With over three dozen regional Indian films to be screened at the 43rd International Film Festival of India at Goa, the event this year is a celebration of Indian cinema as a whole than just popular Bollywood films
The 43rd edition of the much-celebrated International Film Festival of India (IFFI) could not have come at a better time, as the country celebrates 100 year of Indian cinema. Over three dozen regional Indian cinema have been lined up for domestic and international film lovers, with many featuring mainline and well-known Bollywood and regional faces. While it is a celebration of Indian cinema over popular Bollywood films, IFFI is also marred with the visible signs of a struggle for control between the BJP-led state government (host of IFFI) and the central government (controls planning and budget for IFFI).
Overall, 27 Indian films are being screened at the festival. These include Baandhon (Waves of Silence) in Assamese from celebrated film maker from Assam Jahnu Barua. Chitrangada (The Crowning Wish) in Bengali is directed by Rituparno Ghosh, another well-known name from West Bengal, while Deool (The Temple) in Marathi features Bollywood actor and director Nana Patekar and Mahesh Manjrekar. Similarly, Elar Char Adhyay (Four Chapters) has Paoli Dam, a known Bollywood and Bengali cinema actress. Raima Sen, another well-known face of both Bengali and Hindi cinema, features in a couple of movies, as does model-turned actor Milind Soman.
Talking at the event, veteran film actor and a well-known face of Indian cinema around the world, Om Puri said: "Indian cinema is not only about Bollywood as there are meaningful films made in different languages and regions." Puri added that Indian cinema triumphs over popular Hindi films any day for its depth and richness. Then why are Bollywood films more popular? "It's because regional cinema does not get distributors and thus no one knows about them. I want the I&B ministry to help regional cinema by showcasing them on Doordarshan," he said.
Echoed nine-time national award winner Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua. "My movie is exceptional because it is based on the topic of violence and destruction, but doesn't use any violent visuals. The challenge is to get it to the masses. Thanks to multiplexes, more regional cinema is now available to viewers outside the home base of the film. But more needs to be done," Barua said. His Assamese film Baandhon (Waves of Silence) was the