Filmmakers and critics have opined that festivals help in promoting film as an art form. Taking part in an open forum at the 3rd edition of Guwahati International Film Festival (GIFF) on Saturday, national award winning filmmaker Manju Bora said that festivals like GIFF should also travel to smaller towns so that a film watching culture can be developed.

“I must thank the state government for initiating a festival like this and it’s great to watch the college and university students coming to watch the world cinema. I hope at least 10 percent of these students will think and realise about the cinema and that will make a huge difference,” said Bora who recently won national award for her film ‘In the Land of Poison Women’ in Pangchenpa dialect.

Her film is based on a village in Arunachal Pradesh near the border of China administered Tibet. It is about a blind belief in the Pangchenpa community that women have Poison in their nails and when they serve food to the males they die immediately or slowly. But the modern educated generation is trying to eradicate this belief from their society.

In the Land of Poison Woman was also screened at the festival on Saturday.

Speaking further on the need of creating a film watching culture, Borah said that small festivals should be organized in smaller towns to give the opportunity to more number of people.

“Then we can hope to popularise the film as an art form,” she said.

Internationally acclaimed film critic, curator and festival adviser Premendra Mazumder who moderated the discussion said that the film is an already very popular medium but it needs to be popularised as an art form.

Mazumder further dealt with the initiatives taken by the West Bengal and Kerala governments to popularise and promote the cinema as an art.

“In that regard Assam and Guwahati is the latest edition,” he said.

National award winning film critic and author Apurba Sharma also advocated that a healthy atmosphere and audience needs to be created before popularising the film as an art form. Film critic Christopher Dalton was also participated in the open forum.

The festival will screen more than 100 films from around 65 countries at four halls — three at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra and one at Jyoti Chitraban.

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