About 130 films from 35 countries, seminars, children films, old Kannada classics and an animation workshop - the forthcoming third Bengalooru International Film Festival promises all this and more to give movie buffs a holistic view of world cinema.
Girish Kasaravalli, acclaimed filmmaker and festival director, told IANS that great care has been taken in selecting films to be screened at the week-long fest starting Jan 15.
"All the films selected for the festival deals with broad range of cinematic expressions and varied issues have been explored in the films by the filmmakers," said Kasaravalli.
According to N. Shashidhara, festival coordinator, the format of the festival has been designed to make it viewer friendly.
"The third edition of the festival focuses intensively on making it friendly for cine buffs by providing them with best of films and best of infrastructure," said Shashidhara.
The third edition of the festival will also showcase 28 Kannada films to celebrate 75 years of Kannada film industry.
"Along with the screening of films, we have organised a photo exhibition, marking the growth and development of the Kannada industry over the years. There will also be a 150 minute video presentation on the evolution of Kannada film music," added Shashidhara.
The first Kannada film was Sati Sulochana that released in 1934, followed by Bhakta Dhruva in the same year. In the last few years, the industry has not been doing so well and Shashidhara says they are trying to revive it.
"The industry has gone through many phases, both good and bad. The industry was at its zenith during 70s and 80s when B.V. Karanth (Chomana Dudi), Girish Karnad (Kaadu) and Girish Kasaravalli (Ghata Shraddha) spearheaded the Kannada parallel cinema. Through the festival we want to encourage new breed of filmmakers to bring back the lost glory of old Kannada cinema," said Shashidhara.
Experts from different parts of the globe are likely to attend the seminars dealing with creative and academic facets of cinema.
"There will be many sections in the festival, each dedicated to a trend or director or technician or genre. The basic idea is to present to the film lovers the entire gamut of creative filmmaking and bring them face to face with the history and contemporary trends in international cinema," said Shashidhara.
The festival has been divided into various sections, including cinema of the world retrospectives, tributes, world classics, Chitra Bharati, children's section and documentaries.
A four-day workshop on animation and role of sound in cinema will be organised alongside the festival.
To promote children films, the festival will screen 12 children films along with mainstream cinema.
Artistic director of Suchitra Film Society H.N. Narahari Rao said that most of the film festivals neglect children's films, thus children don't get a chance to enjoy such events.
"Along with promoting children's films, we want to attract the attention of young people. We want them to come, watch and enjoy good cinema at the festival," said Rao.
According to the organisers, highly acclaimed films like Ben X, directed by Nic Belthazar from Belgium and I Served the King of England, a Czech film by director Jiri Menzel, will be the highlights of the festival.
The organisers have yet to release the complete list of the films to be screened.
"We are yet to make a complete list of films to be screened at the festival. We have received eight Italian, four Norwegian, five Polish, one movie from Kazakhstan and two from Sri Lanka also," said Shashidhara.
Well-known director Priyadarshan's Tamil film Kancheevaram, a moving tale depicting the plight of famous silk-weavers of Kanchipuram in pre-independence India, will also be screened at the festival as part of the Indian Cinema package, called Chitra Bharati.
The film has already won rave reviews at various international film festivals.
After successfully hosting the first two editions of the festivals, organisers are expecting more than 100,000 cine-buffs to attend this year.
The entry for the festival will be through passes priced at Rs.500 for the public for the seven days and Rs.300 for members of film societies, film school students and those studying journalism.
The festival is organised by Suchitra Film Society in collaboration with the government of Karnataka and is supported by the Kannada Film Industry.