'Film festivals are sacrosanct'

'Film festivals are sacrosanct'
Filmmakers tend to draw their inspiration from the unlikeliest quarters around them and popular Kannada filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli always manages to transform the simplest of things that he sees around him into something extraordinary on the big screen.

 He is currently on the jury of the eighth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) and says that he has been hopping from one film screening to another. “I’ve been attending this particular film festival for the last five years but this time not only has the array of films got bigger but even the audience for Indian cinema, with Kannada cinema in particular, has grown,” Girish says. In an interview with Nina C George, he talks  about the importance of film festivals and what keeps him going.

BIFFes has got bigger and better...

Yes, it is bigger this year and the turnout for all the films is good. It is also better organised this year with both the interactions with film directors and the film screenings being held in one place rather than in different locations. This has also contributed to the success of the festival and got more people to attend.

Your take on the quality of films at BIFFes this year. I haven’t had a chance to watch all the films. But I think there were some really good films last year. I haven’t come across anything different this year.   

Film festivals are every filmmaker’s favourite haunt. Is it the same for you?

Film festivals are sacrosanct because they provide every movie buff an opportunity to see and understand the changes happening in cinema across the world. It is also important for filmmakers because they get to see the changes in film language, use of idioms, change of expression — all this is important to understand the changes in the world of cinema. This year for BIFFes, there is not only a huge line-up to watch European cinema but the audience for Indian cinema, especially Kannada, has swelled.

What inspires you to make films?

Writing the screenplay, directing and penning the dialogues has given me the room to capture and incorporate some of my life’s experiences. Also, some of the socially relevant issues that I see around me inspire me to make films. My films are an expression of what I see and feel around me. It is also a reflection of what is happening in society.

Your advice to young filmmakers. Making a film comes with a sense of responsibility. I would urge all young filmmakers to not only make films for commercial gain and success but work on
subjects that are socially relevant and those that reflect reality. This will go a long way in not only honing their skills but the experience that comes with working on such films is invaluable.
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