2nd Biffes – 2008

January 3, 2008 – January 10, 2008

The 2nd Bengaloru International Film Festival, was held for a week from January 3 to 10, 2008 with all the trappings of any major film event of its kind. There was the main Cinema of the World section featuring some of the most outstanding films made in various parts of the world over the past couple of years, in addition to separate sections for Contemporary Indian Cinema, Documentary films, Country focus(South Africa & Hungary), retrospectives of celebrated Directors(Kenji Mizoguchi of Japan, Julio Medem of Spain, Im Kwan Tek of Korea and Ashoka Handagama of Sri Lanka) and Technicians(Editor Suresh Urs), Seminars, workshops, media get together, parties and the whole works. A large contingent of eminent film makers from India and abroad, Film festival organizers, Film Society activists participated in the festival as special delegates. More than 140 films were screened during the festival. The festival was attended by more than 2000 delegates, a large part of it being that of the new generation of film enthusiasts. It also saw the enthusiastic participation of the members of the Kannada film Industry comprising of Artistes, film makers and the various industry organisations. The attention it received from the media was stupendous.

The Festival committee, was headed by Girish Kasaravalli, one of the leading filmmakers in the world today, and a high- profile committee of eminent advisers drawn from various walks of life was the guiding force behind the festival. An organizing committee headed by veteran journalist and Chairman of the Karnataka Media Academy, V. N. Subba Rao, took up the responsibility of putting the festival together. N. Vidyashankar, a well-known film academician and President of the Suchitra Film Society, was the Executive Director, while N. Shashidhara, a cineaste and Secretary of the Suchitra Film Society, was the Festival Co-ordinator. Various committees were also in place to take charge of specific responsibilities. H. N. Narahari Rao, Vice-President of the Federation of Film Societies of India (SR) and Secretary, FIPRISCI (Indian Chapter) actively associated himself with the Festival as its Programme Director. And so was Dr. Vijaya,Vice President, Suchitra Film Society, who is well known in cultural and academic circles. Sri B. N. Subramanya, Film Journalist took the role of the film industry co-ordinator. The support and the efforts of the entire Board of Trustees of the Suchitra Cinema & Cultural Academy comprising of Sri. G.Venkataswamy, S. Anand, G.S. Bhaskar and S. Raghavendra Rao was manifest in the successful conduct of the festival.

The festival of such a scale could not have been possible without the support of the State Government and the Film Industry. Karnataka Government and the Kannada Film Industry stood solidly behind the organization. The contribution of distinguished Officials like Mr. Vittalmurthy, Mr Tagore, Mr Swain and private support from Mr. Sunder, Mr. V. H. Suresh and Mr. Madhavamurthy was enormous.

Curtains went up for the festival at a formal inaugural ceremony at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 6 PM, when His Excellency the Governor of Karnataka, Shri Rameshwar Thakur, lit the ceremonial lamp. On the dais were eminent film maker Mr. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mr. I. M. Vittal Murthy, IAS, Secretary, Kannada and Culture, Information and Tourism, Govt. of Karnataka, Mr. Tallam Nanjunda Shetty, President, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and Mr. K.C.N. Chandrashekar, leading producer of Kannada films and Vice-President, Film Federation of India. The stage was aglow with a galaxy of Kannada Stars, Jayamala, Tara, Ramesh Arvind, Shivraj Kumar and Ganesh representing various generations of artists. The distinguished audience comprised of leading Stars like B. Saroja Devi, Dr. Vishnuvardhan, Artists, Producers, Directors and Technicians, Top Govt. Officers, Cultural Celebrities, leading Citizens and Cineastes. The inaugural film, “Swapnodanay”, from Bangladesh was screened as a part of the event. The star-studded event also saw the celebrated Kathak dancer and guru. Maya Rao and her students presenting a 20 Minute ballet, specially choreographed for the occasion, on the evolution of music and dance in Indian cinema. Folk dancers and school children in colourful costumes made the inaugural a worth remembering visual treat. The entire function was designed and executed by the eminent musician Dr. Suma Sudhindra.

