By Sunil Sharma
Chandigarh, Feb 11 : The second edition of the Chandigarh Film Festival was a spectacular abundance of films.
Following the success of the inaugural edition last year, this year too there was tremendous participation by film buffs, moviemakers, academicians as well as intellectuals.
It was really a treat for movie lovers as 30 films, including top grossing Bollywood films, quality children films and critically acclaimed international films were screened at four venues.
"Festivals such as these will broaden the spectrum as well as horizon and opportunities for film directors and actors to enjoy good films. And after the second film festival, I hope this will be a long process every year because celebration is an opportunity for people to get together, enjoy, contemplate and analyse and perhaps think of a new vision," said Nafisa Ali, actress and Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India.
One of India's finest filmmakers, Shyam Benegal, along with film director Madhur Bhandarkar and actor Nafisa Ali, were among those gathered in the city beautiful to make the festival a grand success.
"It is an industry for which you need a huge infrastructure and that comes over a period of time because you have to train in all manners of jobs from carpenters to directors, editing and lighting. That infrastructure unfortunately is available at four or five centres which are film production centres. But if places like Chandigarh, wish to get people to come here, it can be in terms of offering locations," said Benegal.
The Chandigarh administration plans to establish a film city and will ensure technical infrastructure to filmmakers. The growing film industry will help further Chandigarh's place on the world tourism map.
"Our plans include facilitating filmmakers so that they know about the locations because Chandigarh and its neighbouring areas have good locations. So we need to get these locations identified and properly catalogue them and whenever a producer is hunting for a suitable locale, we tell them these are your locations. Over the past one-year, about 12 films have been shot here. I think in the coming year more films are going to be shot. Madhur Bhandarkar's film is going to be shot next month. Sohail Khan is coming with his crew," said Vivek Atray, Director, Tourism, Chandigarh.
Anil Sharma's 'Apne', Samir Karnik's 'Mera Bharat Mahan' and Deepa Mehta's 'Heaven on Earth' are among the many films shot in Chandigarh and Punjab.
Actress and renowned dancer Hema Malini performed 'Durga the Ballet' as part of the festival.
It's a beginning as Chandigarh has mega plans to project itself as the cultural centre with activities ranging from dance, drama, films, fairs and festivals.
The uniqueness of the fiesta was to promote understanding and appreciation of film cultures of different nations.
The four-day festival screened some of the best films and a series of well-planned film related events.