Paying homage to a legendary actor
It seems to be raining festivals for movie buffs across the City. First it was the Centenary Film Festival by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and then the European Film Festival. The latest to make it to this coveted list is the 8th edition of Habitat Film Festival that recently kicked off.
The festival is paying tribute to the legendary actor Balraj Sahni by showcasing a retrospective of his films to celebrate the actor’s Centenary Birth Year. The visitors witnessed an engaging panel discussion on the opening day. With near and dear ones of Balraj Sahni present on stage and his fans making up the audience, it was a treat to get up, close and personal with the actor’s real life.
While moderator Sadanand Menon threw light on Balraj Sahni’s participation in the Indian People’s Theatre Association and his awareness of the issues of artists, Kalpana Sahni shared some of the actors’ old pictures. Harshi Anand read out letters written to her by the actor including one after she got married. She shared insights on the actor’s life highlighting his philosophy and humane nature.
Reminiscing about his father, Parikshit Sahni shared that when he asked his father how to be an actor, Balraj Sahni said, “Learn to be a good human being first and you will automatically know how to be an actor.” The discussion went beyond than the stipulated time after which the film Dharti Ke Lal by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Mumbai Cha Raja by Manjeet Singh were screened.
Over the weekend, award winning films like Chittagong by Bedabrata Pain and Harud by Aamir Bashir were screened.
There is also a retro-section which has films like Pavitra Paapi by Rajendra Bhatia, Do Bigha Zamin by Bimal Roy, Kabuliwallah by Hemen Gupta, which have been screened at the fest amidst houseful audiences. In the days to come, this section will showcase films like the classic Waqt by Yash Chopra and Seema by Amiya Chakrabarty to name a few.
Raj Liberhan, director, IHC said, “The films selected not only represent a diverse range of subjects but represent the burgeoning talent of film makers that span the length and breadth of the country.”
The festival also includes films in regional languages like Black Forest in Malayalam, Vishvaroopam in Tamil, Leipaklei in Manipuri and Belli Kiranaa in Kannada, which will be screened till May 19.