The activities started unfolding from the next day. The films flourished on screens at the five venues (Vision Cinemas Complex, on Kengal Hanumanthaiya Road, K H Patil Auditorium in the same road and in the Suchitra Auditorium, 9th Main Road ,Banashankari 2nd Stage) and so did the presentation of cast and crew of films on show in the Festival and specially the invited delegates.

On Friday, January 4, 2008, Dr. U.R. Anantha Murthy, eminent Litterateur inaugurated the Indian section of the Festival, Chitrabharathi, at the Vision Cinemas Auditorium 2 at 12 Noon, in the presence of Ace Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, whose latest Malayalam film “Naalu Pennungal” was later screened. Dr. Chandrashekar, another eminent Litterateur and Film maker inaugurated the DVD exhibition on National award winning Kannada films in the same evening on the same day.

Smt. Parvathamma Rajkumar released the book on Late M R Vittal, a biography of the well-known film director who has contributed to Kannada cinema with landmark films like “Nanda Deepa”, “Hannele Chigirudaaga”, “Miss Leelavathi”, “Professor Hutchuraya”, “Yeradu Mukha”, etc., written by veteran journalist and film historian N S Sridhar Murthy, next day. Senior Artist Smt. Harini and veteran Film Journalist Sri P.G. Srinivasamurthy spoke on the occasion. The book comprising of critical articles on Girish Kasaravalli’s films was released on January 8, 2008 by Ms Aruna Vasudev, Former Director of OSIAN Cinefan film festival, New Delhi and a very eminent film journalist and Asian films promoter. Sri Sudhir Nandgaonkar, General Secretary, FFSI and Director, Asian Film Festival and MAMI Film festival, Mumbai was present on the occasion.

Felicitation to Mr. Suresh Urs, the ace Editor and the unveiling of his persona by his professional associates like Girish Kasaravalli and friends like V.H.Suresh and B. Suresh was a historical event which scaled the emotional involvement of the participants to new heights.

Well-known Documentary film maker and film Academician Arun Khopkar from Mumbai presented a series of lecture demonstrations on various aspects of cinema for three days from 5th to 7th January 2008 at the festival venue. It was one of the major highlight of the festival with number of young cineastes and enthusiasts participating in the event.

A number of press meets, discussions, and interactions with the delegates, media and the film lovers were held during the week. Varied topics on films mediated an open discussion between the invitees, delegates and the press.

A brief profile of the festival is appended below


As many as 150 films – many of them landmarks in world cinema – from 45 countries lined up for the 2nd Bengalooru International Film Festival held in the city for a week from January 3rd 2008. The focus of the Festival was on some remarkable films made in countries like Kazakhistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Senegal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco etc, where film making is still in a nascent state, whereas mainline countries which have established a strong tradition in film making like Germany, Poland, France, Iran, Australia, Hungary, Spain, Canada, USA, South Africa, China, Sweden, Italy, Bulgaria, Norway, Croatia, Turkey. Finland, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Japan, India and others were represented by the cream of films made by them. Both contemporary films and classics contributed to the festival a sound and multi- dimensional content. All details can be had from the festival web site www.suchitrafest.in.

DELEGATES: 8 foreign delegates and over two dozen Indian delegates – among them some internationally known directors, artistes and technicians- participated in the festival on invitation. Nearly 2000 delegate passes are being issued to cineastes and students of cinema, journalism and communication and members of the film industry.

