Biffes launched, film centre mooted

Biffes launched, film centre mooted

As the seventh Bengaluru International Film Festival (Biffes) formally kicked off here on Thursday, the State government unveiled a grand plan: An international convention centre dedicated to films and film festivals, complete with a six-screen multiplex close to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

Also on the government’s agenda is a film policy that will be worked out in consultation with filmmakers, artistes and other stakeholders linked to the industry, and a permanent festival cell. Both Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Infrastructure Development Minister R Roshan Baig agreed to work on the policy, a demand voiced by the new Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy chairman Rajendra Singh Babu.

Showcasing 175 films from 45 countries, Biffes will get going in 11 screens across the City from December 4 to 11. Here’s a glimpse of what is in store for the City’s movie buffs: Over 60 films in the ‘Cinema of the World’ section; nine films in Asian cinema competition; 10 films each in the Indian cinema and Kannada cinema competitions; retrospectives of Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Zanussi, a Kannada retrospective featuring films based on U R Ananthamurthy’s works.

The launch had renowned filmmaker Govind Nihalani emphasing the relevance of film festivals in an Internet-connected world. “Cinema is more than entertainment. It has a very big role in contemporary culture. Festivals such as these give us a chance to discuss cinema’s relevance to newly emerging financial models and history,” he pointed out.

Suhasini Maniratnam connected well with the packed gathering when she confessed she had done more Kannada films than Tamil films. But she did not agree with Rajendra Singh Babu’s contention that Kannada film industry was now in the intensive care unit. “It is not in ICU. Kannada cinema has been an inspiration to Indian cinema, with gems like ‘Kaadu’ and ‘Chomana Dudi.’

“When masala films ruled the Tamil industry, a parallel cinema movement had taken root here,” she recalled. Suhasini’s only regret: No Kannada art / parallel cinema producer offered her a role.

Siddaramaiah and Baig wanted Kannada cinema to return to those roots, where quality films ruled. By ridiculing the trend to include “double-meaning dialogue” in current films, Baig reiterated the quality question. Kannada actors Yash and Meghana Raj were also present on the occasion.

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