26 Apr. It is as if back to basics. For me, personally. Many many years ago -when I was a student of Mass Communication in Bangalore- I used to be a member of Suchitra Film Society. I would ride on my ancient TVS, covering all those -rather free- roads to attend regular screenings, film festivals, seminars and discussions. It used to be fun.
Now I am back to Bangalore. It was my desire to get back to Suchitra. And when I learned that Suchitra was celebrating 80 years of Kannada cinema (24 April 1934, when first Kannada talkie Sati Sulochana was released), there was no looking back. Made it.
It was a stunning display of stamps on Indian and Kannada cinema. Varieties of stamps and First Day Envelopes released by the Indian Postal Department! Then, in another hall, there were arranged a photographs of Kannada film stars and great men and women. It is a hypnotising exhibition.
Bharathi Vishnuvardhan inaugurated the seminar part of the celebration. The celebration included rather serious talks and discussions on the status of Kannada cinema. Meenakshi Shedde from Mumbai was brilliant with her knowledge of Indian and world cinema! She exhorted Kannada filmmakers to think out of the box (but practically!) and collaborate with various stakeholders to improve the viewership and “make money”!
Then there were young directors, who created cinematic and enterpreneurial waves in the recent past. Pavan of Lucia and Sumana Kittoor of Edegaarike. The distributor KCN Kumar, almost missed out! But joined us after the scheduled time! But another distributor filled in his shoes, though he was a bit superficial. But when Kumar joined, it was an honest (though “obscenely frank” discussion on film production and distribution in Karnataka.
In addition, I met a variety of people – whom I knew sometime ago, but had lost touch with – Mr Vishu Kumar, Director,Information and Publicity, Mr Tagore, former Director, Information and Publicity; Commissioner, Kannada Culture Department, Mr Narahari of Suchitra, and others!