Noted offbeat Kannada film-maker P Seshadri’s latest ouevre Bharat Stores, is the lone Kannada film that finds a place in the prestigious Indian panorama section at the ensuing International Film Festival of India 2013, to be held in Goa from November 20-30, 2013.
The film, which, incidentally fetched Seshadri his seventh consecutive National Award for Best Kannada Film at the 60th National Film Award, spotlights on the sensitive and contentious issue of allowing foreign direct investment in retail in India and its consequences on local kirana stores.
Dealing with subject with his familiar elan and deftness, the film, through its protagonist petty businessman Govinda Shetty, succinctly brings to fore the perils and the counter-productive nature of such a step by the government. How the government’s move will result in the closure of neighbour shops, whose owners have a personal rapport with their customers, forms the fulcrum of Bharat Stores. H G Dattatreya, himself, two time national award winning actor, too received a special mention for his eponymous role played with his proverbial acumen and understanding. Kannada cinema, in Indian Panorama 2012 saw Girish Kasarvalli’s Kurmaavatara as lone entrant, while in 2011 it was Seshadri’s Bettada Jeeva, and 2010 Kasarvalli’s Kanasemba Kudureyaneri, has only Seshadri’s Bharat Stores among 25 feature films being be showcased at the film festival.
According to Directorate of Film Festivals’ Indian Panorama Deputy Director K Prashant Kumar, the nine member jury lead by renowned film-maker and editor B Lenin, which took 21 days to finalise the selections, picked 25 out of the total 210 entries it had received. While K R Manoj’s Malayala film Kanyaka Talkies will flagged of the Indian Panorama showcase at the 44th IIFI, 2013, the section will see six Malayalam, five Bengali, three Marathi, one Oriya and one Tamil film being screened. One film Ko:Yad by Manju Borah, in the Tibeto-Burman language Mising for the first time also features in the list.
Incidentally, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar’s Konkani film Baga Beach and Veena Bakshi’s English/Konkani film The Coffin Maker, also form part of panorama package, which comprises four Hindi films which include Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s much acclaimed Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Umesh Shukla’s OMG Oh My God, Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Pan Singh Tomar and Avinash Kumar Singh’s Listen Amaya.