It was always my dream to bring the connoisseurs of cinema under one roof. Working in India in the 1970s, we struggled to gain access to global cinema. We would yearn to meet senior filmmakers and seek guidance from them. Through bits and pieces, we learnt and executed our films. And when they were finally released, we had to worry about finding audiences – as they were dispersed and mostly used to seeing ‘mainstream’ cinema
Today’s Pune is buzzing with youthful energy. The citizens are exposed to various kinds of films. This enriches their cinematic tastes greatly. Students of cinema make films that are topical in their subjects and global in their treatment. All this makes it conducive to building a platform for independent and so-called ‘off-beat’ films.
Such a platform also gives an opportunity for audiences and budding filmmakers to interact with each other. They can also meet the legends that have made cinema what it is today – a medium that reflects what the world looks like; with its grief, loneliness and also, moments of joy and camaraderie.
Hence, PIFF. The festival’s vision is to strike a rich cultural exchange and give audiences access to global cinema. We also aim to give representation to indigenous cinema and help young filmmakers in understanding how international audiences see it. We are slowly and surely developing a discourse that adds to the richness of the culture in Pune. It is overwhelming that PIFF has become an important event on the cultural calendar of the city. We now step forward to develop a similar film culture all over Maharashtra, through its extended film festivals.