Polish filmmaker and actress Ewa Bukowska taking part in the discussion at GIFF

Filmmakers from different parts of the globe believe that film festivals help in building a healthy film culture. Taking part in an open forum on the topic ‘Impact of Film Festivals in Propagating Film Culture’ at the third edition of Guwahati International Film Festival on November 3, they also opined that attending film festivals have helped the filmmakers as well as viewers in many aspects.

Prominent Polish filmmaker and actress Ewa Bukowska said that festivals also help women filmmakers to get a space.

“Unfortunately, movie industry is still dominated by men. But film festivals like this helps the women filmmakers to break the barriers and be counted. When people like my work and realise it after screening at festivals…this is a step towards changing the situation. But the work must be very deep and strong to change the situation,” Bukowska said.

Her film ‘War 53’ was screened at the Guwahati International Film Festival. It narrates the story of Anna, whose husband is an acclaimed 1990s war correspondent, keeps waiting for him to return safely from each war he reports from. But soon she gets overwhelmed by fear and anxiety.

Bukowska, however, believes that situation has changed for better. “Our voice is still depreciated. This makes me very sad. Because of the biological differences, it impacts on our viewpoints on the same situation. It’s not a story about the victims but about strong women too. I make movie on strong women… Men want to see/ portray women as very weak…but we are not weak… we give birth…can you imagine the effort in it? I think, now in the 21st century, we are stronger than men in Europe,” said the 53-year-old Bukowska who is also a script writer and producer.

The 3rd edition of GIFF which is being organized by state government-owned Jyoti Chitraban in association with the Dr Bhupen Hazarika Regional Government Film and Television Institute (DBHRGFTI) will screen more than 100 films from around 65 countries. And among these, good number of films is by female directors.

Bukoswa said that she is hopeful that someday soon GIFF will have a 50-50 ratio of male and female filmmakers.

“Maybe in the 10th edition here, we will have 50 per cent female filmmakers,” she added.

The open forum was attended by a host of renowned panellists like actor and director from Finland Heikki Kujanpää, filmmaker and actor from Bangladesh Noor Imran Mithu and award winning film critic Manoj Barpujari. Roma Zachemba, a Poland born film personality based in Trinidad and Tobago, moderated the discussion.

Among others they have discussed on ‘female gaze’ and other contemporary issues of filmmaking and festivals.

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