A film festival can be more than just about movies. It could be a sneak peek into a world totally different from the one we inhabit. The line-up on the fourth day of the fourth edition of Jagran Film Festival helped make this idea a possibility. And the continuous inflow of cinema-lovers made a perfect match.
The Korean blockbuster 71: Into the Fire commenced the day. Directed by John H Lee, this 120-minute action-drama saw an almost full auditorium. Park Kwang-Hyun’s 133-minute Korean film Welcome to Dongmakgol was in a similar league. Comparatively, a Georgian film called Keep Smiling managed to pull in a smaller crowd but there were echoes of laughter in the hall.
On the other half of the day, some more international films took place. Maria Florencia, the 35-year-old director of Habi from Buenos Aries explained why she went with a rather unique topic of an Argentine showing an inclination towards an unfamiliar religion. “Cinema is the perfect tool to tackle ignorance and I just made an attempt in that direction. Thankfully, people have been kind enough towards my film,” said Florencia.
In the foreign category, there was a Japanese film called Human, a Finnish drama titled Naked Harbour and the French existential effort named Today. All the three films touched sensitive subjects.
Alpgiray M Ugurlu’s Overture turned out to be an interesting piece of cinema. The 90-minute long drama dealt with relationships and professionalism tussles in secular Turkey.
In the Jagran Classics segment, Guru Dutt’s Kagaz Ke Phool was shown to packed auditorium. The good old classic saw diverse crowd -- ranging from students to veterans. The screening of Satyajit Ray’s Aparijito took place in the evening and the hall was filled. The same was true about the Kamal Haasan-starrer Nayagan. The Mani Ratnam film that spawned several remakes witnessed a healthy post-office crowd.
Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine may not have been a commercial blockbuster but it garnered quite a lot of eyeballs. This woman-centric Hindi film starring Kareena Kapoor was clearly a hit amongst the queue-standers. Amusingly enough, the show must have won the most number of whistles at the festival so far.
Under the category Indian Showcase (Feature in Competition), Samit Kakkad’s 94-minute Marathi feature Aayna Ka Bayna, Yogendra Choubey Chhattisgarhi’s Gaanje Ki Kali and Suhail Tatari’s Ankur Arora Murder Case were screened.
In the latter part of the segment, short films continued pouring in from different parts of the world. Jody-Lan Castle’s Beneath the Surface, Jared Elin’s Becoming Lucy, Katia Olivier’s Belgian Psycho, Bruce B Gordon’s Whole ‘Nother Level and Michele De Angelis’ Door were some of the shorties screened.
Two more days to go. Too many films to watch.
Kamal Haasan, whose last venture Vishwaroopam was screened at the fest, will make his presence felt on the final night of the event: September 29. The south superstar is set to fly to the city to grace the concluding awards event to be held at a suburban hotel.
Looking forward to next year, already
A senior citizen was overheard asking at the registration counter, “Are they showing Andaz?” To which the youngster at the desk said, “No, sir. But you can choose any other film from the list.” The last dialogue was from the elderly gentleman: “Ask them to show it na. It’s my favourite film…”
Lessons in cinema
The Jagran Shorts segment began with the panel discussion held under the banner Master Class titled Finding Money For Films.
It was an interactive event with an aim to provide consultancy to new filmmakers and budding talents on how to find the right source to fund for their upcoming projects. On the panel were Tyrone De Murphy (member of BAFTA Awards Committee), Steve Rogers (Premiere Picture Film Funds), Stare Yildirim (managing partner), Uday Singh (MD, Motion Picture Association), Karan Ahluwalia (executive vice-president, Yes Bank) and Salim Khussa (LBYL Films). The event was moderated by Manoj Srivastava.
For director Samit Kakkad’s (Aayna Ka Bayna) interview, turn to pg 20