~ Aryashree

It was a raging success when it hit the screens. The nerve-wracking anticipation and the essence of Mr. Pawan Kumar’s plotline made it one of the most awaited and well-appreciated movies of all time. To add to the repertoire, is the nomination of U Turn in the Asian Film Competition section of BIFFes!


Pawan Kumar talking about his movie U-Turn, which is the Asian Cinema Competition. PHOTOCREDITS : ASHIK ROSHAN 

“It feels amazing to have U Turn in the Asian competition”, said Pawan Kumar, pride resonating in his words. “It wasn’t expected at the least. I had thought that it would be a part of the Kannada competition, but this is indeed an honour to be representing a Kannada film as part of the continent.”
The renowned filmmaker known for his out-of-the-box and intense portrayal of concepts, feels humbled to be a part of this film festival. “Although I’ve been to a lot of national and international film festivals, this is one festival that I look forward to the most. I have apprehensions about the selection of my films, as part of this festival.”
He also explained the open ending climax of U Turn, saying that was how it was intended; in order to provoke a diverse opinion. Have you watched the movie yet?


5 highlights from day one of BIFFES

– Dhatri S Aradhya
“It’s my first time coming to a film festival” gleams Anita as she waits in queue for the first movie of the day to screen. It’s the 3rd of February, which means Day 1 of the week long Bengaluru International Film Festival. It is an understood fact that Day 1s call for the most attention. From the food stalls, to the hour long discussions, to the passionate audience, to the wise guests who patiently stroked the venue with their happy, aloof walks, and most importantly, to the many many movies that became a part of the watcher’s world; this year’s Film Festival, as a delegate would kindly suggest with a cheery nod “is going good.” To enunciate, here are 5 moments that made the festival’s opening day special:


1. Any festival would be redundant without its audience. The thousands of people that turned up, made for an overwhelmingly positive response. Alvar Basha who has been attending the festival for the past 4-5 years, even got his wife along this year to provide her a taste of what a film Festival is like. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to watch good movies (sic)” he states seriously. On the other hand, to Anita V it meant an escape from the dreary obligations of everyday life and family. She repeats, excited “It’s my first time coming to a film festival…My only expectation is good movies”. A Saraswati has been avidly following and attending many film festivals, however “this one” she says “after attending the past two years, has been the best, yet”
2. With firsts also comes flaws. In Spite of the careful organising by the biffes team, there were more than a few technical glitches that made for awkward silences. One such example was an incident of no national anthem playing at cue before the start of the first show of the day. The delegates, however,  took matters into their own hands and sang the anthem themselves. (And smirked in comical gesture when the song was actually played later) it was a moment that truly encapsulated the energy of the day.
3.  At 11.30, delegates and alike, eagerly gathered at screen 11 to experience the first session of the day – Production and Marketing of Films. In discussion with CEO of CFSI, Shravan Kumar, and Professor Raghunath of IIMB – there were important points raised by the latter on the sad reality of the lack of linkage between content creators and value chain. Using Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Comics as an example, Professor Raghunath also insisted on the importance of organised production, in supporting good content. Shravan Kumar strongly believes in making the movie experience more inclusive of children by “truly exposing them to the medium they are maximum exposed to (cinema)”. The audience after this informative session were left with more answers than questions.
4. To provide more sensitisation on the function of media, was Mr. Suryaprakash, Chairman of Prasar Bharati. Speaking primarily on the role of Public Service Broadcaster, Mr. Suryaprakash provided much needed insight into the historical, political, social, and recreational functions of Prasar Bharati. Using the motto of “Information, Education, and Entertainment”, the channel has been of utmost importance in the handling of Polio disease and female empowerment. “This isn’t a government’s campaign, it’s a nation’s campaign” he argues. He also spoke on the efforts they have made to promote regional, critically acclaimed movies. His points were so crucial that they raised a plethora of questions from the audience, to which he answered truthfully and patiently.
5. And lastly, the movies themselves. The day began with the heart-warming letters from prague and ended with the Hungarian Kills on wheels  and the Croatian On the other side. In between the two, there was constant scuffling of delegates from one screen to another, schedule booklets in hand, deeply immersed into deciding which movie to watch next. But there was also the absolute, emotionally charged silence only a house-full theater can provide. With more than 40 movies being screened, it truly was an eventful first day.

It’s time we break the shackles of Censorship!

Ananya K S

“A film festival should be a platform for rare and unheard films to be screened. This should create an opportunity for the commercial film makers to watch art films which are aesthetically rich and can make an impact”, said Mr. M.S. Sathyu, a leading film director, stage designer and art director, as one of the jury at the 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival. Expressing his deep concerns towards the lobby that the vernacular film industries are turning out to be today, he says making films without any taste or love for it makes no sense and serves no point.

