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By Karen Laurie
Mahesh Bhatt, Producer and Film Director Bollywood, and alumnus of Don Bosco High School, Matunga, inaugurated the Don Bosco Bicentenary International Short Film Festival in Mumbai
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Mumbai, Aug. 13. The Don Bosco International Short Film festival held on August 8,  celebrated the bicentenary birth of the great saint, reminding the youth of the values he stood for. Twenty inspirational films for the young were screened simultaneously across 55 venues in 18 states organised by Boscom, South Asia.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and his daughter Pooja Bhatt, also a filmmaker and an actor, were Chief Guests at the event held at Don Bosco International School, Matunga.

Award winning actress Vidya Balan, also lent her support for the cause. The event was also attended by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Mumbai province; Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial; Father Adolf Futardo, Director, Don Bosco International School and Father Wilfred D'Souza, Rector of Don Bosco High School, Matunga and the Salesian Family members.

The programme commenced with the Don Bosco school band enthralling the audience with soulful renditions including Besame Mucho.  A welcome song with a catchy chorus, 'Aamchi Don Bosco' had all tapping their feet. The Faith and Harmony choir conducted by RJ Bosco Rodrigues sang 'What a wonderful world' in perfect harmony.   The messages of the General Councillor for Social Communications, Father Filiberto Gonsalez and the Regional for South Asia, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga were read by Father Savio Silvera.  The audience was then treated to a special bicentenary movie on the great saint.

Mahesh Bhatt- an alumnus of Don Bosco High School- encouraged the youth to follow in the footsteps of the great Saint and continue his legacy, just like the Salesians, '' We owe it to the next generation to carry forward these ideals of compassion and empathy towards the sufferings of others.''

The festival films were then screened throughout the day. Fascinating cinematography, clever scripts and acting with great finesse kept the viewers glued to the screens.
The magic of cinema left a lasting impact with thought provoking messages on road rage, healthy competition, accepting the differently-abled, young victims of war, among others.

Over 63 films from India, USA, UK, Australia, Uzbekistan, Spain, Switzerland and Poland entered the competition, of which 20 were short-listed.

Two jurors from each venue graded these short -listed films on different parameters. Results from all venues will be collated and Best Film will be decided. Awards will also be given for Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Sound Design/Music and Best Actor.

Father Ivo Coelho, the General Councillor for Formation said '' The Film Festival was very well organised and the award winning international short films showcasing Don Bosco and Youth themes were extremely relevant for our times''  

Salesian Rector Major, Angel Fernandez Artime, will hand over prizes to the winners, when he visits Delhi in September- for the Youth Expo- to end the year-long celebrations of Don Bosco's bicentenary in India.

Thanks to Mr Jayesh Chandan, The Managing Director of Ubiquitas Advertising Pvt. Ltd. and the President of the Past Pupils Association of Matunga unit for sponsoring the advertorials in newspapers across the city of Mumbai. Thanks to Sonal Saran, Director of Ever Onward Publishers for sponsoring the prizes for the children.    

Father Joaquim Fernandes, delegate for Boscom, South Asia said, '' This national multi-city Don Bosco Bicentenary Short Film Festival of India was a great success. It was a wonderful package of international short films showcasing Don Bosco and youth themes.''  
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