1st Biffes – 2006

December 22, 2006 – December 28, 2006

The Suchitra Bangalore International Film Festival, was held for a week from December 22 to 28, 2006 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 World classics, Indian classics and Kannada classics, retrospectives of celebrated Directors and Technicians, 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 100 films were screened during the festival. The festival was dedicated to the memory of Kannada Cultural Icon and Actor par excellence Dr. Rajkumar who passed away during the year. The festival was attended by more than 2000 delegates, a large part of it being that of the new generation of film enthusiasts was the silver lining to the whole concept of organizing the event.

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), 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 Media co-ordinator.

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, December 21, 2006 at 4 PM, when the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr. H. D. Kumaraswamy, unveiled the festival logo after a brief and glittering cultural show designed by the Veena Virtuoso, Dr Suma Sudheendra. On the dais were eminent film maker and Member of Parliament Mr. Shyam Benegal, who is also the President of the Federation of Film Societies of India, Mr. M.V. Krishnaswamy, the doyen of Kannada Cinema and the first Kannadiga to hold the prestigious post of the Director of Film Festivals, Govt. of India, 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 Mrs. Parvathamma Raj Kumar, leading producer of Kannada films and industry leader. A galaxy of foreign and Indian delegates who attended the festival on special invitation were presented to the distinguished audience comprising of leading Stars, Producers, Directors and Technicians, Top Govt. Officers, Cultural Celebrities, leading Citizens and Cineasts. The inaugural film, “Mama’s Guest”, from Iran was screened as a part of the event.

The festival showcased different genres of films from various corners of the world including films from far and near, Argentina, France, Hungary, Norway and Sri Lanka to name a few.

The activities started unfolding from the next day. The films flourished on screens at the three venues and so did the presentation of cast and crew of films on show in the Festival and specially the invited delegates.

On Friday, December 22, 2006, Mrs. Parvathamma Raj Kumar, inaugurated the Kannada section of the Festival at the Kailash Theatre at 10.30 AM, in the presence of Star Actor Mr. Shiv Raj Kumar, and other dignitaries of the Kannada Film Industry. “Bettada Hoovu” which was the landmark Kannada film Directed by the eminent Late N. Lakshminarayan, was screened on the occasion.

Mr. Shyam Benegal released the book “Most Memorable Films of the World”, written by Mr. H. N. Narahari Rao, a pioneer of the film society movement and the Vice President of the Federation of the Film Societies of India (FFSI). FFSI General Secretary and Film critic Mr. Sudheer Nandgaonkar spoke about the book on the occasion.

Felicitation to Mr. V.K. Murthy, the ace Cinematographer and his interaction with the audience next day was a historical event which scaled the intellectual and emotional involvement of the participants to new heights.

All in all the festival had 10 different sections: Cinema of the world, World Classics, Contemporary Indian Cinema, Indian Classics, Retrospective of Films by Japanese Maestro Nagisa Oshima, Tribute to Cinematographer V. K. Murthy, Felicitations to Cinematographer S. Ramachandra, French Comedies, Retrospective of Kannada Films and short films by various filmmakers across the globe. The detailed list of the films screened at the festival is enclosed.

Well-known Director V. K. Prakash presented a lecture demonstration on Digital Technology, World Cinema’s latest innovation. Innovative one-minute short films titled “Cineku” by the ace Indian cinematographer Mr. Ramachandra Babu, which are unique three shot narrations, were screened along with some short films made by the students of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. Screening of short films Curated by Rada Sesic, Film Festival Consultant from Rotterdam Film Festival, Denmark, and Indian independent short filmmakers, Ashok V Raman, Babu Eshwar Prasad, Hariharan K, Kiran Subbaiah, Prakash Babu, Prasanna Ramaswamy, Pushpamala, Srikanth Prabhu, Surekh was another highlight of the festival.

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

Topics for discussion included :

Relevance of Film festivals
“What are the problems faced by filmmakers, while making films in Indian dialects?”
Digital Cinema
Film reviews, Criticisms and Critical appreciation
“Can we economize the costs without compromising the aesthetics?”
Regional films and National identity

The festival closing ceremony was another spectacular event. In addition to the warm felicitation to the eminent Cinematographer Sri Ramachandra Aital the presentation of cast and crew of the aptly chosen closing Kannada film ‘Nenapirali’ was a big draw for the day.

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.

