When arts transcend boundaries

Biffes calling

When arts transcend boundaries

Movie stars, movie buffs, international directors, homegrown critics, eager students, new actors – everyone rubbed shoulders and chatted animatedly as the ninth edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival started off in a grand manner.

     Even with all these differences, it was a common love that bought them together; a love for cinema. And from the large number of foreign delegates present, it was clear that art knows no boundaries.

Priscilla Anany, a US citizen who hails from Ghana, is a director who has come for the screening of her film, ‘Children of the mountain’. “I want people to watch the film and enjoy it. I want them to feel the same spirit that I put into the making of the film,” she said.

When asked if she planned to watch any Indian films at the festival, Priscilla said, “At the festival maybe, but even otherwise I do watch Indian films. I have watched a few Bollywood movies, though while watching these, I fast forward all the songs. I have also watched some other, more recent films that are more like serious dramas; I really enjoyed those.”

Arie Ruttenberg and Irit Azni are film buffs from Israel who have come to India just to watch this film festival. “We are interested in the Indian film industry and are looking forward to seeing which of their movies participate in this festival,” Arie said. “We are looking forward to meeting some people from the film industry too. Maybe we will be able to participate in an Indian and Israeli co-production,” he added.

Apart from that dream project, they look forward to getting their fill of Indian cinema in the coming days. “We like Indian cinema very much. We saw some independent movies and some local productions which we loved,” said Irit.

“The special structure of the Indian movie intrigues us. The classical Indian movie is built in a different way than the European movie with the music, the emotional storylines, the longer formats etc,” chipped in Arie.

A little further away from them stood poet and film maker Dalmira Tilepbergenova and actor Iman mukul from Kyrgyzstan. They had come for the screening of Kyrgyz movie ‘A Father’s Will’ which won quite a lot of global recognition.

“There are similarities between the movies we make in Kyrgyzstan and the ones made in India, especially in terms of topics, says Dalmira. “A lot of our movies are made on the topic of love. But our nomadic culture is totally different from what we see here though I guess that is what makes us interesting to each other,” adds the award-winning film maker who says her favourite Indian filmmaker is Satyajit Ray.

Priscilla agrees about the fact that we have more in common than differences. “Coming from West Africa, I feel our cultures are quite similar. I could especially identify with the rural India shown in the movies here,” she says.

“Also, some of the Indian movies that I have loved have somewhat of a female agenda. They talk about female empowerment and other issues which I think are great,” she adds.

Sergey Anashkin, a film critic from Russia, says that he hopes to get an insight and understanding of Indian culture, food habits and way of life of the Indian people through the films that are screened during the film festival.

    “I would like to understand the thought process that goes behind making Indian films. Actor Amitabh Bachchan is very popular in Russia and although, we don’t follow the language, we like the way the films are made,” says Sergey. He also points out that Indian films are very realistic in content and are shot in an interesting format. “I would like to watch all the films that are being screened during this festival,” adds Sergey.

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