With the passing of each year, the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFES) emerges as one of the best avenues for cinematic expression. The fifth edition of the festival, which starts on December 20, will reflect the richness of both Indian and world cinema with special focus on the local industry.
The Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy supported by Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has managed to register the participation of over 50 countries this year. Denmark, Germany, Pakistan and Iran are among the participants. Nearly 160 films, 35 on each day, will be screened as part of the festival. 12 Indian films will be screened and a separate section has been reserved for Kannada films. Director Siddalingaiah’s Bhootayana Maga Aiyyu and Naandi by Lakshminarayan are on the list. Special focus will be given to Akira Kurosawa, Henri Georges Clouzot, Michelangelo Antonini and Girish Kasarvalli’s films.
Says Narahari Rao, who continues to be the artistic director of the festival, “From housewives to cinema critics, the festival will cater to the tastes of one and all. It also aims at holding a mirror to the political, social and economic happenings of the world we live in.” And this is exactly why festival director, actor Tara is keen on encouraging her fraternity to actively participate in this event. “Last year 4,000 delegates benefited from this festival. While the response from students and general public has been phenomenal, I find that the film industry is yet to warm up to this concept. In order to address this issue, I have this year decided to urge my friends from the industry to participate in large numbers by inviting them personally,” she says.
And given that the that the country is celebrating it’s 100 years of cinema, we see even more reason why members of the local film industry should take part in larger numbers. “An experience that people should not miss out on is that of the tent cinema.This year at Garuda mall, an exhibition celebrating 100 years of cinema is being held as part of which a cinema tent-like structure has been put up. So to provide today’s generation a different kind of cinema viewing experience, we are screening a few films in this tent. Mats and benches will be put up in the tents,” she adds.
Films will also be screened in Inox multiplex at the Garuda mall. Lido and Vartha Bhavan are the other venues. Free screening will be held in the evenings at the Freedom Park. “We have employed the drive-in theater concept here. Stalls selling food that are particular to our state will be put up so that people can grab some food while watching cinema,”says Tara, further explaining the arrangements that are being made for the festival. Exclusive bus and auto services between the venues will be made available to the delegates. Apart from film screenings, seminars, discussions and workshops will be a part of this annual event. On December 21 they are also planning to exhibit both old and new filmmaking equipment. An exhibition of stamps and photos depicting the film industry will also be held at the Vartha Bhavan.