04 Dec. For a change, the sarkari event, Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes) was quite a good event.
The Chief Minister Siddharamaiah came only 10 minutes late, and the 5.30pm-scheduled programme started at 5.45pm. Not bad for government servants known for delay!
Along with him were Roshan Beig (Minister for Infrastructure, Information & Public Relations), Umashree (Min. for Kannada & Culture), Ramalinga Reddy (Min. for Transport). Also with him were Govind Nihalani (noted bollywood cinematographer & filmmaker), Suhasini Maniratnam (leading South Indian female actor from Chennai, who spoke in better Kannada than the compere!), Meghana Reddi (young Kannada female actor), well-known Kannada actor Yash, Rajendra Singh Babu, Vishu Kumar, Shalini (“babu”), etc.
Roshan Beig announced a policy for the Kannada film industry for the next five years (soon!), Siddharamaiah promised much more cooperation and subsidies to the already existing Rs 10-lakhs/film for 100 films a year, and and then a lot more, including a praise for the number of Kannada films produced annually, and a wrap on the knuckles for the ‘poor quality’!
The inaugural programme went on for a good hour, followed by photo-op on the stage! So, for another 15 minutes, the stage was occupied with non-productive activity!
I was happy for my students who could attend this festival as volunteers and get a first-hand view of the event. Volunteers in various capacities – venue management, photography, travel management, etc.! It will be their festival! First hand!
The inaugural programme was followed by the inaugural film Ambassador to Bern, a Hungarian film (2014) based on an actual story of the migration and revolution and embassy-attack in Bern (Switzerland). Quite an poignant, adrenalin-rushing film; not meant for the inauguration, though!