The seventh edition of the Jagran Film Festival, which began on Friday, aims at bringing cinema closer to Delhi. The organisers said the five-day event is a small step towards building a culture of cinema appreciation across the country. “There was a ...and more »
The seventh edition of the Jagran Film Festival, which began on Friday, aims at bringing cinema closer to Delhi. The organisers said the five-day event is a small step towards building a culture of cinema appreciation across the country.“There was a vacuum in Delhi after the international film festival moved away. That’s why we wanted to start from here,” the organisers said at the inauguration of the festival over the weekend.Manoj Srivastava, the strategic consultant for the festival, said films were chosen based on content, style and approaches to cinema.“We wanted to have some popular entertainment films and some decent art house cinema. We did not want to feature too many films from one particular country.”MelodramaMr. Srivastava added that film festivals will help change the face of Indian cinema in the long run. “One mind ignited can ignite a hundred others in turn. With the spread of literacy and education, the complexion of films in India has already changed. We no longer restrict ourselves to melodrama. It is getting replaced by intelligent, meaningful and sensible cinema done in an entertaining manner.”The festival hopes to teach visitors how to appreciate cinema and enable them to understand the medium through discussions and workshops. The event attracted prominent figures from the Indian and Pakistani film industry, including Naseeruddin Shah, Ketan Mehta, Sudhir Mishra, Khalid Ahmed and Sanjay Gupta.Huge impactMr. Ahmed, a Pakistani director and television producer who traversed the border for the festival, said such events have a huge impact on his creativity.“One gets to watch a large number of good films. There is interaction with other film-makers, journalists, thinkers and actors, which educates and enhances my capabilities.”‘Aligarh’For actors Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, pride for their film
drew them to Delhi this weekend.“It has been a long journey for
. In a country where members of the LGBTQ community are treated like criminals, it is heartening to see Hansal [Mehta] make a film like this,” Mr. Bajpayee said.In a panel discussion titled “Cinema Beyond Borders”, directors from both India and Pakistan discussed their opinions on the interplay of cinema between the nations.Representatives from India, including Mr. Mishra, said that “cinema can bring us together only for a moment. We say we are brothers emphatically maybe because we aren’t”.Yet, Mr. Mishra reiterated that both nations have similar stories, especially in the North Indian context, and the exchange of inspiration needs to continue.Pakistani director Sabiha Sumar refuted Mr. Mishra’s argument saying that “cinema is about empathy. If the story is well done, it will make you laugh and cry.”She shared how she saw music help people connect with each other during her academic stint at Cambridge. Her own camaraderie with her Indian classmates began due to their shared appreciation of Begum Akhtar.Pakistani filmsOn the lack of Pakistani films screened in India, director Bejoy Nambiar said: “ The theatrical resonance of Pakistani movies in India is restricted by economics. The same restriction prevents Indian audience from watching regional cinema.”
(The writer is an intern with The Hindu)
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