“Politicizing cinema is not how you make it popular or dear to people. A cinema should be something that depicts what is there and yet not seen by the naked eye. It is all about exploring the unseen corners of the known world. It should be a medium which can bridge the worlds of fantasy and reality”, he said, as he advocated the screening of documentaries at the film festivals and also suggested that having documentaries voice out the true concerns of various lands will be the best way to have the people know about the dark realities and the stark contrasts between human lives on this planet. “We should consider the screening of biopics and documentaries and other films that deal with socio-political issues, for they are the true stories that people can instantly connect with,” said Mr. Sathyu, speaking on the new trend in the films that are trying to keep the story line majorly happy and rosy.

“The censorship of films is a very British thing and existed only to make sure nothing against them went on to reach people. Today, even after decades of India Independence, we have chained the filmmakers with the burden censorship and are only curtailing their creative expression. Rather, with a well-defined set of guidelines and proper laws about the content of the cinema, we probably should let the makers of the movie to go ahead freely and discover new arenas of the industry’’, he said, clearly rejecting the effectiveness and utility of censorship.

Mr. Sathyu expressed his appreciation towards the organization of this festival, which he has been a part from a couple of years now. “In comparison to the film festivals held at Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kerala, this is relatively in its inception and yet is a job done great”, he says. The idea of having a venue with all the screens under the same roof facilitates viewers to enjoy the movie viewing experience having not bothered about the hassles in traveling distances is what he has to say.


How many of us can peer through the life of another? Relate our lives to those of others and seek a strange sense of comfort? To be able to see and perceive the nuances of living as though an echo of multitude layers is how the experience of Anna’s Life will be.

The life of a single mother in the working class of Georgia, the film contours on the depth of troubles Anna undergoes, as she progresses in her struggle to live. Anna proves to be the stance of strength to every woman out there. Here’s why:

  1. Feminism: Anna provides a strong female front throughout; struggling and yet standing powerful in facing all the odds against her
  2. Sense of morality: we all experience dichotomies in our lives at every point. To be, or not to be. This self-crisis is beautifully illustrated in the film, making it every woman’s novice entrance into a troubled life.
  3. Underlying emotions: People who are inadvertently mentally affected surround Anna. While she tries to remain stable in her stance, and balance the other elements of her life, her emotions take a toll. She is the strength of all those around her.
  4. Loneliness: the feeling of emptiness hits intensely as Anna tries to cope up with being alone and finding love in unconventional places.
  5. Happiness: Anna seeks out happiness in the smallest things. When she finds out that her autistic son has learned how to use a fork, it brings her great joy. Finding happiness in the tiniest sources is truly a woman’s calling?


– Aryashree.

9th BIFFES | 2nd to 9th Feb 2017

We are pleased to announce the 9th edition of BIFFES, the Bengaluru International Film Festival to be held during February 2nd to 9th, 2017 in Bengaluru and Mysuru.

The festival is being organized by the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy for Government of Karnataka supported by Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.

Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka State in India, is an important centre of International film culture in keeping with Karnataka’s glorious heritage and the State’s achievements in the fields of literature, fine arts, and cinema. The Kannada Film Industry has made signal contribution to the quality and range of cinematic expression and grown to produce over a 100 films every year. Films from Karnataka have won national and international recognition and critical acclaim at various Film Festivals.

We would like to recall here that our 8th edition which was held during January 28th-05 February, 2016 was a resounding success with screening of more than 200 films across 15 screens from over 50 countries. The festival witnessed more than 8000 delegates who enjoyed and appreciated the quality of cinema.

The ninth edition, to be held during February 2 – February 09, 2017, will have different sections as mentioned below. Selection of films will be made by expert committees.
1. Cinema of the World
2. Asian Cinema
3. Indian Cinema
4. Kannada cinema
5. Retrospectives
6. Country Focus
7. Restored Classics
8. Homage/Remembrances
9. FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) award winners
10. Network for promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) award winners
11. Bio-Pics

Like in the previous editions Competitive sections for Asian, Indian and Kannada Cinema will be held with handsome Cash prizes. A special section for Kannada Cinema of popular Entertainment is also being added this year with special awards.

The festival will also host various forums for academic interactions like seminars, Workshops, Masterclasses etc., for the benefit of film professionals, discerning audiences and students on different aspects of cinema.

