Biffes faces tech glitch

A sudden shift in the technology of projecting films from analogue to the digital mode in most of the City theatres, has caught the organisers of the Bangalore International Film Festival (Biffes), off guard.

The fifth edition of Biffes, to be held between December 20 and December 27, will see around 160 regional, national and international films being showcased on seven screens in – Inox, Garuda Mall (3 screens); Lido Fame (2 screens); Sulochana Information Department (1 screen); and Priyadarshini, Badami House (1 screen).

The Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, which is organising the festival, however, hadn’t anticipated the shift so rapidly. With as many as 40 films among 160 being available only on the analogue format, the organisers are faced with a logistical glitch.

Anand Varadaraj, Coordinator of the Festival told Deccan Herald that though the Academy faced a few technical problems during last year’s festival, the nature of the problem this time around was quite unique.

“The technology has changed so suddenly that we were forced to request Inox to retain at least one 35 mm projector, as all theatres have done away with the projectors.

Just last year we realised that there were so many digital formats. But this year, most of theatres have already adopted the change. Most theatres, including the lesser known on the City outskirts, too have gone digital.

“ We also realised that people handling the logistical end of the festival, have to be specifically trained to handle the new advents,” he said.

Varadaraj said if there were to be any major technical problems during the festival, nobody really was equipped enough to “fix” them.

“The difficult part is scheduling the films and ensuring that they don’t overlap,” he added.
He, however said that, the new technology had its own advantages, one of them being their transport. With prints being available in digital format, they not only came in small packages, they were also cost effective. Unlike reels or films, the digital format ensured that there’s no piracy of the films.

Complete digitisation

Mohit Bhargava, Regional General Manager, Inox India Limited, said that just this month Inox completed the digitisation of its screens.

“The transition started about seven months ago. This month we completed the process in all 257 screens in 34 cities nation wide. All Inox and Fame cinemas now have state-of-the-art facilities, in terms of modern projection and acoustic systems,” he said.

The management of Inox and Fame spent more than a year of research and planning to transform the entire cinema chain into the “most modern digital cinema network in the world.”

The entire chain is now equipped with DCI-compliant integrated projection systems with High Frame Rate (HFR) included.

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