A fest for every reason

Early birds Viewers line up in the wee hours to catch the festival   | Photo Credit: Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

Different strokes for different folks. There’s something for everyone at the ongoing film festival, finds Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

Pardon the cliché, but we have to say this. Everyone loves a good movie, irrespective of the genre and the language. In a scene from the French film Not Here To Be Loved, an ageing and ever-grudging father looks out of the window to see his son, who comes to visit him every Sunday, leaving after the visit. As he steps into his car, the son glances up at the window hoping to spot his father, who then quickly slips away behind the curtain. Gentle humour permeates through the film that deals with human relationships and the packed hall at Prasads applauds.

The second edition of the Hyderabad International Film Festival has a potpourri of films and an equally enthusiastic audience that’s willing to overlook glitches in the festival. For those bitten by the movie bug, the day starts at 9 a.m. Staffers at the venue are just trickling in. The food courts and coffee machines will spring into action only after an hour. The early birds, despite grumbling amongst themselves on having skipped breakfast, make it in time for a dose of world cinema.

The film fraternity and filmmakers-in-the-making comprise the majority of the audience. And each one has his/her own reason to be there. For some, the festival is an ideal place to network with old pals from the industry. For budding film-makers, it’s an opportunity to meet established film-makers from all over the country. Veteran Chakradar Rao, who has worked in Hollywood productions as a co-director, is a regular at the fest. He says, “I liked a few films. But I wish there were more contemporary films that reflect the culture, lifestyles and political scenario in different countries.”

There are others, including students from the University of Hyderabad and film aficionados who don’t belong to the industry. N. Kaushik, who recently moved to Hyderabad and works in an MNC, says, “You don’t get to see so many films at one time. This is something I wouldn’t miss. I just love good cinema.”

The ubiquitous 24-hour television channels are around as well, gathering sound bytes from film students, film-makers and just about anyone exiting a movie hall.

Mixed medley of movie goers

An integral part of the fest is the enthusiastic tribe of short and documentary film-makers. Often buried under the weight of mainstream commercial cinema, the festival circuit is where they hope to be recognised for daring to be different. Pamphlets about their films are circulated a day prior to the screening. The HIFF is no competition to established films fests, frequented by budding film-makers who campaign to showcase their work. Yet, the spirit remains the same. Deepak Rajgor, who made the documentary Time Out, says, “I’ve been making ad films and corporate films over the last few years. This is the first time I’ve taken my work to a film festival. I am keen my work should be noticed. So I am trying to spread the word as much as I can.” B.S Raju, the maker of Aa Rathri, a short film that talks about corruption, agrees. “We’ve been looking forward to the film festival for a while to try and market the film.”

For the regular movie buff frequenting Prasads during the festival, spotting directors like Neelakanta, Teja, Aditya and Dasarath and actors such as Rajasekhar and Jeevitha is an added attraction.

Finally, there’s the hushed mention of many writers from the Telugu industry making a beeline for world cinema. An ideal source of inspiration for story ideas?