tamil film ‘Appatha’, which is directed by Padma Shri and National award-winning filmmaker Priyadarshan. The film features National award winning actor Urvashi in the lead role and will be benchmarked as her 700th film and 51 years in the Indian film industry.

The Competition section is for the SCO Member States only and comprises of various prestigious awards like Best Feature Film, Best Actor (Male), Best Actor (Female), Best Director (Feature Film), Special Jury Award.

The Non-competition section is for all SCO countries, viz. Member States and also Observer States and Dialogue Partners States in the following categories-

  • SCO Country Focus films selected to represent the respective SCO country at the film festival. Thus, enabling exchange among the different countries and acting as a bridge between the cultures of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization members. There are 17 films in the SCO Country focus category.
  • Director Focus films made by a well-known director of the SCO Country, an acclaimed veteran who is well respected in the country for their craft and lineage of cinema, contributing to the heritage of the Country. There are 8 films in Director focus category.
  • Children Focus films that educates and entertains the young audience while being easy to understand. Thus developing the interest of young children and nurturing their minds. There are 7 films in Children’s focus category
  • Short films not exceeding 20 mins in duration that is artistically and cinematically adept and captures the audience’s imagination by applying original ideas. There are 6 films in Short films category.
  • Indian Restored Classic – 5 films are being showcased.

Total 57 Films will be showcased at the SCO Film Festival from SCO countries. In Competition Section, 14 feature films are competing and will be screened and the Non-Competition section will showcase 43 Films.

A total of 14 films have been nominated for the competition section.

  • The Marathi film ‘Godavari’ directed by Nikhil Mahajan and Gujarati Film ‘The Last Film Show’ directed by Pan Nalin are nominated from member state of India.
  • The Russian films Mom, I’m Alive! directed by A.Zairov, M.Mamyrbekov and Paralympian directed by Bairakimov Aldiyar are nominated from member state of Kazakhstan
  • The Kyrgyz films Akyrky Koch (The Road to Eden) directed by Bakyt Mukul, Dastan Zhapar Uulu and Uy satylat (Home for Sale) directed by Taalaibek Kulmendeev are nominated from member state of Kyrgyzstan.
  • The Italian and Chinese films B for Busy by Yihui Shao and Chinese films Home Coming directed by Xiaozhi Rao are nominated from member state of China.
  • The Russian films Don’t Bury Me Without Ivan directed by Liubov Borisova Sakha and Podelniki (The Riot) directed by Evgeny Grigorev are nominated by the member state of Russia.
  • The Uzbek films Ael kismati ( The fate of a woman) directed by D.Masaidov and
  • Meros (Legacy) directed by Hilol Nasimov are nominated from member state of Uzbekistan.
  • Tajik films Dov (Fortune) directed by Muhyiddin Muzaffar, and Okhirin Saydi Sayod (Hunter’s Final Prey) directed by Mahmadrabi Ismoilov are nominated from member state of Tajikstan.

Indian Films @SCO Film Festival

Most acclaimed Marathi Film Godavari directed by Nikhil Mahajan and India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category, Chhello Show, a Gujarati film also known as Last Film Show will be screened in competion section.

Along with Marathi Film Godavari and Gujarati FILM Chhello Show, Shoojit Sircar’s Sardar Udham, SS Rajamouli’s period film RRR (country-focus), Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi (Director Focus), Mridul Toolsidas’s Toolsidas Junior (Children Focus) and Chetan Bhakuni’s short-film Jugalbandi will be showcased.

Moreover Five Restored Classics will also be showcased in the festival. These are: Shatranj ke khiladi (1977, Hindi), Subarnrekha (1965, Bengali), Chandralekha (1948, Tamil), Iru Kodgul (1969, Tamil) and  Chidambaram (1985, Malayalam).

‘Masterclasses’ and ‘In Conversation’ sessions have been curated with eminent filmmakers and actors of the SCO countries attending the festival along with Indian film personalities. There will be sessions with the industry experts tracing the history of animation and also presenting the endless possibilities of ‘creating the shot’ with the help of animation & visual effects. Some sessions are also being kept on changing landscape of film distributions & in theatre language translations with the help of emerging technologies.

  • There will be a session on “Rising Indian Cinema Popularity in SCO region” by. filmmaker Rahul Rawail, Ramesh Sippy, and veteran actress Asha Parekh and actor Chaitanya Chinchlikar
  • There will be a session on “Composing Music – Breaking Barriers” with the famous singer and jury of SCO film festival, Mr. Dimash Kudaibergen from Kazakhstan who is known for singing in over 13 languages in a variety of genres.
  • There will be a session on “Director’s Synergy – Collaborating Cultures, Characters and Countries” and a session on “Challenges & Scope of Promoting Festival Films in SCO Countries” with the eminent filmmakers from SCO countries.
  •  Along with the above- An intense session on theatrical scope of feature films in current times and Scope and challenges if festival run films beyond film festivals will be covered with panelists form India and SCO region.
  • A one of its kind Indian Animation Retrospective is designed as a masterclass covering- Evolution of animation from its birth till date.

Online Delegate Registrations can be done at SCO Film Festival portal:, as well as physical Registration desks will be available at the main Festival venue of Films Division Complex at Pedder Road Mumbai.  Delegate registration fees are kept at INR 300 for the festival or INR 100 per day. It has been kept free for students.

The official language of the SCO i.e., Russian and Chinese will also be the official language of the Film Festival. However, English will also be included as the functional language of the festival as it is being hosted in India. The films to be screened will be subtitled in English for the benefit of the jury and local audience.

The SCO is a multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001. The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), three Observer States (Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and fourteen Dialogue Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar, UAE and Turkey).

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