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Give your unreleased film an audience

The Bring Your Own Film Festival (BYOFF), founded by filmmaker Gurupal Singh and a bunch of film enthusiasts in 2004, aims to give professionals, amateurs and even those who make films for fun a platform to screen their work for a willing audience.

art and culture Updated: Feb 13, 2012 14:24 IST
Serena Menon

The Bring Your Own Film Festival (BYOFF), founded by filmmaker Gurupal Singh and a bunch of film enthusiasts in 2004, aims to give professionals, amateurs and even those who make films for fun a platform to screen their work for a willing audience.

“There is no selection; anyone who brings a film can get it screened. We get movies made by eight year olds and 70 year olds too,” says art director Sukant Panigrahy. The film buff who has been an active supporter of the event since its second year.

“Many young directors can screen their films only for friends or family at home. But showing your work to a live audience and getting their reactions is also part of the whole experience of filmmaking.”

The screenings are usually followed by a discussion with film professionals. Musical performances start by evening at the beach, and the festivities go on all night. “With an entry fee of R200, that includes dinner, the entire gig depends on contributors and what they shell out. Every year, we struggle to pay off bills from the previous festival. But people are very supportive. Even the projector company lends us equipment without getting the full payment for the previous year,” says Panigrahy, who has been urging for the platform to support not just film, but all kinds of art forms.

Last year, filmmakers like Qaushiq Mukherjee, known for his controversial film, Gandu, made it to the fest. “That’s because there is no one to stop you from showing anything. Even the police officials sit and watch sometimes, it’s completely free and has no limitations,” says Panigrahy, who is currently working on Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine.

Log on to www.byoffpuri.com for details for event that lasts February 21 - 25, 2012.