The Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival brings the best of food and cinema from West Bengal
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Feluda, a fictional Bengali private investigator created by Satyajit Ray, the Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival (HBFF) is back with its fifth edition.
The three-day annual event will promote the theme of cultural exchange between Telangana and Bengal by hosting the screening of eight curated Bengali films. “The idea behind choosing this theme is to connect our community with the local culture. What better way to do it than with films,” says Partha Pratim Mallik, the Director of HBFF and the General Secretary of the Bengali community in Hyderabad. To kick-off the Telugu segment, two national award winning films, Tharun Bhascker’s Pelli Choopulu and Rajesh Touchriver’s Naa Bangaru Talli, will be screened. The event will also have food stalls offering cuisines from both the states – West Bengal and Telangana.
The first edition of the festival was held in 2014. “It took us three months of meticulous planning and discussion before we finalised our schedule for the first season,” shares Pratha. He adds that the aim has always been to use cinema, a multidimensional medium, to treat Hyderabad-settled Bengalis with their hometown Tollywood movies. The founding committee includes Oindrila Mallik Basu, Mithun Ranjit, Avishek Das, Rahul Basu and Debabrata Dey.
Back to Ray
Talking about Feluda, Partha says that this popular detective has been an iconic character that most Bengalis relate to. “It’s a privilege for us to be able to screen Sandip Ray’s Bombaiyer Bombete and a documentary by Sagnik Chatterjee, both of which celebrate Ray and Feluda,” he adds. Apart from the film screenings, audience will be treated to discussions with respective filmmakers, after each show, a panel discussion on Bengali-Telugu cultural exchange. Post that, there will be an award ceremony where there will be six categories including people’s choice and jury’s choice awards. Pratha clarifies that the two Telugu films and Feluda are special movies that will be screened and thus, will not be in the nominations.
Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Bibhash Chakraborty, Satarupa Sanyal, Sunitha Krishnan, A P Jitendra Reddy, Siladitya Sen, Arpita Ghosh, Sujay Dutta Ray, Swastika Mukherjee
Donor passes are available online and can be pre-booked.
The festival begins on June 30 and ends on July 2.
At Prasad Labs (Prasad Preview Theatre), Road no. 2, Banjara Hills. From 9.30 am onwards.