Beyond Bollywood

Today tickets are released to the next Göteborg International Film Festival, a festival visited by around 200.000 people every year who during ten days go to films, listen to seminars, hang in the festival tent or take part of many of the other events connected to the festival. For a small city as Göteborg it’s quite a thing to host, as said on the festival website, the fifth largest public film festival in Europe. It’s a time when you can see film otherwise not reachable for the public and from all corners of the world.

This year there is a section ”Beyond Bollywood”, a very concrete result of the three-year cooperation between Region Västra Götaland and the southern state of Karnataka in India. Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, economically it’s way past Hollywood. According to about.com, fourteen million Indians go to see these ”Masala” films, the films produced according to the format with dance, song, love, a hero and a happy ending. But what are produced beyond Bollywood? What questions are the ones of today’s modern India?

The films showed at this year’s festival aim to show a wider perspective, the other films produced. Reading at Wikipedia, India has two official languages, unofficially up to 300 languages are mentioned. In a republic with over one billion inhabitants, of many religions and beliefs, twenty-eight different states, with an incredible economic growth rate and urbanization that is said to be one person per every other second moving in to the cities, the varieties of stories to be told are enormous. In discussion with filmmakers in Bangalore, the lack of quality film education is put forward as one obstacle as why it’s so difficult for the alternative film industry to grow in India. The festival will be visited by the well-known Karnataka film director Girish Kasaravalli and film maker Prakash Belawadi, where questions like this will be discussed.

For more on the cooperation and discussions on film, film education between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka, look at the section ”India” on this site.

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

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