The Chitra Bharati Film Festival is to be organised by an RSS-backed organisation called Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana | Photo: @chitrabhartiff | Twitter
The Chitra Bharati Film Festival is to be organised by an RSS-backed organisation called Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana | Photo: @chitrabhartiff | Twitter
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New Delhi: Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed outfit, is set to organise a film festival in Ahmedabad next month, aiming to establish a ‘Bharatiya’ narrative in Indian cinema.

The festival, called the Chitra Bharati Film Festival (CBFF), will focus on screening films that convey a strong message of social reform and nationalism.

This will be the third edition of the festival — the first was held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, in 2016, and the second at Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium in 2018.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai are set to inaugurate the CBFF, which will run from 21-23 February. Around 140 films falling under four categories are to be screened at the festival. The categories are short film, documentary, animation and campus film.

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Themes and objectives

According to the official poster, the themes for the festival include Bharatiya culture and values; constructive work; Bharatiya family; social harmony; folk art; water, trees and cleanliness; women; national security; valour; nationhood; and ‘Man-making education’, as espoused by Swami Vivekananda, for nation building.

Atul Gangwar, trustee of the Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana and a scriptwriter/director, explained that themes have been chosen to encourage and showcase “cinema that helps build a better society”.

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“The films we have chosen emphasise the importance of values in our society without compromising creativity. We are very clear about our objectives in this regard,” he said.

The stated objectives of CBFF, according to the poster, are:

– To encourage filmmakers who are committed to Bharatiya values.

– To maximise efforts to promote ‘Bharatiyata’ in films in Bharat and abroad.

– To organise competitive film festivals at local, national and international levels.

– To identify and train young women and men with an aptitude for audio-video production, and to train them in the various aspects of filmmaking.

– To create a corpus to provide finance to films promoting ‘Bharatiyata’.

– To create awareness amongst the masses to appreciate good films.

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Films to be screened

Some of the films to be screened at CBFF 2020 include 1971: The Unsung Heroes, a tale of 250 women in Rajasthan who had made an airstrip for the Indian Air Force in 48 hours after a Pakistani air attack had destroyed the existing one.

Another film is based on the real-life story of the first RSS pracharak in Kerala to be killed by the Left.

One of the key programmes of the Narendra Modi government, swachhta or cleanliness, will also be highlighted in another film.

The organisers are set to give out around 30 awards in different categories at the CBFF.

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Personalities set to attend

The 2018 edition of the festival was notable for the participation of film personalities such as Hema Malini (now a two-time BJP MP), Ghai, Priyadarshan, Madhur Bhandarkar, Arjun Rampal and lyricist Prasoon Joshi.

The event also featured four ‘masterclasses’, including one on script-writing by K.V. Prasad, the writer of blockbuster Baahubali.

This time, the attendees’ list is expected to include actors Victor Banerjee, Raveena Tandon, Annu Kapoor, Manisha Koirala, Ashutosh Rana, Pallavi Joshi, Vikram Gokhale and Manish Paul; filmmakers Rajdutt, Priyadarshan, Vivek Agnihotri and Rahul Rawail; singers Hans Raj Hans (also a BJP MP) and Malini Awasthi; and classical dance guru Sonal Mansingh.

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