BIFFES gets bigger, CM Yediyurappa promises more for Sandalwood

Last Updated 26 February 2020, 19:58 IST

The 12th edition of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes) kicked off with much fanfare on Wednesday, with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa inaugurating the event at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Ironically, there was a minimal representation from the Kannada film industry, with just actor Yash being one of the four chief guests.

Other prominent faces from the film fraternity were Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor, singer Sonu Nigam and actress and former parliamentarian Jayaprada.

Wishing the chief minister ahead of his 77th birthday on Thursday, Sunil Puranik, chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy, said the chief minister had sanctioned Rs 5 crore to Sandalwood.

Puranik said he intends to use the money to conduct workshops and courses in film-making. He also requested Yediyurappa to provide health facilities and educational opportunities to children of film industry members.

“Having a museum, archives, a storyboard/bank, a library for the Kannada film industry has been my dream. The chief minister sanctioned Rs 5 crore for our industry. I intend to use it for the betterment of the art of film-making,” he said, in his welcome address.

Yediyurappa on his part appreciated the increasing number of films being screened at BIFFes every year.

“I first inaugurated BIFFes in 2009, and it has grown leaps and bounds every year. It is heartening to see that the number of films being screened this year has risen to 450 from some 300 last year. One would also hope the quality to improve in tandem. Cinema has the power to influence society,” he said.

“The government is doing everything in its power to assist Sandalwood. Children’s films are also being promoted. I will consider Puranik’s demands. Hope the glorious days of Satyajit Ray come back soon in making meaningful cinema,” he added.

Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor recalled starting his career at Melkote in 1980 when he produced ‘Hum Paanch’.

Actress and former MP Jayaprada walked down the memory lane, recalling her days staring opposite late thespian Rajkumar, which gave a huge impetus to her career and added that Kannada cinema played a major role in her career.

Singer Sonu Nigam regaled a jam-packed Kanteerava Stadium by singing his hit Kannada score ‘Anisuthide yaako indu’. He said he has sung better compositions in Kannada than any of 27 other languages and quipped that probably he was a Kannadiga in his previous birth.

Actor Yash requested the chief minister to construct a big tax-free film studio in Bengaluru. “ The state is a powerhouse of talent. We would like to shoot here instead of going to other states,” he said.

(Published 26 February 2020, 19:09 IST)

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