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BIFFes 2020: On the language of cinema and telling stories

Filmmakers: Tanel Toom, Truth and justice (Czech Republic); Paul Ireland Measure for measure (Australia); Siddhartha Tripathi, A man and his dog (India); Hemanth Raj, registrar; and Shahed Ahmed Lou, Cinema donkey.

Filmmakers: Tanel Toom, Truth and justice (Czech Republic); Paul Ireland Measure for measure (Australia); Siddhartha Tripathi, A man and his dog (India); Hemanth Raj, registrar; and Shahed Ahmed Lou, Cinema donkey.   | Photo Credit: SampathKumarGP

The language of cinema was one of the topics of discussion on Thursday. At a media interaction, Siddhartha Tripathi, whose film A man and his dog, is competing in the Indian Cinema section at BIFFes argued that film is a language and not a composite art borrowing from literature, art and music. “We are still in the process of developing the language of cinema. Like any art form, making a film is both political and personal. It is like writing a poem,” he said.

A man and his dog is about displacement with a family losing its home to a mining project. “For me, it was as personal as it was political. My family home is a coal pit today. We suddenly became super rich as our land was taken up for mining. But our wealth came at the cost of home, and my memories of childhood. It changed the entire geography of my childhood,” said Mr. Tripathi who is from Chhattisgarh.

The film revolves around a man who refuses to leave his village even as the others leave. The village is deserted as miners have bought the land, and the man only has his dog for company.

Despite being a trained cinematographer, Mr. Tripathi worked in the social sector for over a decade and returned to films only recently. “In 2010, I stayed with a tribal inside Kudremukh National Park for a year. This was when people were not allowed to live inside the national park, though mining was allowed. I did a film on that,” he recalled, adding ‘reckless mining’ in Ballari echoed similar concerns with coal mining in Chhattisgarh.

The festival’s opening film, Cinema donkey, also explores the language of cinema and its processes. “My film deals with what happens off screen. How a film is made not just through the eyes of humans, but also from the perspective of a donkey,” said Iranian filmmaker Shahed Ahmed Lou.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 3:33:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/biffes-2020-on-the-language-of-cinema-and-telling-stories/article30945038.ece

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