From Our Correspondent
Silchar, Jan 20: An annual film festival could not have ended on a grander note than this – screening of Goutam Ghose’s tiol award winning film about the fate of a Muslim family that has to cross border for treating their only daughter who is counting her days. Ghose’s film Shankhachil (2016) is a pathetic tale of a family’s journey across the border. His film chronicles a pathetic past. His take on the sorrows and sufferings, pains and pangs of Bangladeshis in India, left no dry eyes on the last day of the weeklong 19th annual Beekshan film festival that was held at Gandhi Bhawan of this town, recently.
The packed hall was a testimony of the films’ popularity and appreciation that it has been able to garner. However, this was not the case with Shankhachil only. Kaushik Ganguly’s film Cinemawala (2016) revolves around an aged man’s struggle to save a minor movie theatre from dissolving in a world domited by digital cinema. The veteran actor Paran Bandopadhyay breathed life into his role. The opening of the festival was marked by Churni Ganguly’s film Nirbashito (2014) about a female writer who has been banished from her own country for writing against religious fundamentalism which kept the audience spellbound.
The screening of Shaji N Karun’s classic, Vaprastham (1999) starring Mohanlal, which follows the tale of a lower caste Kathakali artist, his depression, his inter caste relationship and struggles ahead, stole the show. Indian films section also included Reema Bora’s much talked about film Bokul (2015), Kamaleshwar Mukherjee’s Khawto (2016), Prashant Bhargav’s Patang (2011), a film on kite festival, Florian Gallenberger’s Shadows of Time (2004), gesh Kukunoor’s Dhak (2015), Pratim D Gupta’s Shahib Biwi Aur Golaam (2016) and others. Ayiriddhi Memorial film quiz was also organized for film lovers in which a number of film buffs participated and enlightened the audience.
The non-Indian films included some of the best works of the best directors of world cinema. Film festivals are considered incomplete if Iranian films are not included. Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi’s heartbreaking film A Time for Druken Horses (2000) is about a family of five who has to survive on their own in a Kurdish village on the border to Iran and Iraq. Things worsen when a handicapped family member needs an immediate operation to remain alive. Brilliant films like The State I am In (2000), Three Colours: Red (1994), Syndromes and a Century (2006) and Holy Motors (2012) were shown at the festival that alleviated the festival to strata level. Another important feature of this year’s festival was the introduction of a section that included short films from Northeast. It was included to encourage and inspire young and talented filmmakers of this region to make good films and take film festivals like storm.