RETROSPECTIVES: A special feature of the festival was the country focus on Hungary ( with five films) and South Africa ( with six films ). The Festival had four retrospectives of outstanding films made by legendary Japanese film maker Mizoguchy ( five films ), Spanish film maker Julio Medem ( six films ), Sinhalese film maker Asoka Hundagama ( three films ) and Yugoslavian film maker Emir Kosturica (three films). In the homage section, one film each of celebrated film makers Ingmar Bergman ( Sweden ), Michaelangelo Antonioni (Italy ), Ousmane Sembene ( Senegal ), Istvan Gaal ( Hungary ) and Cinematographer K. K. Mahajan (India ) were screened.

TRIBUTE: Five celebrated films edited by the well-known editor Suresh Urs from Karnataka, in Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Sinhalese were screened in an exclusive Tribute section. He was also honoured on the occasion.

CHITRABHARATHI: In the Chitabharathi section, over a dozen films made recently in several Indian languages were screened and artistes, directors and technicians of the films were honoured. The Kannada films in the section were ” Daatu”, “Kada Beladingalu” and “Moggina Jade”.

DOCUMENTARIES: The special feature of the festival was an exclusive section of documentaries in which some outstanding documentaries from several countries were screened and discussed. Both contemporary documentaries and classics had been handpicked. There was also a retrospective of documentaries by the eminent US film maker Mr Norelli. This section was curated by the well-known documentary group of Bangalore Vikalp, the Films for Freedom. There was also a full day seminar on the need for documentaries in the current scenario organized by Sarathy, a media communication group.

EXHIBITION: A unique moving exhibition in DVD format, comprising clips from and basic information on every single Kannada film which has won a national award since 1954, was beamed at the festival venue. Dr. Vijaya and Mr. Prashanth Pandit were responsible for putting the exhibition together.

RELEASE OF BOOKS: 2007 being the birth of centenary year of M R Vittal, a biography of the well-known film director who has contributed to Kannada cinema with landmark films like “Nanda Deepa”, “Hannele Chigirudaaga”, “Miss Leelavathi”, “Professor Hutchuraya”, “Yeradu Mukha”, etc., written by veteran journalist and film historian N S Sridhar Murthy, was released during the festival. The book critically analyses the films directed by the late master. The book was published by Vasantha Prakashana of Bangalore. Another book released during the festival was a compilation of articles and treatises written on Girish Kasaravalli and his contribution to world cinema, edited by the film scholar, N.Manu Chakravarthy. The initiative to publish the books were taken by Sri Ranganathan and his publishing house Nudi Pustaka. A special souvenir and a Festival catalogue were also published in English by the Festival Organising committee.

DAILY BULLETIN: A daily bulletin was brought out in English and Kannada during the Festival by a special team of media teachers and students formed by the Karanataka Journalism and Communication Teachers Association. The bulletin will contained reports of Festival events, reviews, interviews, opinions and photographs. The first issue of the bulletin which was available at the inaugural function itself had seven subsequent issues. It was made possible by the hard work of students with the guidance of Dr. Vani Ramagopal, Dr. Ravi and Dr. Halaswamy.

WARM – UP SEMINAR: While the Festival itself was a multi-dimensional event, a warm-up one – day seminar was held on Saturday, December 15, to herald the arrival of the Festival. The seminar was jointly organised by Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy and the Karnataka Journalism and Communication Teachers Association at the Shaswathi auditorium, NMKRV College for Women, in Jayanagar. The theme of the Seminar was” The Changing Trends in Commercial Cinema”. K V R Tagore, Commissioner of Information, Government of Karnataka, inaugurated the Seminar at and leading film producer K C N Chandrashekar, former President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, presented the keynote address. Vidyashankar, President, Suchitra Film Society and Executive Director of the Festival, presided. Leading film makers including Jayamala , Hamsalekha, T S Nagabharana, Rathnaja, Prakash, B Suresh, Prakash Belavadi and K M Chaitanya, many leading film critics and journalists and teachers and students of cinema, journalism and communication from all over the State participated in the day long Seminar.

