So, what’s new?

The opening film of Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF), ‘Like Father, Like Son,’ directed by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda may have won the Jury Prize at Cannes but the response to the film that Steven Spielberg bought rights to, was quite lukewarm in Chennai. The audience did stay back till the end and were visibly moved but many couldn’t simply understand what the big deal was about. As Suhasini Maniratnam later pointed out, “‘Like Father, Like Son’ was like our cinema. We have covered the same issue, of babies getting swapped, in at least two Tamil films — K. Balachander’s ‘Kanna Nalama’ (1972) and ‘Chinna Kannamma,’ (1993) in which I acted with Karthik, Gauthami and Nasser.”

Q&A tomorrow

Is crowd-funding the next big thing in Indian cinema? Pawan Kumar, director of the recent independent hit ‘Lucia,’ and his team, will be available for questions at Inox, Citi Centre on Radhakrishnan Salai, on Monday, as part of the interactive sessions ‘Forum’ that CIFF has organised on all festival days.

Eye on global themes

This year, the focus of CIFF is to help and nurture young filmmakers. As a first step, the organisers invited Claudia Lacotte — a representative of Eye on Films based out of Paris, which scouts for interesting films by debut filmmakers and distributes them throughout Europe — to meet Tamil producers and filmmakers. Ms. Claudia said the films picked up by Eye on Films would be promoted at major festivals across the world, free of cost, which would in turn give it a fighting chance to find buyers in other markets. When she was asked what kind of films Eye on Films is interested in, Claudia said the company would prefer films with European sensibility.

Mani recommends

The red-carpet screening of Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘Jagten’ (The Hunt), in which a kindergarten teacher is mistakenly accused of sexual misconduct, was a well-attended event. The screening on Friday began with Suhasini Maniratnam reassuringly telling the audience that the film was brought to Chennai on Mani Ratnam’s recommendation. Filmmaker Naga loved the film and said, “The film was much nuanced, politically, and sharp.”

No child’s play

Filmmaker R.S. Prasanna is super excited about the response his film ‘Kalyana Samayal Saadham’ has got at the box office, with more shows being added in many urban centres. He was spotted at the red-carpet of Thomas Vinterberg’s ‘The Hunt’ at INOX on Friday evening. How did he manage to lure family audiences despite the ‘adult’ plot? “That was the intended design of the film. Because the plot was such, we had decided early on the film wouldn’t even have the word ‘sex’ anywhere. It was so clean the censors didn’t know what we could cut,” he said. Talks are on for the film to get an extended nationwide release with English subtitles soon.

(Festival Diary will run on alternate days throughout Chennai International Film Festival. Compiled by Sudhish Kamath, Udhav Naig and Karthik Subramanian.)

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