‘Film festivals of this kind inspire regional filmmakers’

The ongoing sixth edition of Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes) has many Kannada filmmakers hopping between venues to catch the best on offer.

“Film festivals of this kind inspire regional filmmakers who churn out films throughout the year,” says Pawan Kumar, director of Lucia . He has watched eight films at BIFFes so far and says that the film fraternity can be inspired through such festivals to produce films in with a new perspective. “I’m not after any particular genre. My choice is random,” he adds.

P. Sheshadri says it was film festivals that shaped him as a filmmaker. “I was a journalist in 1992 when I watched films from the world over at a festival, which gave me wide exposure and made me a filmmaker. Film festivals are like universities,” he says.

He believes that a marketing wing would have helped the local industry more. “There is no coordination between panorama section and film bazaar, which is resulting in films not getting marketed,” he says.

‘Not deep enough’

Girish Kasaravalli, whose films have made it to many international festivals and won multiple awards, has already seen 12 films in the ongoing festival. He says he found many of the films he has watched so far “quite thin” both in terms of choice of theme and treatment.

“I don’t know whether this is an international trend or something particular to this festival,” says Mr. Kasaravalli. “Barring four or five, I did not find films that shook me deeply or expanded the horizons of my consciousness.”

Kesari Haravoo, who won national award for his debut feature film Bhoomigeetha , said he was struck by the rarity of what can be called “country cinema”, with a regional and cultural focus.

This, he says, is the natural offshoot of a globalised economy. “Filmmakers are catering to a homogeneous audience. Presence of information technology and biotechnology crowd in every screen in this festival testifies to this,” he says. “However, this development has a positive effect. They can turn issues plaguing their country into global issues.” He says that films from Asia are now in great demand and Bollywood too is trying to break out of formula shackles.

He says that rooted films made in languages such as Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada are not making global impact in a neo-economic world, while the local audience too are not receiving them in the way filmmakers expect.

Who is the audience?

Many Indian filmmakers are quite puzzled by the way Afghan, Iranian and Korean filmmakers reach out to a global audience. “Some filmmakers are even confused, as they are undecided whether to cater to a global audience or a culturally rooted audience,” Mr. Haravoo argues.

  • Film festivals are like universities, says filmmaker P. Sheshadri

  • ‘A marketing wing would have helped the local industry more’