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Equal platform film fest

Puri, Feb. 24: The beach near Chakra Tirtha Road here is witnessing a deluge of different kind. A tide of film-makers is making their presence felt at the 10th edition of ongoing Bring Your Own Film Festival (BYOFF).

BYOFF is a festival without hierarchy, competition, juries or awards. Film-makers, theatre artistes, singers, painters, poets and film viewers throng the place to soak in the ambience of cinematic innovation.

Till Saturday morning, 70-odd films had been shown and the festival was expected to screen at least 120 films before it called curtains. Among these, 10 films were in Odia, 20 in Bengali and rest in Hindi and English.

Films as short as two minutes and some as long as two hours are being screened simultaneously. A film each from Netherlands, UK, USA and Canada were also screened. The festival has two screens named Bhadaas and Dho. The screenings begin at sunset and go on till 2am.

Renowned cinematographer Sukant Panigrahi’s Kapala — an art installation of a skull made of e-waste — is being exhibited at the festival.

On Saturday, controversial Bengali director Q too screened his short films OK Brothers and Suzzane.

On the completion of 10 years, one of the founding members of the festival, director Sushant Misra, said: “It is a ferociously independent festival. We face financial crunch but every year we manage it easily, somehow. Over the last 10 years, 5,000 filmmakers have participated in the festival.”

On the future of the festival, another patron, TV artiste Gurpal Singh, said: “It all started like a blind date. The festival gives an equal platform to everyone — be it a veteran film-maker or a college graduate.”

BYOFF does not have any bar on any kind of film. “I know people who make films just to screen it at BYOFF. We do not want to fill seats but want creative people to come and exchange ideas,” said Singh, who was recently seen playing a cameo in Special 26.

Bhubaneswar-based filmmakers Amartya Bhattacharyya and Swastik Choudhury, who screened their Bengali film Niloye Jokhon on Saturday, said the festival was a far cry from the oppressive atmosphere of bureaucratic control in big cities and an excellent concept.