International Sufi Festival is been the conception and creation of Ms Gulshaa Begum after she had a vision to break from the strictures of its confined ties and make it available to as many people as possible. This altered Ajmer’s creative climate for good and made the festival a platform for talent and new ideas, even broadening its programme to include dance, cinema and more. The 2012 edition takes place from 4 to 11 Oct from 11 am to 6 pm at Al Ikhlas Gallery & from 5-11th Oct 6 pm onwards at the Jawahar Rang Manch and continues the tradition of making art and culture accessible to the public and artists alike.
The festival began with its preliminary series with the launch of the International Sufi film festival. A project by Divine Abode & Marwah Studio’s towards making cinema more watchable. The Gallery was adorned with rich light and decorations.
The international Sufi film festival, a project by divine abode and Marwah studios was inaugurated by The Dargah Dewan of Ajmer shrine, Deewan Syed Zainual Abedin Ali Khan, a descendent of Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty. While releasing the official poster of the Festival Dewan Saheb spoke on the occasion at the Al Ikhlas Gallery about the message of Khwaja Saheb and his teachings to the world. He added that this day was indeed special and the will of Allah. He further congratulated Ms Begum on her attempt to spread the true essence of Humanity.and his support to her initiative of taking a bold step towards a great cause ..Mr Mahendar Singh Ralawta, Congress President Ajmer inaugurated the Rang – e – Raqs the painting series and the Sufi Literature Festival. Mr Insaaf Ali, Vice president Congress said that the festival is a beautiful presentation to the world on the sufi tradition. Indeed he added that the presence of the Dargah Deewan at the preliminary series itself is a beautiful beginning of the ISFI festival. Many other dignitaries were present at the ceremony.
Ms Gulshaa Begum Festival Director and Chairperson Divine Abode said that 33 films would be screened in the coming week of the festival. The Sufi Paintings, 16th century manuscripts, The Islamic Calligraphy, Rumi Illustrations were a special feature at the exhibition. Ms Begum also a creative artist showcased her collections of Sufi Shrines and the Desert Spirituality. German Artist Michael Templin’s Conference of the Birds was a colorful series with fine Gold lines transversely in the paintings. There were over 500 paintings displayed at the exhibition. The huge painting of the Dargah Shariff indeed was a delight to the guests. The artist and the team members were honored during the festival. The Sufi Literature was introduced this year and Insha Allah next year it will be much more elaborate said the spokes person from Divine Abode. The making of the ISFI 2011 and also the Sufi Shrines of India, A film by the Ministry of External Affairs was screened to the audience during the event.
The involvement of Dr Sudeep Rai helped the organizer to tackle the festival’s extensive collection of performances, talks and exhibitions. The isfi festival performances will soon be spread across many venues in and outside the city, with some open-air events, but there will be one venue at its centre since that faithful first show.
The ceremony was a grand affair to begin with. Accommodation in the city is varied and plentiful. The festival at the gallery continues until the 11th Oct from 11 am to 6 pm in the day. All entry will be free on all days.
The Festival Sponsored by Sarwar Retiwalla and supported by Hotel Merwara Palace, Hotel Swad Ri Dhani, Hotel Dataa Inn, Marwah Studios, Kashmir Society , Parkash Foundation , Siddhi Advertising pvt Ltd , Graphic Design Templin, Germany & Livingstone Infra Pvt Ltd.