The sixth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), which provided viewers an opportunity to watch the best of films from across the world for a week, came to a close on Thursday.
About 160 films representing 52 countries were screened in seven screens in the city. There was an overwhelming response for all the 230 screenings. Film buffs stood in serpentine queues and virtually fought for entry on several occasions. According to one estimate, over 4000 people watched an average of three to four films a day.
Film personalities from several counties such as Hof International Film Festival director Heinz Badewitz, actor and politician Malini Fonseka of Sri Lanka, Iranian film-maker Pouran Darakhshandeh, Finnish film-maker Taru Makela, German film-maker Pola Beck, Juris Poscus of Latvia, Indian film-makers including Koushik Ganguly, Nagraj Manjule, K.R. Manoj, Praveen Morchchle, and critics such as Uma DaCunha, Fulbright scholar Karen Folger Jacobs and Aruna Vasudev actively participated in the festival. Directors such as Ms. Derakshandeh watched the film along with the audience and sought their response. Over 750 students from various colleges and film clubs attended the festival and watched the best of world cinema, besides interacting with the film-makers. Master classes by professionals on digital cinematography and sound technologies, and marketing of films attracted huge crowds.
Although the absence of Kannada commercial film-makers was visible, art-house film makers, including Girish Kasaravalli, P. Sheshadri, Ramadas Naidu, Nagabharana, Umashankaraswamy, Suman Kittur, Anand Raj, Kesari Harvoo, B.M. Giriraj, and Pawan Kumar, participated in every event and threw light on the films made by them.
The concluding ceremony of the week-long festival at Fun Cinema had films in the competition sections of BIFFes getting awards. Israeli film Epilogue, Mishing dialect film Ko Yad and Kannada film Munsif were given awards by Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj under the Asian, Indian and Kannada categories. Marathi film Astu and Kannada films Tallana and Edegarike also won awards.
Ms. Fonseka, Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic and Kannada film star Darshan were special guests at the valedictory function. Two awards were given to the best reviews written by members of the audience in English and Kannada.
The Rocket by Australian film-maker Kim Mordaunt, a spirited drama that tells the story of 10-year old Ahlo who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny, was the last film screened at both Lido and Fun screens, the main venues of BIFFes.