Bengaluru International Film Festival

May the film fanaticism begin!

Karnataka : Bengaluru , 30/01/2017 , 9th Biffes Logo ( 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival )

Karnataka : Bengaluru , 30/01/2017 , 9th Biffes Logo ( 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival )   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

The 9th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes) is here. Over a week, you will get to see some of the best of films from all over the world. BHUMIKA K. takes you through some highlights and helps you negotiate the festival frenzy

Stretch and do some yoga -- you’ll be running around a lot. Bring out your jackets -to brave the in-theatre AC. Look up screening schedules and start ticking off things on your list. Be ready to grab just a bite between films, or maybe skip lunch to be able to pray at the altar of good cinema. The 9th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes) is here and film buffs are sure to make the most of it. Over a week, you will get to see some of the best of films that have done the rounds of international films festivals at Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, Goa, Mumbai (30 films are premièring at Biffes!) and Oscar possibles. Films made by world renowned filmmakers such as Asghar Farhadi from Iran, Ken Loach from UK, Kim Ki Duk from South Korea and more are the tantalising offers. If you’re adventurous you can go enjoy the festival in Mysuru where it runs simultaneously. Here’s a quick look at the goings on...

Laugh your way through it

If you thought film festivals were only about the slow and the serious, this year's Biffes changes that perception by screening a whole section of French comedies. In fact the opening film at Biffes is La Vache (One Man and His Cow) a 2016 French comedy from Algeria directed by Mohamed Hamidi, which was nominated for best European comedy at the European Film Awards. The film is a sort of road movie, which traces the journey of a farmer in Algeria as he as he makes his way to the agricultural show in Paris. The French embassy and cultural centre have offered a curated section of French cult comedies at Biffes. “We thought ‘Why not comedy?’ French cinema is known for its wit and humour the world over, even from the silent era. It has given directors of the likes of Francis Veber...” says N. Vidyashankar, artistic director of Biffes. “Film festivals need not be about serious films always. Moreover, comedies are not just funny films. The quality of expression is also important.”

Other films screening in this section are: La Chevre, Little Indian Big City, Lovers Like Us, OSS 117: Lost in Rio. The last in the series, That Man from Rio is a 1964 classic -- a spoof on James Bond kind of cinema -- which, at the 37th Academy Awards was nominated for the Oscar for best writing, story and screenplay.

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Women rule the reel

At a time when filmmaking is still not very accessible to women in many parts of the world, it is significant that of the 95 films that have been submitted from outside India, 25 have been made by women, adds Vidyashankar. “We also found that a good number of them were critically acclaimed films. Not all the films may have women as the subject,” says Vidyashankar. “But we are not bracketing any of these as feminist films,” he adds. All the six films featured in the FIPRESCI section -- selected by the international federation of film critics, have been directed by women. The films deal with a vast span of subjects -- be it the situation of the Brazilian homeless, the story of a single mother’s struggle with her autistic son, post-Communist survivalism, a young student dealing with race, class, and her burgeoning sexuality. Some films are serious intellectual discourses, says Vidyashankar, giving the example of In Love With Lou -- a German film on the first woman psycho analyst who came much before Freud and who influenced Nietzsche. The life of the legendary writer and psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé who vows never to fall in love and to pursue intellectual perfection is a much-talked about film by woman director Cordula Kablitz-Post.

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01bgm-lead2   | Photo Credit: 01bgm-lead2

 

Why you see what you see

Films that are picked for screening may qualify on various grounds. “We pick films that we see in other film festivals, zero in on directors of repute. We also go by the reputation of a film. It’s a combination of curation by people from Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru who attend film festivals regularly,” says Vidyashankar. Most distributors of international films are in Western Europe and we pay royalties to get the films, he adds. Shrikant Prabhu, an FTII graduate and filmmaker, and a member of the selection committee talks of what he looks out for when he selects a film. He screened about 80 films before making his recommendations. “I pick films that don’t dumb me down and talk down to me. It must treat me as an adult. Most of these films that come to festivals offer you a new language and grammar of filmmkaing that we don’t see in our mainstream cinema. The filmmakers try to engage you in a conversation, as a friend, and many possibilities are offered to you, as a viewer, across the table. With constant exposure to such cinema, you will realise and appreciate what is different.”

