Published: 20th July 2018
How the Film Society of Bhubaneswar is still bringing good cinema to Odisha's youngsters
Abhishek Parija, one of the core members of FSB, tells us what to expect in the coming years from the society
The word 'movies' evoke a different response from all of us. For some, it is mere entertainment, but for others, it is a medium for understanding the society of the past, the present and the future. And the Film Society of Bhubaneswar (FSB) has been striving to screen relevant world cinema for 14 years now and is still committed towards their cause.
FSB was started by Satyajit Puhan and a few others with a vision to urge the audience to look at cinema beyond the realms of entertainment and create a cultural space to unite cinema lovers with world cinema. It currently holds regular screenings of movies and conducts its flagship event, the Indian Film Festival of Bhubaneswar (IFFB). In the future, they hope to not only improve their current offerings but also come up with new ones.
For the next film festival, they are planning to include a section for students' films. They also want mentors and artists from across India to give masterclasses and conduct student workshops
One of the core members of the society, Abhishek Parija, shares how they used to screen two movies a month at Jayadev Bhawan in Bhubaneswar, but have included the Actors' Studio as their venue as well where people can not only watch movies (last week, they had screened Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love), but they can also have conversations around the movie. "The point is that the audience watches the movie in its political and cultural context and proceeds to have a discussion around it," explains Parija, who became a part of the core team after he submitted his film for the last film festival organised by the society. Their aim is to pull in the younger crowd so that they can hone their taste in world cinema.
No one wants to think of cinema in the context of their own society. Everyone is just happy with films like Sanju
Abhishek Parija, core team member, FSB
Another aspect they are working on is trying to get in touch with institutions in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack to start a film club/society within the institute itself. So far, they have succeeded with Parija's alma mater, Ravenshaw University in Cuttack. A junior of his and his friends started the Film Society of Ravenshaw, while Parija helped them out. They screened director Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing on July 18 and they plan to continue bringing good movies to the students of Ravenshaw. "As of now, we have approached many universities like XIMB, IIT Bhubaneswar, IIIT Bhubaneswar, AIIMS and others," shares the 22-year-old. They even managed to convince NIFT, Bhubaneswar to add a film appreciation elective to their course. And though it has been tough to get other universities on board, they are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts.
Parija is planning to pursue his MA in Film Studies from Jadavpur University, Kolkata and will then return to Odisha to work with FSB
Talking about Odia cinema, Parija says that, "we are discouraged from speaking our own language in school and hence, we aspire for a culture that is alien to us. Our understanding of this culture is limited to Marvel and DC or maximum, a Christopher Nolan movie. To tell youngsters to watch cinema with its full context is truly a big ask," he says. Odia films too, he feels, need to root their cinematic identity around people.
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