Day one draws big crowds, more expected on weekend

To head for Screen No 1 or Screen No 2? That was the question on the minds of cinebuffs on the opening day of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), as there were too many good films and it was hard to choose between them.

Several halls on Friday, particularly towards evening, ran full and bigger crowds are expected over the weekend. The lobbies of Fun Cinema and Lido on Friday had plenty of enthusiasts poring over the schedule, some simultaneously checking the Net on their phones to read up reviews.

Problem of plenty

The screenings of Italian film Salvo, Palestinian film Giraffada and the Indian film Dozakh were almost at the same time and D.Ed. student Sharan Kumar was checking for repeat shows to ensure he does not miss any of them. Given the wide variety of choices, many relied on the opinion of experts. BIFFes deputy artistic director N. Vidyashankar, a regular on fest circuits, had many consulting him to help choose the “best among the best.”

But there were also some who had come hoping to find “surprises”. Geeta M., a techie who had come taking the long weekend off, said that she preferred to walk into halls showing films that have generated the least “buzz” around them. “I have often watched great films that way,” she said.

Nagesh Soorya, film technician and assistant director of Kannada films, had come hoping to particularly watch Korean and Italian films. While happy with the Italian selection, he said that he was disappointed with the Korean selection.

Personal is political

Indudhara Honnapura, Dalit activist and editor of the magazine Samvada, who watched the politically-loaded and yet heart-wrenchingly tender Giraffada (directed by Rani Massalha) set in the West Bank, said that he was on the lookout for films that are from countries we have little access to. “Films from regions like Cambodia, Palestine, Algeria or Latvia are particularly interesting given their histories and political turmoil,” he said.

The festival organisers put the turnout on Friday at around 2,000 and said that footfalls were sure to go up over the next two days. This might mean bracing up for longer queues on Saturday and Sunday.

More In: Bengaluru