Forum on the need for film fests

The forum had filmmakers from many countries talking about the significance of film festivals in the present day

(From left) Filmmakers Sudarshan Narayana, Rahul Rawali,Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar and Somendra Harsh discussed the role of film festivals and the need to promote its culture on an international level. dh photos by S K Dinesh

The Open Forum, which has been an integral part of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) for the past 30 years, was inaugurated at BIFFes on Saturday.

Organised by Federation of Film Societies Of India, Southern Region in collaboration with Bengaluru International Film Festival, the forum included Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy and festival director (BIFFes); Rahul Rawali, filmmaker; Somendra Harsh, festival director of Rajasthan International Film Festival; Sudarshan, filmmaker and Ravi Bharwani, director and producer of the well-known Indonesian film ’27 Steps of May’.

The discussion centred around the role of film festivals in promoting its culture and the need for more film festivals, especially regional films and mini-festivals, across the country.

“Festivals like these help attract the young crowd and to understand what good cinema is,” asserts Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar. He adds that it enables people to interact with filmmakers and artistes and exchange views.

He also notes the reach of social media can be advantageous to cinema. “As it reaches audiences far and wide, this is the right time to promote film festivals,” he says.

The forum also had raised a proposition for travelling film festivals. Chandrashekhar says, “Our idea is to take good content to people. We also have plans to take these films to villages.”

Filmmaker Rahul Rawali expressed that the huge turn out at BIFFes surprised him.

“Indian cinema has so much to offer. We have to fuel the hunger in young kids to get into films,” he says.

He also opined that the government should set up agencies that have placements for aspiring actors just like other college placements.

Ravi Bharwani, Indonesian filmmaker shares that Indonesia does not host any such big film festivals. “The reason is the lesser number of good quality films. People stick to local films and there is no diversity. But inspired by festivals all over, the trend is changing now,” he says.

While Sudarshan Narayana, Sydney-based filmmaker known for his award-winning Kannada film ‘Thallana’, feels that there’s no need to worry about the future of film culture in India. He also notes that Indian films lack variety.

He further adds, “People should be allowed to watch what they are interested in, and film festivals like these do exactly the same.”

He also stressed on the need for travelling film festivals in India and suggested BIFFes to be organised in different parts of the state.

Throughout the forum, the need for government support for film festivals was highly stressed. The festival will also be launching three books on cinema.

The Open Forum
Introduced at the Thiruvananthapuram Filmotsav in 1988, The Open Forum provides a platform for filmmakers, actors, jury members and organisers of film festivals from India and abroad to exchange their views.

A session on the importance of visual effects in films
There was also a session on the importance of visual effects in films. Well-known VFX artist Prasad Vasant Sutar shared his experiences of working on films like ‘Padmaavat’, ‘Jagga Jasoos’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

He explained how visual effects involve the integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create environments that look realistic by screening the before and after videos of the films he worked in.

“You need to make the viewer believe that what they are seeing is real. It could be a dragon, a fairytale castle, a rainstorm, a big wave, and more and VFX is the most advanced technology used to give the scene a more realistic look,” he says.

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Forum on the need for film fests

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