New Delhi, Jun 19 (PTI) Films have the power to unite people belonging to different skin colour, cultures and countries, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore here.

Rathore, who inaugurated the European Union Film Festival last evening here, said cinema highlights the unity of human emotions.

"Having joined the Army at the age of 16 and served for 23 years, I would always see people with suspicion on the other side of the border but once I started travelling the world, I realised that the colour of our skin may be different, our cultures may be different, the clothes we wear may be different but we are one people in this one planet and I think when we see these films, this aspect is reiterated," he said in the inaugural speech.

"They may be short stories from Europe, India or other Asian countries but the message that these stories deliver can be connected to any person from any country. I think that is what makes us one people. The emotions, pains and joys are the same and therefore, even if it is a film in any other language, one can still understand and appreciate it."

The minister said despite technological advancement, film festivals have their own charm.

"I think the charm is as much to see a story on the screen as it is to meet people there. I think this is the essence of the film festival. I've spent a lot of years travelling in Europe and many countries in Europe are like my second home," he said.

Organised by the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in partnership with the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and various city film clubs, the 23rd edition of the festival will showcase 24 latest European movies from 23 European countries.

The EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India starting the capital to Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa.

The movie extravaganza will be held in city from today onwards to June 24.

The EUFF runs till August 31.PTI
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