Japanese filmmaker Keiichi Sato’s Asura, about a young boy abandoned following a natural disaster, will open this year’s Osian’s Cinefan (July 27-August 5), while Rituparno Ghosh’s Chitrangada will close the ten-day event.

Asura has been filmed using a new hybrid animation technique, which mimics water-colours in motion. Bengali filmmaker Ghosh’s film is an exploration of the freedom to choose gender and sexual orientation.

The films bookend a ten-day festival of 175 films, including 15 world premieres, which will unspool at the Siri Fort Complex and recently opened Kila Complex in New Delhi. The Kila Complex houses contemporary music venue The Blue Frog and is also the site planned for Osian’s art and film museum, the Osianama.

Returning after a two-year hiatus due to funding difficulties, the festival is continuing with its focus on freedom of creative expression and a line-up of international cinema, with an emphasis on Asian and Arab films.

As in previous editions, the festival will feature a competition of Asian & Arab films, which this year includes Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Headshot, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mekong Hotel and Kim Kyung-mook’s Stateless Things, and a competion of Indian films, featuring highly-anticipated indie titles such as Ashish R Shukla’s Prague and Sharat Katariya’s 10ML Love.

The jury for the Asian and Arab competition includes Rome film festival director Marco Mueller, Indian filmmaker Muzaffar Ali, Iranian actor Ali Mosaffa, Egyptian director Magdi Ahmed Ali and US screenwriter James V Hart. Mueller will also deliver the inaugural Mani Kaul Memorial Lecture, named after the late Indian filmmaker who has a long association with Cinefan and served as its director in 2009.

In addition to the competition sections (see below), highlights include a sidebar entitled “Freedom of Expression”, screening five films that have battled censorship, including Jafar Panahi’s This is Not a Film. There will also be sidebars on Estonian animation; a focus on environmental films; a tribute to Mani Kaul, and a tribute to Japanese pinku filmmakers Koji Wakamatsu and Masao Adachi.

Cinefan will also feature programmes for younger cinema-goers and an exhibition from Osian’s art archives, with a focus on The Divas of Indian Cinema – 100 Years of Beauty and Grace, to mark the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema. A two-day summit will explore the possibility of developing Delhi as a filmmaking base.

The festival will also screen both parts of Anurag Khashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur, which screened in Directors Fortnight at Cannes this year, with the second part playing just four days before its worldwide release.

Asian & Arab Competition

Death For Sale, dir: Faouzi Bensaidi (Morocco-France-Belgium-UAE)

Ex Press, dir: Jet Leyco (Philippines)

Headshot, dir: Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)

Highway(Autobahn), dir: Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal-US)

Inside(Yeralti), dir: Zeki Demirkubuz (Turkey)

Mekong Hotel, dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand-UK)

Milocrorze: A Love Story, dir: Yoshimasa Ishibashi (Japan)

Modest Reception, dir: Mani Haghighi (Iran)

Postcards From The Zoo, dir: Edwin (Indonesia-Germany-Hong Kong-China)

The Repentant(Le Repenti), dir: Merzak Allouache (Algeria-France)

Sentimental Animal, dir: Wu Quan (China)

Stateless Things, dir: Kim Kyung-mook (South Korea)

Indian Competition

10ML Love, dir: Sharat Katariya (India)

B.A. Pass, dir: Ajay Bahl (India)

Ballad Of Rustom, dir: Ajita Suchitra Veera (India)

Carnival, dir: Madhuja Mukherjee (India)

Cosmic Sex, dir: Amitabh Chakraborty (India)

Forever (Baromas), dir: Dhiraj Meshram (India)

Kite (Patang), dir: Prashant Bhargava (India-US)

Monophobia, dir: Ashwini Malik (India)

Prague, dir: Ashish R Shukla (India-Czech Republic)

First Features Competition:

Baby Factory, dir: Eduardo Roy Jr (Philippines)

Beyond The Hill, dir: Emin Alper (Turkey-Greece)

Egg And Stone, dir: Huang Ji (China)

Hansa, dir: Manav Kaul (India)

Here There, dir: Lu Sheng (China)

In April The Following Year, There Was A Fire, dir: Wichanon Somumjarn (Thailand)

The Miscreants, dir: Mohcine Besri (Morocco-Switzerland)

Romance Joe, dir: Lee Kwang-kuk (South Korea)

The Stagnant, dir: Bikramjit Gupta (India)