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01bgm-lead1   | Photo Credit: 01bgm-lead1

 

Quick reckoner:

*The 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival – BIFFES 2017 is on from February 2 to 9

*Biffes will be inaugurated on February 2, in front of Vidhana Soudha at 6 p.m. Screenings from February 3 morning.

*Screenings in Bengaluru and Mysuru simultaneously (same films in both cities). There are 11 screens in PVR Cinemas, Orion Mall, Bengaluru, and four screens at Inox Cinemas, at Mall of Mysuru.

*There are workshops, seminars and master classes spanning film production, global marketing, talks on cinematography and more

*How many films will be screened? 240 films from about 60 countries. Most films have repeat screenings

*Season passes cost ₹600 for general public, and ₹300 for students, film society members, and senior citizens. Delegate registration can be done at: Badami House - N.R. Square, Suchitra Film Society - Banashankari, Information Department Office - Infantry Road, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce -Bengaluru, and Information Department Office at Mysuru. Check www.biffes.in for details

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Find your film:

Categories in which films have been divided

*Films in competition: Asian Cinema, Indian Cinema, Kannada Cinema, Kannada Popular Entertainment Cinema

*Contemporary Cinema of world

*Country Focus : Luxembourg, Vietnam, Egypt

*Directors’ Retrospectives: Zoltan Fabri (Hungary), Haskell Wexler (USA), Buddhadeb Dasgupta (India)

*Artist Retrospective : Harini– veteran Kannada actor

*Unsung Incredible India: Films from lesser known Indian dialects like Tulu, Kodava, Banjara, Khasi, Wancho, Sikkimese

*Bio Pics: Biographical pictures on poet Neruda, filmmaker Fritz Lang, artist Van Gogh, philosopher Louis Andrea Salome, scholar M. M. Kalburgi, and singer Mohammed Rafi

*Films which have won awards at other festivals under NETPAC Juries (Network For Promotion of Asian Cinema)

*Special 125th year birth anniversary remembrance of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

*Centenary Tributes: G.V. Iyer, B.S. Ranga, M.K. Indira and Kempraj Urs

*Homages: J. Jayalalitha, Balamurali Krishna, Om Puri, Dr. Ashok Pai, Srihari Khoday, Sanket Kashi, Abbas Kiarostami (Iran), Andrzej Wajda (Poland), Jacques Rivette, Raoul Cottard (France), Paul Cox (Australia)

*50 years in Kannada Cinema: Pranaya Raja Srinath

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Karnataka, Bengaluru: 04/02/2016: Crowd at Bengaluru International Film Festival in Bengaluru on February 04, 2016 . Photo : K. Bhagya Prakash.

Karnataka, Bengaluru: 04/02/2016: Crowd at Bengaluru International Film Festival in Bengaluru on February 04, 2016 . Photo : K. Bhagya Prakash.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

 

Navigating festival madness:

*Film festival season starts at Sundance, and then moves on, with Toronto and the others on the way. Look out for those that make noise at major festivals in the world.

*Make a list and watch out for small films that are talked about a lot. After Ilo Ilo (2014), people started watching out for films from Singapore. There are always some surprises.

*If you’re looking at films from the Asian market, watch out for films from Iran, Japan, China and Hong Kong

*Always read up, research before you go to a festival. But I’ve walked into films I’ve not heard of too -- sometimes they are good, sometimes bad. It’s sometimes trial and error.

*Join whatsapp film discussion groups -- specially people in Mumbai are tuned in and keep track. It’s good to follow those films that are discussed and analysed a lot.

*There’s the argument that you can download and watch many of these films. But you watch in a theatre for the visual experience

*In a day, the maximum number of films you can really see is four. You can’t relish them if you watch more! Of course you will miss some. That can’t be helped when there are more than 200 films to watch!

(Tips courtesy: Haricharan Pudipeddi, independent film critic, and co-founder of YouTube film chat show Cinema Pesalam)

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 9:07:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/May-the-film-fanaticism-begin/article17123218.ece

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