A unique feature of the ongoing 7th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) is the presence of a large number of independent filmmakers. Regardless of commercial constraints, these filmmakers are also making a mark at a time when 100-crore clubs are ruling the roost.
According to N. Vidyashankar, artistic director of BIFFes, of the 50 screeners sent by independent filmmakers, nine have succeeded in getting entry into the Asian, Indian and Kannada categories and another six are being screened under the recommended category in BIFFes.
Atti Hannu Mattu Kanaja, Harivu, Agassi Parlour, Prakruthi, Haj and Ingle Marga are some of the films, which got entry into BIFFes because of their independent credentials. Ek Hazarichi Note , a Marathi film by Sri Hari Sathe, which bagged special jury award at the recently-concluded Goa International Film Festival, Adomya , Assamese film by Bobby Sarma Baruah, are part of this package.
Though Ek HazarichiNote has suicide of farmers in Vidarbha of Maharashtra as the backdrop, Mr. Sathe in his debut attempt has narrated the story poignantly through a poor woman. “My story is about resilience and vagaries of debt,” he said. Talking about the problems faced by independent filmmakers, he added, “These filmmakers are yet to capture the world as they have to start from scratch.”
Similarly Adomya – And Life Goes on? is a debut film of Bobby Sarma Baruah, which narrates the plight of people living with HIV in the north-east. “It is my way of dedicating to lakhs of people in society, especially in Assam, who are battling with HIV and living with it in spite of being ostracised by others, who still believe that it is a contagious disease,” said Ms. Bobby. She produced the film on a moderate budget of Rs. 50 lakh, which was pooled in by her husband Basanta Kumar Baruah.Indo-Pak venture
Mr. Sathe is also the co-producer for Dukhtar, directed by Afia Nathaniel. Inspired by a true story, Nathaniel offers stunning views of Pakistan’s towering mountains, desolate salt plateaus and bustling cities in the stirring testament to one brave women’s desire for freedom and dignity.