Nitte University in Mangaluru is hosting the fourth edition of the Nitte International Film Festival (NIFF) from June 8 to 11. Three screens at Bharath Cinemas in Mangaluru will be dedicated to festival films on all four days. All film screenings and discussions at the festival are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.
”We started the film festival four years ago so that the people and the students of Mangaluru would have access to critically acclaimed films. When my university management saw what a big impact the festival had on the cultural scene of Mangaluru, they decided to continue every year. Last year, we saw a footfall of nearly 20,000. This year we have expanded the scope and are expecting more people,” said festival coordinator and professor of Nitte University, Raviraj Kini.
According to him, the festival will also provide a platform for filmmakers and film connoisseurs to have a conversation. ”This year, the festival will host film personalities such as Raj B Shetty, Manish Saini, Shivadwaj, Shishir Jha, Rahul P K, Mansore, Jeo Baby, Champa Shetty, Bharat Mirle, Saurabh Kanti Dutta, Amartya Bhattacharya, and Umesh Badiger. There will be an interactive session with each filmmaker after the screening of their film,” added Kini.
The festival will be inaugurated by Premendra Mazumdar, vice-president, Federation of Film Societies of India, and General Secretary, FIPRESCI -India on June 8 at 10 am. ”The opening film for this year will be the Kannada movie ‘Hadinelentu’ by Prithvi Konnanur. The line-up for this year includes Kantara (Kannada), Family (Malayalam), Koramma (Tulu), Ek Jagah Apni (Hindi), Valvi (Marathi), Anunad (Assamese). Gandhi & Co (Gujarati), Dhuin (Maithili), Tortoise Under the Earth (Santhali). The festival’s closing film is Tora’s Husband (Assamese), by Rima Das. The schedule is available on Instagram at nittefilmfest,” said Kini.
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Although films from Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, France and Senegal are being showcased at the festival, the country of focus this year is Germany. NIFF in collaboration with Goethe Institute and the German Embassy, Bangalore will screen 13 films from Germany.
”We chose films that deal with topics such as migration, marginalised community, feminism and German history like Generation Incompatible, Zuhur’s Daughters, Exile, New Building and Dear Future Children. I think it is kind of special that Goethe Institute could acquire these exceptional films for the festival,” said Leonie Hugendubel, curator of the films from Goethe Institute.
The festival will also showcase films of Osmane Sembene, Senegalese filmmaker and author, also considered the Father of African Films, to mark his 100th birth anniversary. ”We are screening the restored version of Sembene’s Black Girl (1963) and Mandabi (1962). We are also screening a documentary on Sembene by Samba Gadjago,” added Kini.
Homage will be paid to late actor Irrfan Khan. His last film, ‘Song of Scorpions’, will be screened at the festival. As part of the festival, a photo exhibition that traces the journey of Kannada film industry is being organised. Called, Snapshots from Sandalwood’s History, the exhibition will feature rare and unpublished photographs of photojournalist Ashwath Narayana. NIFF was launched in 2017 by the students of Nitte Institute of Communication. This year will see five masterclasses on film reviewing, art direction, story-telling, film direction and short filmmaking, which are free for the public.