List of Specially invited delegates from India and abroad
  1. Hunt Hoe, Film Maker, Canada
  2. Milena Andonova, Film Maker, Bulgeria
  3. Rada Sesic, Programme Advisor, Rotterdam International Film Festival
  4. John Bosters, Music Director, Netherlands
  5. Tom Kovan, Cinematographer, Australia
  6. Somaratna Dissenayake, Film Maker, Srilanka
  7. Prasanna Jayakodi, Film Maker, Srilanka
  8. Quazi A.R., Festival Consultant, Spain
  9. Sathyanarayana (Satish), Film Maker, Hyderabad
  10. Ahsan Mujid, Film Maker, Guwahati
  11. Archana Bhattacharjee, Producer & Music Director, Guwahati
  12. Gajendra Ahire, Film Maker, Mumbai
  13. Dr. Biju, Film Maker, Trivandrum
  14. Radhakrishna, Film Producer, Trivandrum
  15. K.S. Sasidharan, Director, NFAI, Pune
  16. Santhanam S., Dy. Director, Directorate of Film Festivals, New Delhi
  17. Sudhir Nandgaonkar, Gen. Secretary, FFSI, Mumbai
  18. U. Radhakrishnan, Secretary, FFSI, Northern Region, New Delhi
  19. Premendra Mazumdar, Festival Consultant, Kolkata
  20. Rwita Dutta, Film Critic, FIPRESCI, Kolkata
  21. Thangaraj, ICA Forum
  22. Director, Chennai International Film Festival, Chennai
  23. Ravindar, Film Artiste, Director, Kochi International Film Festival
  24. B.H.S.S. Prakash Reddy, Secretary, FPSI, Southern Region, Hyderabad
  25. V.T. Subramanian, FFSI, Tirupur
  26. Prof. R.S. Rajan, FFSI, Madurai
  27. V. Srinivasan, Madras Progressive Film Society, Chennai
  28. S. Murali, Chitradarshan Film Society, Chennai
  29. Dr. Chiranjeevi, Hyderabad Film Club, Hyderabad
  30. Thammareddi Bharadwaza, Film Maker, Hyderabad
  31. Farooq Musafi, FILCA, Kerala
  32. Prasanna Ramaswamy, Film Maker and Critic, Chennai
  33. Ramachandra Babu, Film Maker and Cinematographer,Trivandrum
  34. Dr. Mohan Agashe, Actor, Pune
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
  11. LACE Films, Bangalore
  12. Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore
  13. British Library, Bangalore
  14. Bangalore Film Society, Bangalore
  15. Collective Chaos, Bangalore
  16. Indian Council for Cultural Relations, BangaloreBharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Bangalore
  17. AOTS Allumini Association, Bangalore
  18. Ananya, Bangalore
  19. Forsee Multi Media, Bangalore
  20. Centre for Film and Drama, Bangalore
  21. Chitra Samooha
  22. Naaku Thanthi
Festival Advisory Committee
  1. Dr. Ananthamurthy U. R, Jnanapeeta Award Winning Author, Bangalore
  2. Ms Arundati Nag, Rangashankara, Bangalore
  3. Sri Bhaktavtsala M, Sharada Movies, Bangalore
  4. Sri Chiranjeevi Singh, IAS, (Retd), Bangalore
  5. Sri George T. J. S, Editorial Adviser, Indian Express, Bangalore
  6. Sri Girish Karnad, Jnanapeeta Award Winning Author, Bangalore
  7. Sri Jayaram M B, General Manager, Corporate Communications, KPCL, Bangalore
  8. Sri Madhava Murthy M. R, ED & CEO, SN Informatics Pvt Ltd, Bangalore
  9. Sri Mahesh Joshi, Director, Doordarshan Kendra, Bangalore
  10. Sri Mohapatra K. K, Oriya Writer & Commissioner of Income Tax, Mangalore
  11. Sri Nagaraj B. S, Managing Director, Indium Development Pvt Ltd, Bangalore
  12. Dr.Pradhan Gurudatt, Chairman, Karnataka Anuvada Academy, Bangalore
  13. Sri Prakash Belawadi, Film Maker, Bangalore
  14. Ms Prema Karanth, Eminent Film Maker, Bangalore
  15. Prof. Radhakrishna K.E, Principal, Surana College, Bangalore
  16. Pandit Rajashekar Mansur, Chairman, Karnataka Sangeet Natya Academy, Bangalore
  17. Justice Sadashiva A. J, Former Judge, High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore
  18. Sri Satyanarayana K, Kannada Writer & Commissioner of Income Tax
  19. Sri Shanta Kumar K. N, The Printers (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
  20. Dr. Siddalingaiah, Chairman, Kannada Development Authority, Bangalore
  21. Sri Sriganesh M. V, Executive Director, Abcon Services, Bangalore
  22. Sri Srinivas G Kappanna, Chairman, Karnataka Nataka Academy, Bangalore
  23. Dr. Sudarshan Ballal H, Director, Manipal Institute of Nephrology & Urology, Bangalore
  24. Dr. Suma Sudheendra, Veena Artist, Bangalore
  25. Sri Sunder G V, Chartered Accountant, Bangalore
  26. Sri Swain S. P, Commissioner of Income Tax, Bangalore
  27. Sri Tagore K.V. R, IPS
  28. Sri Vasudev S.G, Eminent Artist, Bangalore
  29. Sri Venkatachalapathy, Chairman, Karnataka Shilpakala Academy, Bangalore
  30. Dr. Visweswara, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetorium, Bangalore
  31. Sri Visweswara Bhat, Managing Editor, Vijaya Karnataka, Bangalore