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Monday, January 23, 2006


Have been wanting to blog this since walking out of KaraFilm Festival's closing/awards night, which we finally did due to an extremely late start ("VVIP mooment ho raha hae; dayr to ho gee. Taenu jaldi kyaa hae?", as one RoboCop had barked).

In fact we left as soon as the President arrived and we realized that there would be even more speeches and ceremonies and security beef-ups. An underlying reason that 'got to us' was the creeping, increasingly unbearable horror of realization that the venue was most antithetical to such human-centred events: The PAF Museum, 'decorated' with pedestalled engines of destruction.

The Good News for KaraFilm Fests is that it has come of age. More films, more participants, more audiences, more venues, more sponsors. Great results for the dedicated and extremely hardworking team that has been at it relentlessly and with much less support than people imagine. And now they have a 'ModEn' President patronizing it.

But this last bit of Good News could also spell Bad News. Unlike the Presidential (and, thus, Governmental) patronage of the APMC - for all sorts of reasons, none negative - this could, unless vigilance is excercised, prove non-productive. There are, at APMC concerts, no anti-Government Raags, no dissenting Taals, no politically inspired performances (other than the words of the Sufis, if people only delved a little deeper). Film Festivals, worldwide, tend to primarily be the meeting ground of such protest material. From Michael Moore's larger-than-life movies to The Little Terrorist or Submission, they strike at the roots of all that is wrong around us, at least in the eyes of independent film-makers. Like Deepa Mehta and Anand Patwardhan's films, they challenge or highlight taboos. Some better than others. A few offering alternatives. But ALL making one think. And thinking, often, leads to action. And action to reaction.

Given the reactions of the President to some forms of dissent and the Prime Minister's recent statement (quoted in the Press with reference to a partial ban on cable channel content) that he would like to prevent the showing of material that was against our religion, state, culture, vaghaerah (now that's going to be a really hard one to figure out for censorship but may help shut down PTV!), the strings of patronage could as easily become the ropes for throttling a truly independent selection. I am not saying they will. All I am saying is that the guys at the KaraFilm Festival need to be on their toes and need all our support. Here's hoping there will be even more venues added next year, with at least one on 'the other side of the bridge'!

Three cheers for the KaraFilm gang. I love you!

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Blogger sabizak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 January, 2006 21:51

Blogger The Prophecy said...

If you want no government, get no big media. Kara went to big media. Now wait and just watch.

27 January, 2006 02:24


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