We invite filmmakers, film critics and the film fraternity to participate in the festival. We sincerely hope the film lovers will utilize this opportunity to enroll as delegates and enjoy the contemporary world cinema and the classics.

Masterclass with Resul Pookutty


           rasool pookutty

Pookutty‘s passion for sound design and his clarity, in knowing, that sound is one part of a film, made his talk most enlightening even to laypersons. He started his session by answering questions from the audience. He took each question very seriously and answered most exhaustively.

Thus during his talk he recounted the history of sound design in movies and the important milestones in technology in the field of sound design. He spoke about the importance of sound in a movie and how it givesmeaning to a scene-he gave an example of a car moving across a scene. It is through the sound that we realise whether the car is a petrol or diesel engine. Whether the car is running on gravel, sand or any other. Or how each film needed a different feel which is most often created by sound-India’s Daughter portrayed the protagonist as a hero and not someone who needs sympathy. Or how it can alter the pitch of an actor’s or singer’s voice making it more conducive,

He spiced it up with anecdotes from his childhood and experiences with actors and directors. He added a personal touch wherever possible when talking about his work and the challenges and fears he felt when starting a difficult project.

In the end it must be said that his clear-headedness, in seeing sound as something that could enhance, or spoil a movie instilled a strong curiosity in each of his viewers about sound design and its impact on movies.

Purna Prabhakar is a third year B.A student of Jain University. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic movie buff.  

Mani Ratnam: The gem of Indian cinema

mani ratnam.JPG

“I’m privileged!”, was the thought running across everyone present at the 8th Bengaluru International Film Festival, to attend the interactive session with the famed director, Maniratnam, the super star of Indian cinema. Mr. Mani who, readily agreed to come to the festival,engaged the audience in an interactive session, moderated by Mrs. Ira Bhaskhar, professor of media studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Mr. Mani kicked off his film career with the Kannada film, Pallavi Anu Pallavi. He cited renowned Tamil director, K. Balanchander as being his inspiration and reason to get into cinema. On being asked how he tackled the drawbacks in his early years as a filmmaker, he simply said, “You can’t be afraid of pain if you come into cinema. Once you’ve undergone pain, you’re ready for anything!” He also talked of the period of disillusionment when he was filming his first film. It took Mr. Mani, four films to get to Mauna Raagam. Those four films gave him clarity in his life and, in his style of filmmaking. He says “People should be taught how to handle success, not failure. Failure will teach you”, this way, young filmmakers can beat their arrogance.

Mani Ratnam is known for the believable ambience in his films. His films prove that it is possible to do mainstream cinema with sensibility and realism. This is his grounding rule. While writing his films, Mr. Mani draws inspiration from other cinema, whatever is happening around him and, by relating to something that has happened in his life. “The script is not the Bible; it can change”, he says and, Mr. Mani is fine with this change, as long as it does not destroy the essence of the story. He says that, in the writing stage, the descriptions of the characters for his films are merely abstract and so, it is the actor who makes the character and thus, the film. On breaking the melodramatic tone of Indian films, he says he has strived to tune himself to the effects of globalization and the new generation of youngsters.

Towards the end of the seminar, Mr. Mani thanked the people of Bangalore for aiding and providing relief for the victims of the Chennai Flood. And to top it all off, Mr. Mani announced that he would be coming back to Kannada cinema with a film produced by S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu.

N.T.Giridharan is a first year student of B.Voc at St.Josephs College. He is also a gaming addict and passionate painter. 

The making of Placebo: Discussion with Archana Phadke


Placebo is a 2014 Indian documentary that exposes the dire constraints that medical students face, often, forcing them to death, in AIIMS. Abhay Kumar who had lost his brother to this malady, resolved to document the monster, that is the isolation and peer pressure, lurking about in the hostels of AIIMS. Archana Phadke, the co – director of Placebo, was at the 8th Bengaluru International Film Festival to discuss the making of Placebo.

The documentary was shot over a period of 2 years and, was compiled from 900 hours of footage. Abhay went undercover to AIIMS, in the guise of a student, and shot the whole thing with a handycam. Archana Phadke says, “The juniors thought he was a senior, the seniors thought he was a junior and, the teachers thought he was a student”, which is probably why he was never caught. Initially, they had set out to make a documentary on campus depression and how to combat it but, after witnessing 5 suicides, on campus, while they were shooting, they felt they had a responsibility to expose the raw truth, so they made the documentary the way it is and, the theme changed to self – inflicted violence.

