Re­vival of film fes­ti­vals

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

This refers to the fea­ture ‘ New Hope for Film­mak­ers’ in your Novem­ber 2013 is­sue. It was heart­en­ing to know that a small like coun­try like Bhutan, that kept it­self hid­den from the world eye for so many years, is mak­ing progress in var­i­ous fields in­clud­ing film­mak­ing. The Beskop Tshechu film fes­ti­val is a proof of that. Film fes­ti­vals are not new to the South Asian re­gion.

In­dia reg­u­larly holds such fes­ti­vals and so do Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In­dia, es­pe­cially, has a very thriv­ing film in­dus­try. Our lo­cal film in­dus­try has pro­duced some re­ally good movies in the past. They proved a suc­cess in Pak­istan and also be­came pop­u­lar in our neigh­bor­ing coun­tries where they were liked for their im­pact­ful sto­ries and strong per­for­mances. Our film in­dus­try couldn’t main­tain its stan­dards for many rea­sons and saw a de­cline over the years. There have been at­tempts to re­vive the cin­ema and one of them, as I re­mem­ber, was a film fes­ti­val held in Karachi.

This pri­vately or­ga­nized fes­ti­val was called the Kara Film Fes­ti­val and was held reg­u­larly in Karachi for some years. Many ex­cel­lent movies were put on dis­play and artistes from our neigh­bor­ing coun­tries at­tended it. But it couldn’t con­tinue for long be­cause of poor law and or­der of the city. The fes­ti­val pro­vided a great op­por­tu­nity to our en­ter­tain­ment-starved masses to see some great artis­tic work be­ing done in the re­gion. Such events do much more than just pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment. They bring peo­ple closer and play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the aes­thetic de­vel­op­ment of a so­ci­ety. In the ab­sence of such out­lets, peo­ple re­sort to un­healthy av­enues. I hope the Kara Film Fes­ti­val is re­vived and we form the tra­di­tion of hav­ing more and more such fes­ti­vals in the coun­try. Af­ter all, when Bhutan can have them, why not us?

Shagufta Baig Karachi, Pak­istan

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