Third Haryana Intl Film Festival begins in Yamuna Nagar

YAMUNA NAGAR: The third Haryana International Film Festival, organised by the DAV College for Girls, has begun in Yamuna Nagar. The week-long festival was inaugurated today by Dadasaheb Phalke award winner and filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

In his address, he noted that women are now in every sphere of filmmaking including the technical side such as cinematography. "Women have to come forward if society has to progress," he said.

The festival will be on till 7 October and it includes a Film Appreciation workshop.
Gopalakrishnan said that it was unfortunate that serious cinema was viewed as something not meant for everyone, particularly since it was this genre of cinema rather than the commercial cinema which was rooted in the reality of our culture and our lives.

But it was unfortunate that it was the commercial cinema that attracted the average audiences and was also lapped up by the television channels.

Serious cinema has to be enjoyed at a deep level as a cultural exposure, and was not something that one had to suffer. But serious cinema has to find ways to tell stories in unique fashion, though he said the experience of the audience will vary from person to person. This kind of cinema did not compromise since it was rooted in realty. Cinema helps you to "live the lives of others" and has a deep influence, he added.

This was not so with commercial films which evoked similar sentiments among all kinds of audiences.

For this reason, he lauded the organisers for the Film Appreciation Workshop being held along with the Festival.

Guest of Honour and renowned filmmaker K Bikram Singh said around 7.5 billion people went to theatres all through the year in India and this number went up manifold if one was to consider those who saw films on television. Despite this, it was regrettable that there were hardly any cinema studies or good research on meaningful and serious cinema.

For this reason, the Film Appreciation Workshop was very relevant and he was happy that around 250 students had signed up for the course.

He recalled his association with Gopalakrishnan which began when they traveled to the Berlin Film Festival in the late seventies.

Festival Director Ajit Rai said this festival had successfully proved that a good festival was possible even in a small town like Yamuna Nagar and was not the preserve of the metros. Small budget festivals had a charm of their own, he added.

He said cinema cannot change society directly, but does influence the people who then bring about changes in society. Commercial cinema was cut off from the reality of the people, and therefore the HIFF concentrated on the other cinema that was real and rooted in culture. "One has to be local to be global," he added.

Dr Sushma Arya, principal of the DAV College for Girls, said organising a festival in a college was a real challenge without much assistance from the state, but she had found a lot of support from both the director and the various dignitaries who had agreed to come. The festival had broken the monopoly of the big cities and brought films to the place where ‘real India breathes’.

Earlier, the inauguration got off with the lighting of the auspicious lamp by the dignitaries. Also present on the occasion were filmmakers Sanjay Jha and Sharmila Maity.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s film Shadow Kill (Nizhalkuthu) was screened after the inaugural function.

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