The Changing Face of the Kolkata International Film Festival

A famous critic once suggested that most good films revolve around the style, tone, and vision of their makers. The director will strike a chord in your imagination and you will have to give up and look for his other works. Filmmakers quickly become like friends. One director is delighted with the insolence of human nature, while another filmmaker is fraught with the horrific possibilities of religious guilt. Another celebrates people in a nation that they doubt, while another is amazed at the things some do to be happy. Some defend the struggle of the human soul against the physical realities of the world while others create images that allude to sinister dreams. Sooner or later, every true lover of cinema reaches at the feet of Japanese master Ozu and realizes that films are ultimately not about movement – but about transition.

However, over the past decade (under the new government) veterans believe KIFF has walked away, distracted, quintessentially, spoiled, watered down, and gone from elegant to massive. Inviting the forever residing Bollywood legend, Amitabh Bachchan as the main guest and a host of dazzlers, he seems to celebrate the glitz and glamor of showbiz rather than focus on lighting a candle on the altar of high-quality, boundless cinema, impervious to the stars to dazzle or force the box office and remains committed to capturing A moment of discovery and made immortal.

However, proponents of this new move disagree and insist that it is about moving with the times and changing with needs, and being more pluralistic, inclusive and democratic. Get rid of the previous mark of us against them, the arthouse v/s trade gap. Short Film, Documentary and Bengali sections have been introduced to broaden the base of the program along with lucrative cash prizes. All this, as the fans of this orientation suggest, is to mix art with commerce that is associated with the common man and to omit the factor of intimidation and cultural inferiority suffered by earlier less mortal humans. The point is: is this overall gesture good or bad for KIFF’s primary vision and message?

Former FTII student and director Judhajit Sarkar takes the first blow, with all guns blazing! “Any resemblance to the previous version – the 80s and 90s – is a coincidence! KIFF has been downplayed and turned into a file Mila, Tamasha With someone thirsty and hungry for dumbos of TV channel running after any random TV/movie actor hanging out in Nandan! Bollywood and Tollywood have hijacked the previous focus on C-capital cinema with the magic of Bollywood and Tollywood as most of the characters come to KIFF to be seen and interviewed and to give the fake fake crap people want to hear! Check out how many stars or audiences stayed behind to watch the curtain-raising/opening movie once the glitzy inauguration was over.

What a fall there my men! I often stay away, and only go for a few select movies. Brilliant orator, interviewer, director and dean of SRFTI, Ashok Vishwanathan is next and seems contradictory. Well, this isn’t the ’90s, so you can’t do yesterday again. Things change. Views and motivations change. I think KIFF has retained its core ethos – showcasing high-quality films, both local and international – but a respect for the times has influenced some structural shifts. When you make the festival huge, there are bound to be consequences for the profile and image of the festival as well as the opinions of critics and supporters. Comes with the territory. Did Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, etc. retain the previous vision in letter and spirit? Not possible. Certainly, Sometimes I miss the previous intensity of more enlightened festivals, but we live in nanosecond times where the rules of instant and digital gratification are the norm.So, given this environment, KIFF is a cultural oasis for at least a week.But Vishwanathan wishes the cinematic characters are drawn from other parts From the country better.Instead of flashy dolls and blocks made of cardboard, from Bollywood, why not get the more culturally developed genres like Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee or Mamooty and Mohanlal? The harmonious mix between arthouse and commercial provides a balance to maintain the status quo.

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