Revival of film festivals
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