BIFFEes screens 250 movies in 8 days

Bengaluru International Film Festival screens 250 movies in 8 days

The Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), that will be held in the city from February 26 to March 4, will see 250 odd films being screened over eight days. The festival will master classes, retrospective segments and a new section called ‘Indian Musical Tradition and Cinema’, which will screen films on Thyagaraja, Purandaradasa, Swati Tirunal, Tansen, Baiju Bawra and Meera. Filmmakers from across the globe, whose films will be screened, are expected to arrive for the festival. Two of the filmmakers — Geetha J and Ananth Narayan Mahadevan — whose films will be screened in the ‘Indian Cinema Competition’, shared their experiences with Metrolife. Here’s what they had to say...    

Run Kalyani - Geetha J

Film writer and director Geetha J’s first feature film ‘Run Kalyani’, that was screened at Kolkata International Film Festival in November last year, is a story of a young woman whose life gets stuck in the everyday monotony. 
 Geetha says that she is intrigued by the lives ordinary people and wishes to bring a break into the set pattern. Geetha’s film will be screened in the ‘Indian Cinema Competition’ at the forthcoming BIFFes film festival. In an interview with Metrolife, Geetha talks about the film and more.  

What drove you to make this film?

The film was born out of a sense of being trapped in an everyday pattern of life. I have seen women being in that kind of a situation where they go through the every day grind. The more you understand life, the more you realise that life is not so monotonous and that there are immense possibilities to it.

Who is the protagonist in the film?

The story, pattern of life and the idea of how you can change things within a set framework is what inspired me to write the story around the life of a young cook. Kalyani is a woman with beauty, brains and her own desires. She works in three houses, including her own. As the stories in the three households slowly unfold, you will see the patterns changing ever so slightly till you get to see the complete change. Getting away from the monotonous setting is what more women, than men, desire to do. There is a deep metaphorical meaning to it. 

What is the crux of the story?

The film looks into many of the issues that are more common for women than men. The issues are only a subtext and it is up to the viewer to pick up the pertinent issues and think about it. Kalyani is a just a shadowy figure who moves from one house to another and one story to another.

Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/200 - Ananth Narayan Mahadevan

Actor-writer-filmmaker Ananth Narayan Mahadevan came across a newspaper editorial on the historic judgment that was based on a 13-year-long legal battle for Prabhavati Amma to get justice for her son Udayakumar who died in police custody in 2005. This case was so strong that the CBI stepped in and the mother finally got justice for her son.
  Ananth was eager to make this into a film and that’s how ‘Mai Ghat: Crime No. 103/2005’ was made. His film is now being screened in the ‘Indian Cinema Competition’ section at the 12th edition of BIFFes to be held between February 26 and March 4. In a quick chat with Metrolife, Ananth, talks about what inspired him to make the film, ahead of its screening in the city.   

What inspired you to make the film?

I read about this very historic judgement in the judiciary of India where two cops were being sentenced to death. This has never happened in judiciary before. Further probing revealed that this is the result of a 13-year fight by a lady called Prabhavati Amma, a mother in Thiruvanathapuram, who had fought for her son who was tortured to death in police custody. The film has so many layers to it because we not only spoke about custodial deaths or the courage of a mother, we also held a mirror to society. The film takes one through issues that crop up as a result of the economic disparity, caste-based politics and the debate of who is right and who is wrong. That is what drove me to make this film. 

What kind of research went into getting the details?

We wanted to keep it as real as possible. The first task was to convince Prabhavati Amma’s lawyer Siraj and Prabhavati herself that this was not going to be a typical Bollywood approach to cinema. Our film was a tribute to a mother and a mirror to the many issues in society. I got details of the case and how the CBI came from Delhi to take up the case for her. We spoke to Prabhavati to get the emotional side and combined it with real-time data.  

How do films like yours help the debate on custodial deaths?  

In the last six years, the number of custodial deaths have gone up by 50 per cent, not just in India but across the globe. The film talks about the wide disparity in pay scales, caste and creed and so many other issues plaguing society. It is our attempt to make people, audience and judiciary aware of the inequality in society. Films may not create a revolution, but they can create awareness and bring to light a lot of things.


The 12th edition of Bengaluru International Film Festival will be inaugurated today at Kanteerava Indoor Stadium at 6pm.

The guests expected to be there include:


Kannada actor Yash

Bollywood actor Boney Kapoor

Playback singer Sonu Nigam

Actor Jayapradha

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Seetharaman, among others.

The inaugural film is ‘Cinema Khar’ by director Shahed

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