Abhay went about, secretly, interviewing 4 students on campus, the most prominent and intriguing one being K a.k.a., Kuldeep. K opened up to Abhay like no one else had, in the hostels. The students revealed the dismal conditions of hostel life, the isolation, the peer pressure and, the superficial relationships that they share with each other, all leading to severe mental health issues and eventually, death. Anil’s incident is heart – rending. A sincere and dedicated student coming from a rural village, Anil was prejudiced against only because, he didn’t know English. “He was dead for the whole time when he was in AIIMS, he came alive only when he died”, Archana says, which she believes, is true, for all the students who had committed suicide in AIIMS.

When asked if their documentary would bring about any social change, Archana said, “We only know how to make films, not social change. This [documentary] is just the ground for social change”. Nevertheless, the team of Placebo is planning an impact campaign and, fund raiser to teach teachers to empathize with their students, peers to their juniors, and parents to their children.

N.T Giridharan is a first year B.Voc Student of St.Josephs College. He is also an avid gamer and painter.

Chikka Putta: Discussion with the Director

Imagine a Government law preventing children from attending school? The Right to Education Act [RTE], in Karnataka, is doing just that. Chikka Putta is a non – fiction, observational documentary that focuses on the education and activities of young students and their teachers in a Dalit, village school called Sita School, which is now endangered by the RTE Act.Saumyananda Sahi, the Director of the film, along with the Editor and Gaffer, Tanushree Das and, the Sound designer, Manoj M. Goswami, attended the 8th Bengaluru International Film Festival, held at Orion Mall, on the 29th of January 2016, to discuss their documentary and interact with the audience.

Saumyananda Sahi, worrying he would never get to experience and, longing to experience his childhood school again, decided to return to it and capture the essence of Sita School, Silvepura, in Bangalore, a school his mother had set up and, one that he had studied under. He went there with a motley crew and, instead of interfering with the classes or being an alien presence, he and, his team integrated themselves into the schools’ curriculum. Saumyananda made a conscious decision not to interfere in the children’s personal life, so he chose to let the children tell the story themselves, be it through their actions, conversations, drawings, paintings or designs. He would only follow the children to where ever they were going and, film anything they would do or say. The documentary does not merely focus on the students’ learning, but also their perceptions of mature subjects like life and death.

Tanushree Das, the editor, had the tough job of cutting down 3 years worth of footage into a 68 minute film. But, her cardinal rule, that is, projecting to the audience what she herself enjoys, held her in good stead. Her sense of responsibility, guided by her ethics, told her that she is not looking at rushes or film clips but, at people’s lives at the editing table. Manoj M. Goswami, who worked on the sound, tuned the background score to match the children’s mood, skillfully jumping the music’s emotion from cheerful to foreboding. The director lays emphasis on the model of education at Sita School, which effectively intertwines Art and Education into its curriculum, a form of learning which is threatened and, looked down upon by the RTE Act. The school which, for 35 years now, has been educating young children in Silvepura, is being forced to conform itself to a strict curriculum. Soon, the school will only have to teach its students out of textbooks and blackboards. If not, it will have to shut down, leaving many of its students and teachers in the lurch.

N.T Giridharan is a First year student of B.Voc at St.Jospehs College, Bangalore. He is also a gaming addict with a passion towards painting too. 

Sworn Virgin

sworn virgin

Laura Bispuri’s directorial debut ‘Sworn Virgin’ portrays an age old Albanian tradition of a woman disowning her identity as a woman to pose as a man which is taken along with a strict vow of chastity.

Hana’s (protagonist Alba Rohrwacher) journey from being an orphan, to being adopted by an orthodox Albanian family, her relationship with her foster family, her vows and finally her reclamation of her sexual identity is depicted with most simplicity without any hint of judgement.

The movie starts off with Mark’s (Hana’s male identity) trip to Italy to visit her foster sister with whom she once shared a strong relationship.Her mute shock at this chrome and glass city and her realisation of her sexuality contrasts most effectively with the lush, pristine cliffs and valleys of her adolescence. The heavy restrictions on women and their casual abuse affect her deeply. Through startling flashbacks Hana’s pastis pieced together-her foster father castigating his two daughters about being an easy victim, her mother’s warnings about how a woman should behave, the father seeing defiance in Hana begins to train her to become masculine, her sister’s elopement to escape an unhappy marriage and finally Hana’s vows to forswear her womanhood.

In the city without the ample restrictions on her she eventually finds it in herself to discard the identity she took on under duress and reclaim her sexuality.

More than a stand against woman abuse, the film simply shows this tradition in its most unbiased form. It is left to the film watchers to form their own opinions.

Purna Prabhakar is a third year B.A student of Jain University. She is an avid reader and a devoted movie buff.