Published: 25th September 2018
Film Society of Bhubaneswar is treating us to some of the best documentaries through their documentary festival
Subrat Beura, the Secretary of FSB, feels that cinema is a community experience. One should watch it with people and be able to have conversations about it
Agreed that Netflix, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms are offering a lot of content — movies, short films, documentaries and more — but where does one begin? What does one watch? How does one distinguish between great world cinema and a run-of-the-mill film? This is where film societies come in; they curate and present films that enrich and engage. Film Society of Bhubaneswar (FSB) too attempts to do the same through all its initiatives like the Indian Film Festival of Bhubaneswar, their weekly screenings and through their latest offering, the Indian Documentary Film Festival of Bhubaneswar. As many as 25 documentaries will be screened from September 28 to 30 at the Odissi Research Centre and it doesn't stop at this. National Award winning directors like Qaushiq Mukherjee and Kamal Swaroop will be their guests. Also, they are going to screen a select few student documentaries, which they had invited applications for, at the festival! And if you somehow missed the memo, you can still send in your documentary as the last day is today! So, hurry up!
Some other documentaries to watch out for are the Odia film The Tribal Scoop, Hindi film The Other Song, Gujarati film Welcome Valentine and Kashmiri film MC Kash
Subrat Beura, the Secretary of FSB, tells us that this particular festival, which is being held in association with Vikalp, India Foundation for the Arts and Kerala Chalachitra Academy, has been possible because of the young blood that has infused into the society lately like Abhishek Parija, Bijaya Biswal and several others. "We are a voluntary, not-for-profit group and we need committed, enthusiastic members to take our ideas forward," says Beura. Talking about the upcoming festival, he recommends that we watch out for the documentary Shyama Mani Devi, Santosh Gour's film on Odisha's legendary vocalist Shyamamani Devi and the Nagamese film Kho Ki Pa Lü directed by director Ishwar Srikumar and Anushka Meenakshi. "The thing about documentaries is that most of them aren't even available as torrents or on pirated websites, so it's difficult to watch them at home," says Beura. Other documentaries to look forward to are the Punjabi film Kitte Mil ve Mahi, Assamese film Loralir Sadhukotha, Malayalam film Memories of Trans and several others.
A film quiz called Quizzing Summon will be conducted at the festival on September 29 from 3:30 pm
Beura believes that we are living in scary times because to screen acclaimed movies in educational institutions, it can take as long as two months or sometimes even longer. "In Bhubaneswar, some campuses feel that watching films might spark questions in the minds of students which the management won't be able to answer," he explains and confesses that it is very difficult to start film societies in universities, though they are not giving up. "Cinema was always seen as an illegitimate child of classical pursuits. Though it has the power to hold a mirror to society, it has been reduced to a medium of entertainment. It is film societies that can make a difference in this perception," he says and adds that it probably might take an army of societies to do that. "We are one of the oldest film societies and it's lonely. One film society alone can't make a difference, we need several others," he says.
For more on the festival, click on facebook.com/