The 10th Edition of the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival goes digital

The 10th edition of the Bengaluru International Short Film Festival (BISFF) is going digital, due to the pandemic, but that does not mean you can expect any less from it. In fact this edition of the Oscar-accredited fest packs in even more elements into four days. “Going digital has brought in a surprising element of reaching out to some big names in the film industry,” says festival director Anand Varadaraj, adding, “While film buffs might miss the typical theatre going experience of the film fest, they get to enjoy the fest safely at the comfort of their couch. The artistes agreed to do talk shows from their homes and converse with us to answer queries. We are excited to proceed with the festival, despite the challenges initially posed due to the current situation. The transition has been smooth and seamless, and we are hoping to see more footfalls (digitally) than the earlier years, as cinephiles have the ease of access from anywhere in the world. We are hoping for a grand success through our digital venture.”

This year includes 200 films from across 38 countries. Some movies that will be screened are Rajan Kathet’s Nepali movie Bare Trees In The Mist, Henet Ward by Egyptian director Morad MostafaFrench movie The Pianists by Paul Guerin and François Guerin, South African film Mthunzi by Tebogo Malebogo and Argentina movie Anacronte by Raúl Koler and Emiliano Sette.

Earlier this year, the festival had received an Oscar accreditation making it the only Oscar Academy qualifying short film festival in India for the Live Action Category. The winning short films in the International and Indian Competition sections of BISFF 2020 are automatically eligible for consideration in the Live Action Short Film Category of the Academy Awards, without standard theatrical run, provided the film complies with the stringent Academy rules. The competition sections included in this year’s festival are – International, Indian, Karnataka, Animation and Let’s Include, and the winners of each category will be selected by the expert committee.

This edition has some special categories too, such as the aforementioned Let’s Include. This is a special category included in the competition section to showcase short films exclusively featuring stories on intellectual and developmental disabilities. There is also a Let’s Pitch feature where the fest, along with partner Katte Movies and more, provides a platform for people to pitch their idea of a short film and get it produced. Being in the first year of introduction, the segment, as of now, is open for Kannada language and its dialects only. This year there is also a special package from Women in Cinema Collective, an organisation for women working in the Malayalam cinema industry.

Actor and director Prakash Belawadi, who is also a mentor for the fest, says, “The Oscar accreditation we received this year certainly validates our efforts in making BISFF a prestigious event and more of a recognition platform for the young filmmakers participating. It’s really heartening to see how BISFF has shaped in these last 10 years. If we look back, the journey has certainly been a struggle, but it’s really exciting to witness how the festival has been established as a significant event with dozens of the industry visiting year after year. With our direction being more digital for the future, we do hope to make this festival more than just a 3- day programme, and make it accessible to people nationally and internationally.” BISFF has partnered with Goethe Institut and Pocket Films.

While the registration is free, BISFF partnering with the NGO Vidyanikethan to conduct a donation campaign. The NGO is working towards the upbringing of socio-economically marginalised people, education for children and environment protection.

Registration free. August 13 – 16. All details on bisff.in

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