I keep reading stuff like this often about Indian Film Festivals happening abroad where most of the prominent actors meet film buffs and discuss cinema and answer questions. They are all Indian movies and Indian actors for gods sake so why not have movie festivals in our own country. Why should an average Indian miss out on new-gen movies like Black Friday or Paanch because the censors don’t allow them for release?
I live in a relatively small metro like Hyderabad and getting International Movies I accept is quite difficult. I can keep shouting foul that Syriana and Crash along with Chutney Popcorn release in Mumbai and Bangalore and not here but that won’t change a thing. I anyway satiate my movie thirst by resorting to the less appreciated paths to get movies but sometimes I do miss out on the good stuff. For example -Black Friday. Here was a movie that for the first time showcased in some light the way the mafia worked during the 1993 blasts and I don’t get my hands on it for a full yr after its release. In the mean time, every person in all the other continents have already seen the film and it is now history. Why should I be left out in this bureaucratic idiosyncrasy?
The only movie festival that is routinely held in Hyd is the Children’s Film festival and now I have lost count as to which edition was last held. The only other effort made is by the HFC (the Hyderabad Film Club) that was founded in 1960 but even today has only around 40 members. The festivals include retro’s on Iranian and French Film-makers and trust me – the quality of movies is very good, but on most occasions they get cancelled due to the lack of any turn-out. Also the place where it is held is a dingy pre-independence auditorium with loud speakers for sound system and that takes half of the fun out of movie viewing.
Recently, there was a film festival held in Mumbai called MAMI that showcased some of the better movies made in the last 5yrs but apparently they registered very less turn out and the cost involved in organizing such a festival was so high that the private financers registered huge losses. So why organize them on week-days between 9 to 5?
I, for one love good cinema. I want to watch Parzania too. I want to watch Paanch and Blue Umbrella. I want to see Manthan on a big-screen, sit back and enjoy Naseer. I want to hear Rahman in “Warriors of Heaven and Earth” & “Water”. These movies are supposed to be world class. Don’t we Indian’s belong there? Is that too much to ask?
I love film festivals. I am willing to spend a thousand bucks for a weekend full of good movies. Let them be even just a handful and I will not miss one. Organize one Q&A session with Vishal Bhardwaj and I will consider it an icing on the cake. It should not be so difficult. Most of the films that I have mentioned above will never see a release anyways so why not guise them in the form of festivals and put them up?
Good Indian Films that deal with the travails of our country are shown abroad before makers even contemplate releasing it here. The movies are routinely sent out to the festivals at Venice, Toronto & Paris before the common man here even knows about the existence of such films. Then what’s the point in making movies about the situations here? Aren’t movies supposed to be a medium to let the common man know about the prevailing conditions in our country by showcasing them to the very people about whom it is about? Why the stp-motherly treatment to our own people?
More about the happening Film Festivals here.
A very Good Collection of Movies, reviews and news-letters out of Bangalore.