Archivists, cinematographers, actors, they were all there

The Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes) remembered the 100-year history of Indian cinema by felicitating some of the biggest names, including actors Vyjayantimala Bali, B. Saroja Devi, Sahukar Janaki and cinematographer V.K. Murthy.

Union Minister for Petroleum M. Veerappa Moily, who inaugurated the centenary celebrations here Friday, urged the Kannada film industry to also use this occasion to introspect on the history and the future of the industry.

Time to introspect

“It is time to ask ourselves where we have gone wrong. We should maintain both an artistic and a moral standard in our films,” he said, adding that many contemporary films lead youth in the wrong direction, without a sense of social responsibility.

Veteran’s view

Continuing in the same vein, Sahukar Janaki, after accepting the felicitation, said: “We are inspired by good, bad and ugly films. I’m sorry that we see more ugly films these days.” She said she had been part of the Indian film industry for 64 years.

Archives founder

P.K. Nair, founder director of the National Film Archives of India, who was among those felicitated, emphasised the need to preserve films in an industry that tops film production in terms of numbers. “It is the responsibility of everybody and not just the government to preserve films, if we believe that films are part of our cultural heritage,” he said.

On a lighter note, actor Shivarajkumar, one of those felicitated, said that remembering 100 years of cinema on a day “when the world was supposed to end” is a sign that we have not only a long history but also a longer future. Veteran directors Bhaktavatsala and Bhagwan were also felicitated, besides actor Bharati Vishnuvardhan.

Exhibitions

As part of celebrating 100 years of Indian film history, BIFFes has not only put together a collection of classic films for the seven-day festival but also an exhibition of film equipment, film photography and stamps.

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