Short in the arm for fiction

Women are at the centre of many debates this year. From the #metoo to helming diverse campaigns, the idea is to create an atmosphere of healthy debate. This annual short film festival the Bangalore International Short Film Festival (BISFF) in the city also brings women protagonists to the fore while the main focus is on celebrating fictional stories. In its eighth edition, this season delves into an array of stories spun to perfection from different genres. Viewers and film aficionados in town are all set to stroke their beards, lose themselves in deep thought and appreciation, as directors present their fictional best. The film festival will be held in the city from August 16 to 19 across multiple venues.

With over a 1,000 entries, the festival offers a vibrant colour of cinematography. The previous year witnessed over 3,000 entries. This year, a conscious effort was made to tighten the number of entries to pay more emphasis on the quality of films screened. Anand Varadharaj, artistic director and organiser of BISFF, elaborates, “This year, we had over 1,000 entries. Compared to last year, the time given to submit entries is lesser. It was our way of ensuring that only those who are truly prepared and have substance in their films are a part of the festival. While we don’t have a theme per say, we do have a section for ‘women in cinema’. In this section, we are focusing on women who play protagonists.

A still from the short film Donkey.A still from the short film Donkey.

From when we started, when we would focus on the story, we now focus on judging based on technology; how each scene is shot, the audio clarity and every other tiny detail. Personally, one thing I look forward to in every edition of the BISFF is that we match the quality of world cinema.”

A still from the short film Dad.A still from the short film Dad.

With an overflowing bucket of murder mysteries, comedy, romance, tragedy, horror and thriller movies, the film festival is a ray of hope for young and upcoming directors and story writers.Vasishta Bhat, a freelance photographer and ad film maker from Bengaluru, is all set to showcase his film, Sadgati at the film festival. He says, “The word Sadgati in Kannada means liberation. To find women in our country who are truly liberated is rare, almost non-existent. It is hard to find people who value their women in the first place. Her dreams and desires go for a toss soon after marriage, in some cases much before that. It is unfair and I believe movies are a great medium to bring about positive change. That is how Sadgati came into being. The film is about a woman whose husband is paralysed. It focuses on her dreams and sexual desires. It took me two months to make the film and the experience was truly blissful.”

Anand Varadharaj,Anand Varadharaj.

In the international competition section films like Blessed Days, Fugazi, Hoissuru, Naughty Amelia Jane, Retouch, Tableau Vivant are being screened. The Indian competition sections also has some rare gems like Arppo, Conversation, Curtains, Mayat and Sandhya. Each has a fantastic storyline bringing a brand new perspective to life.

Being a part of the film festival is something a few individuals practice religiously. Some even say that once you go for a film festival, it’s bound to become a habit and a part of you. Naveen Tejaswi, a mass communication student from Bangalore University, an avid film-buff, attends many film festivals.  He says, “I have been a part of the screenings for the past three years. I am a huge fan of movies and I make sure I watch at least one movie a day. The movies screened at the film festival are very different from the movies we watch Movies that you will not find elsewhere. How each of these directors tell you their stories in the limited time, given the fact that they are short films, is something that takes me by surprise. The fact that the directors are present at the venue gives you the opportunity to understand their perspective and also help them grow with your insights.”


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