BIFFES 2019: Great cinema, serpentine lines on weekend

BIFFES 2019: Great cinema, serpentine lines on weekend

Visitors relish the fest amidst weekend crowd

Visitors at the BIFFes 2019. DH Photo by B H Shivakumar

On the third day of the 11th Edition of the Bengaluru International Film festival, visitors turned up in large numbers and had an exciting line-up of film to catch up on. According to the Artistic Director of BIFFes, N Vidhyashankar, the weekend saw almost 15 to 20 thousand visitors thronging the PVR to watch a film. 

Among almost 50 national, international and regional films a serpentine line was seen for films like The Guilty (from Denmark), Ranganayaki (a classic Ambareesh starrer Kannada film ) and 3 faces (from Iran) among several others on the third day of the festival. 

Amidst the craze for these critically acclaimed films, visitors also found joy in finding out that food at the PVR cinema was served at slashed prices. "The food prices are cut by almost 70%. We have picked the best selling food and cut down the prices for the visitors. The organisers want people to enjoy the festival to the fullest," a PVR staff said. 

DH caught up with some of the visitors for their verdict on the first three days of the festival. 

"I did not come here on the first day, but the last two days have indeed felt like a festival," Dhruv, a literature student said. He rushed from one screen to another to watch films that he had been waiting for. "I wanted to watch The Burning (a South Korean film) but missed it because my friend wanted to watch The Wild Pear Tree. And then I caught with Shoplifters (a Japanese film). later on, in the day I managed to watch two more films, not fully though," Dhruv says who walked out of the screen before the films ended so that he could watch other films. 

Though the visitors realise it is practically impossible to watch all the movies scheduled, they did not expect the crowd that welcomed them at every screen. Like Raagini P, a corporate communications executive had planned to watch The Guilty but had to settle for The Realm owing to a long line and filled the theatre. "I think the BIFFes has attracted an amazing response. It is also the weekend crowd but not something I expected," Raagini says. Her friend, Sneha, a content writer agrees about the crowd and suggests multiple screenings of some of the popular films might help ease the crowd. "Some popular films are lined up at the same time, maybe they could be screened again," she says. "They could also create a list of 'hist-list' of films the visitors could watch. Many of them are clueless about what to watch," Sneha adds.

However, Raagini and Sneha like several others have no complaints about the kind of the genre of the scheduled films. "The list caters to all kinds of film enthusiasts. I think it is a good mixture of all kinds of films," Raagini says. 

They also have a suggestion to tackle the problem of visitors waiting in long lines for a film, but ending up reaching the door to a filled theatre. "A facility to book slots online might solve so many problems. it will also give an idea to visitors and the organisers about the footfall," Raagini says. 

"The energy here is amazing. I love everything about the BIFFes except for the long line. Maybe next year they should have more venues to screen the films. Though a single venue is great, it is small for the number of people," Preeti, a techie said. 

Sharath Kumar, a software professional feels it is natural and visitors should have patience. "The quality of films, the variety and the convenience of being in one venue are the positives of BIFFes. Naturally, several people will come to enjoy the experience. We have to enjoy even the long lines, be civil in it and savour the fruit of patience- the films," he says.