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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival: Thriving towards a greener Earth

A 10-year-old festival, Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) happens in 30 cities across seven states.

pune Updated: Jan 07, 2018 16:37 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Children attending an awareness session on environment issues and climate change at the KVIFF.
Children attending an awareness session on environment issues and climate change at the KVIFF. (HT Photo)

Pune is known for a wide variety of festivals, be it in the realm of music (Sawai Gandharva, NH7, Supersonic and Sunburn), national and international culture (Ganesh Festival and Oktoberfest), cuisine (Farmer’s Market and Wine Fest), popular agri fests such as Bhimtadi Jatra, the Pune Design Festival in all realms of design and of course, the Pune International Film Festival.

The Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Festival (KVIFF) is among the latest to make a mark with its silent and dedicated effort in popularising and spreading awareness on environment-related issues.

Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Festival (KVIFF) was born out of a suggestion 10 years ago. According to Festival director, Virendra Chitrav, “It started with an interesting idea in Pune during an industrial expo. The theme that year was environment. The Kirloskar Group called me for suggestions. My architecture and interior design background helped me create some interesting ideas. I suggested an eco-friendly main entrance arch, a central fountain and the third thing which worked wonders was the pandal.”

The beginning

The pandal at the expo would be used between 10 am-4 pm to showcase company presentations and press conferences. “After discussing we started screening films and lectures on environment as that was the theme that year. This is when I realised that there is definitely a special crowd for cinema, drama and music. But there is a bigger number of crowd that is interested in environment. This section is concerned about the Earth and wants to work towards protecting.” Today, the festival is closely moderated and supported by Arti and Atul Kirloskar.

Surprisingly, Chitrav noticed that 40 per cent of the crowd would be the youth and the festival was brimming with people since day one. “The same year we held the first KVIFF and there has been no looking back. I remember in the first year I had printed 1500 invites for a capacity of 300 people in National Film Archive of India. Interestingly all the invites were used on day one. The second year we had a huge crowd again at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, Kothrud.

Reaching out beyond Pune

After three successful years, the festival received invitations to present outside Pune. “We got invitations outside Pune. The Kirloskars decided that the festival should start at destinations where Kirloskar establishments exist. Now it happens in 30 cities of seven states every year.”

No celebs or glamour at the event

Issues relating to environment and wildlife are the constant focus of the festival, year after year. “We look out for relevant films and topics throughout the year and then bring it to this platform. The idea is to have genuine and authentic people related to the field instead of getting celebrities or glamorous personalities. This principle is followed at every city event. We felicitate local heroes so that the common man is aware of his existence thus making it easier to spread awareness. We have a database of all the people involved with us so far, for example, if you are looking at tips on rain water harvesting, you can contact one of our Vasundhara honours recipients and they will guide you.”

Highlights through the years

This is the century of environmental issues and the Kirloskar Vasundhara festival hopes to work as a community to solve it together. With initiatives such as GCCC ‘Green College, Clean College’, six colleges out of 80 educational institutions from the city excelled- Sir Parashurambhau College (SP) bagged the first prize and the second prize went to Tikaram Jagannath College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Khadki.

Fergusson College and Banuben Nanavati College of Architecture jointly shared the third prize. While the HV Desai College and DES Law College won the consolation prize, Symbiosis College for Management Studies, Shri Manilal Nanavati Vocational Training Institute for Women, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University’s environment department and Institute of Management and Career Courses were awarded certificates of participation.

A college initiative by Kirloskar and Vasundhara Club, Kirloskar Vasundhara Eco Rangers (KVER) has been active for three years. “Around 80 colleges from Pune city associated themselves with this noble cause of environment protection,” said Chitrav. The award will be given on January 7 at Pt Jawaharlal Nehru Sanskrutik Bhavan, Ghole road.

First Published: Jan 07, 2018 16:37 IST

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