The first-ever International Film Festival in DVD format began here on Monday with acclaimed international film-maker and the former Chairman of Kerala Chalanachitra Academy Shaji N. Karun stating that “cinema underlines memories of human regime and is a binding force of humanity”.

He was speaking at the inaugural of the film festival organised by the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy in association with the Federation of Film Societies of India, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the Suchitra Film Society.

Emphasising the vital role of memory in various art forms, Mr. Shaji said that though many artforms, such as literature and painting, are effective tools of communication, cinema was the more powerful one.

Artistic director of the festival H.N. Narahari Rao said the festival was only an experiment and screening films through the digital technology (DVD format) was inevitable as the festival would be held in select districts across the State in two phases. The festival was not a substitute for the Bangalore International Film Festival, he clarified.

Cultural Counsellor of Taiwan Embassy in India Joy Yen said cinema could improve the bilateral cultural relationship between the two countries.

Making a candid statement that he was not the competent person to inaugurate the festival and he was representing the Chief Minister, who was scheduled to inaugurate the festival, Minister for Law, Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar said he used to watch over 80 movies a year until 1983. Chairman of the academy T.S. Nagabharana welcomed the gathering.

The Taiwanese film, which won the Golden Peacock at the International Film Festival of India Goa in 2009, I can't live without you, was the inaugural film.

Over 80 films would be screened at four venues — Yavanika on the Nrupathunga Road, Suchitra Film Society, Banashankari II Stage, Seva Sadana and Samprati in Malleswaram.

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