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BRICS Film fest held alongside IFFI for the first time

Goa:28/11/21; We are all from different cultures, different backgrounds, and different thought processes; coming together on the same page to pick out the best film for this competition unanimously is quite an achievement”, said Rahul Rawail, noted Indian film director, editor and Jury Chairperson of the BRICS Film Festival, at a press conference at the 52nd International Film Festival today in Goa today.

For the first time, the BRICS Film Festival was also held alongside the International Film Festival of India being held in Goa from 20-28 November 2021. This is the Sixth Edition of the BRICS Film Festival in which a special package of films from the five countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are showcased.

This year, IFFI has brought together five major emerging economies and leading film production countries of the world. The Jury for this competitive festival comprises 5 members, one from each BRICS country. They are Rahul Rawail (Jury Chairperson) (India), Maria Blanche Alcina de Mendonça (Brazil), Thandi Davids (South Africa), Nina Kochelyaeva (Russia), and Hou Keming (China).

The Jury members watched around twenty films and judged the best films in the five categories of awards which shall consist of a certificate and a memento. The categories are best film, best director, best actor (Male), best actor (Female) and Jury mention award.

Rahul Rawail, Thandi Davids, and Nina Kochelyaeva attended the press conference held at IFFI 52.

The award ceremony of BRICS Film festival will take place at the closing ceremony on the last day of IFFI 52, i.e. 28th November 2021.

Thandi Davids, eminent producer from Brazil and Jury member, agreed on that, saying, “It has been an extraordinary cultural journey for all of us, to be exposed to various cultures, to see the diversity of it all. We learned from these films and the voices we heard from.”

Davids said that these kinds of festivals need to grow and become an entity of their own.  “It is important to elevate the films we make and hear and see our voices through our own eye, not through others. Before this, I have never seen a second World War movie from the Russian perspective, so it was very interesting and refreshing.”

Another Jury member, Nina Kochelyaeva, Senior Researcher and faculty from Russia, said that there was a very good selection of films from each country. Each film represented its own culture, language, and meanings.

She informed that in the last edition of BRICS Film Festival, Russians had a special event which was titled “BRICS Cinema’s Alternative to Hollywood”. Kochelyaeva said, “We bring our vision to the world and we try to develop it because film competitions are not only important to bring our cinema into focus, but it will also bring forth professionals together under one roof and make them visible to the world.”

About women filmmakers taking the center stage in these countries, Rawail said, “Though we are people from different cultures, the basic problems are the same. However, the cultures they were emanating from are different. A lot of it was on woman empowerment. I wish there were more initiatives like this to explore women-driven films in the future too.”

Davids added, “When we see women filmmakers, we think that she is going to talk about a female-based issue. But, there were films that had nothing to do with females at all. The key thing is that these women’s voices are heard. Though there is not a central theme in all these films, the female gaze is there. It’s not about women issues but how a woman sees the world from her perspective.”

OTT platforms are giving way to a new way of watching films but the joy of watching films on big screens will never end. Corroborating on this, Rawail, who has made films like Love Story and Betaabsaid, “I don’t think OTTs will replace big screens. OTTs are great to see films from other countries and to see older movies but it is the filmmaker who will decide if he is making a film for the big screen or for a confined space.”

Davids said that it was very interesting to be in IFFI 52 as BRICS and IFFI are coming together for the first time. It is giving the BRICS film festival more visibility in the framework of IFFI. She hoped the audience will also get to experience these movies and experience the various cultures of other countries.


About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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