The 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which kicked off in Goa yesterday has decided not to showcase any ‘mainstream’ (read blockbuster Hindi cinema) Indian cinema in the entire festival. Last year, the mainstream section of the film festival showcased blockbusters such as Krrish, Lage Raho Munnabhai, and Rang De Basanti and there were huge serpentine queues to watch these films.
Apparently, the perennial debate over whether popular Bollywood cinema should be referred to as ‘mainstream’ cinema or whether there is no need to differentiate cinema across the country could well have been one reason why the Directorate decided to go ahead and make the festival conspicuous by the absence of the usual Bollywood glam and focus.
Even the Indian Panorama segment which usually showcases such mainstream films is devoid of any popular blockbuster Hindi film. The two Hindi films that will be showcased in this segment are Sameer Hanchate’s Gafla and Bhavna Talwar’s controversial film Dharm.
One of the complains of the organizing committee is that many Bollywood producers were unwilling to provide subtitles for their films.
While the real reason for omitting Bollywood from the festival is still not 100% certain, what seems ironical is the fact that the festival was inaugurated by none other than King of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan himself. The drama surely can’t get more Filmy than this at IFFI.