WARM – UP WORKSHOP: A script writing workshop was also held jointly by LACE (A group of cineastes & Cinematographers) and Suchitra Film Society at their premises, 36, 9th Main, Banashankari II Stage, Bangalore between 28th and 30th December 2007 by Prof. Arun Gupta, Senior Faculty, Film & Video, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. The festival closing ceremony was another spectacular event. In addition to the warm felicitation to the doyen of Kannada Cinema Mr. K.C. N. Gowda, by his close associate and eminent Director Mr. Siddalingaiah and Mr. Kiran Shantaram, the well known film personality from Mumbai the function was witness to the cultural analysis of the concept of film and film festivals by Litterateur and film maker Sri Baragur Ramachandrappa, Government policy statement on the festivals by Sri Tagore, Commisioner, Department of Information, Government of Karnataka and acknowledging of all the people responsible for the successful conduct of the festival like Sponsors etc., The festival was indeed a memorable event not only for the organizers but also for many audiences for whom the concept of the film festival was a novelty. There was all round appreciation of the growth of the festival in its second edition itself and wish for its next edition.

List of Specially invited delegates from India and abroad
  1. G. Norelli, Documentary Film maker, USA
  2. Suma Kurien, USA
  3. Chandra Siddan, Film maker, Canada
  4. Ashley Ratnavibhushana, Film Critic, Srilanka
  5. Tursunai Chodurova, Kryzgistan
  6. Patricia Raveggi, Italy
  7. Golam Rabbany Biplob, Bangladesh
  8. Stefano Odoardi, Italy
  9. Gautaman Bhaskaran, Film Critic, Chennai
  10. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Film Maker, Trivandrum
  11. Deven Nair, Film Maker, Trivandrum
  12. K.S. Sasidharan, Director, NFAI, Pune
  13. Ms Aruna Vasudev, OSIAN Cinefan Film Festival, New Delhi
  14. Sudhir Nandgaonkar, Gen. Secretary, FFSI, Mumbai
  15. Thangaraj, ICA Forum, Director, Chennai International Film Festival, Chennai
  16. V. Srinivasan, Madras Progressive Film Society, Chennai
  17. Farooq Musafi, FILCA, Kerala
  18. Ranjita Biswas, Film Critic, Kolkata
  19. Shyama Prasad, Film Maker, Kerala
  20. Malati Sahay, Former Director, Directorate of Film Festivals, Govt. of India
  21. K. Stalin, Documentary Film maker, Ahmedabad
  22. Meghnath, Documentary Film maker, Ranchi
  23. Paromita Vora, Documentary Film maker, Mumbai
Festival Cultural Partners
  1. Secretary, Kannada & Culture Dept, Govt. of Karnataka
  2. ICAForum, Chennai
  3. Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, Bangalore
  4. Karnataka Film Directors’ Association, Bangalore
  5. Karnataka Cinematographers’ Association, Bangalore
  6. Karnataka Television Association
  7. Federation of Film Societies of India
  8. National Film Archives of India, Govt. of India
  9. Directorate of Film Festivals, Govt. of India
  10. Alliance Francaise, Bangalore LACE Films, Bangalore
  11. Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore
  12. British Library, Bangalore
  13. Bangalore Film Society, Bangalore
  14. Forsee Multi Media, Bangalore Centre for Film and Drama, Bangalore
  15. Chitra Samooh
  16. Naaku Thanthi
  17. Vikalp, Films for Freedom
  18. Sarathy, A media communication Group
Festival Advisory Committee
  1. Sri George T. J. S, Editorial Adviser, Indian Express, Bangalore
  2. Sri Jayaram M B, General Manager, Corporate Communications, KPCL, Bangalore
  3. Sri Madhava Murthy M. R, ED & CEO, SN Informatics Pvt Ltd, Bangalore
  4. Sri Nagaraj B. S, Managing Director, Indium Development Pvt Ltd, Bangalore
  5. Sri Prakash Belawadi, Film Maker, Bangalore
  6. Justice Sadashiva A. J, Former Judge, High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore