August 24th & 25th saw Bangaloreans celebrate 100 years of Indian Cinema braving heavy rains at the Suchitra Film Society’s auditorium in Banashankari. They were participating in the film festival by the same name organised by ITEC (IT/ITeS Employees Centre) Film Club, Suchitra and Necab Matinee (NSS Engineering College Alumni Bangalore).
The Film Festival began with the inauguration ceremony where Mr. Prakash Belawadi, renowned theatre personality and director, spoke about the legacy of Indian cinema and the values for which Suchitra Film Society stood for. This was followed by introductions to Necab Matinee by Sudeesh and ITEC by Arun.
The festival saw classic works from the most celebrated filmmakers in India. The inaugural film being the take on the feudal system in Kerala by Adoor Gopalakrishnan - Elippathayam (Rat Trap). This was followed by the screening of Pyaasa, the most famous movie from Guru Dutt’s deck about the struggling poet trying to sell his works and which featured Sahir Ludhianvi’s classic works with contemporary relevance. The closing movie for day one was Ritwik Ghatak’s award winning movie - Meghe Dhaka Tara (Cloud Capped Star), about a self sacrificing working women who forgoes her life for holding her family on her shoulders.
On the second day of the festival, Mr. Prakash Belawadi held an interactive session on the ‘Future of Indian Cinema’. He talked about the changing nature of ownership of content and how content generation and content distribution is getting into the hands of few private individuals and corporations. Most of the media firms around the world are part of global giants and can be traced to a handful of companies. This has resulted in the control of content by a few and this gives lesser opportunity for different voices to be heard. Talking about the changing technology in filmmaking and film distribution Mr. Prakash pointed out that digital technology was going to be the order of the day and the film industry has no choice but to accept it. Though this means that the say of corporates is going to be high, it also provides opportunities for filmmakers to produce films independent of the big corporate stranglehold.
The second half of day two saw thick action with a movie quiz conducted by Mr. G A Sreevatsadhara Sarma on Indian Cinema which saw enthusiastic participation from the crowd. Girish Kasaravalli’s Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) was screened during the afternoon. The movie features the patriarchal nature of a Brahmin priestly family.
The closing movie was Kundan Shah’s cult classic comedy movie - Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, tracing the adventures of two photographers trying to expose the dark underbelly of Mumbai’s corporate-bureaucracy-media nexus.