Siddaramaiah promises to end long wait for State film awards

In a significant announcement that has sparked enthusiasm among personalities in the Kannada film industry, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah assured that the Karnataka State Film Awards, which have been pending for a considerable duration, would shortly be presented to the deserved winners. Addressing a distinguished gathering at the 15th Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), the Chief Minister stated, “Committees have been formed to decide on the winners from the year 2019. Based on the reports from the committees, we will soon give away the awards.”

Karnataka’s cultural scene echoed with applause as the Chief Minister declared the film festival open, unveiling an extensive lineup of global cinema. Sharing his hopes with the audience, Siddaramaiah expressed, “I would love to see films spreading the message of love and humanity. I urge film buffs to use this opportunity to watch the best of films from across the world.”

The anticipation for the prestigious Karnataka State Film Awards has grown, especially since the government had previously unveiled the award winners for the 2018-19 season, yet the official award ceremony to honor them has been on hold. Further delays were encountered with the announcement of subsequent award winners, with the pandemic playing a major role in these postponements.

Amidst the glamour of the inauguration event, which took place at the grand staircase of the Vidhana Soudha, several luminaries from the film industry and political spheres were in attendance. Notable among them were actor Dhananjaya, appointed as the brand ambassador for the festival, superstar Shivarajkumar, and acclaimed filmmaker Jabbar Patel, all of whom brought their charisma to the evening.

Dhananjaya, not just a face in the crowd but the representative voice for the fraternity, made a compelling case for the government’s continued support. He requested that the government resume the practice of extending subsidies to filmmakers, emphasizing the financial hardships that the recent pandemic has inflicted particularly on the newer generation in the film industry.

The festival, which began Friday following this colorful inauguration, promises a visual feast with approximately 180 films from over 50 countries scheduled to be displayed across 11 screens at Orion Mall. Audiences can also catch some screenings at Dr. Rajkumar Bhavana and Suchitra Cinema and Cultural Academy, adding variety to the venues hosting this cinematic spectacle.

One of the festival’s highlights came from Jabbar Patel, renowned for his cinematic masterpiece ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’ (2000) starring Mammootty. He shared an inspiring account of the global journey of his film and his aspiration to have it dubbed in Kannada. Patel recalled an instance when the Chief Justice of England praised Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s constitution after viewing the film. He seized the occasion to express his wishes to the Kannada film industry and the government: “Now that the unofficial ban on dubbing in the state has been lifted, I request that ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’ be dubbed in Kannada to allow the people of Karnataka to experience the film in their mother tongue.”

As the Bengaluru International Film Festival unfurls its magic, details on film screenings and passes are made available, calling upon all cinephiles to partake in this global expo of cinema. For more information, interested parties are encouraged to visit the festival’s official website.

This momentous film festival, paralleled by the promised resolve of awarding the long-awaited Karnataka State Film Awards, marks a celebratory restoration and resurgence of enthusiasm within the Karnataka film community.

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