From the golden age to the modern, the film industry has been changing rapidly over the years. A new crop of filmmakers have emerged, introducing audiences to topics that are lesser spoken of. Not to forget, the new-age films are backed by a rich history. Both these reasons serve as an inspiration to many in the city to start film clubs and fests.

The Counter Cultural Film Festival (CCFF), which is an initiative of five people, will be held at Lamakaan, Banjara Hills from July 1-5. It is open for all. The five member group consists of Akshat Ajay Sharma, director of Singam 123; Subbareddy Addapala, manager of Lamakaan; Nayeem Mohammed from Cinema Talks; Gopala Krishna AB, founder of Independent Cinema Space Hyderabad and Kranti Tekula.

“All the films in CCFF include people who have questioned the status-quo in some way. It’s been an idea that we all had discussed for a long time and have finally been able to put it together”, says Gopala Krishna. The first film to be screened at the festival is a social satire Telugu film, ‘Aakali Rajyam’, directed by K Balachander in 1981. Other films scheduled to be screened include, ‘In Custody’ by Ismail Merchant’ and ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ by Banksy – films that go against the social system in some way.

SS Prakash Reddy, secretary of Hyderabad Film Club Gopala Krishna, who is a graduate of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, and has about 5 years of work experience in Mumbai, says, “The problem with most of us is that we don’t think sufficiently. Movies like these are important to watch because they make you think and question what is around.” Gopala Krishna has also started other initiatives like Roots Commune and Hyderabad Trails. He had previously conducted the International Women’s Film Festival of Hyderabad in March 2014.

The Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival (HBFF) is another initiative that made its debut last year. Started by the Bengalis In Hyderabad group, the fest brought eight Bengali films, subtitled in English. HBFF brought in directors of several films like Churni Ganguly and Kaushik Ganguly, etc.

While newer film clubs like the ones mentioned above have come up in recent times, the forty-one-year-old Hyderabad Film Club remains popular. Established in 1974, this club began with the objective to promote the study and appreciation of good films of all genres and languages. SS Prakash Reddy, secretary of Hyderabad Film Club (HFC), organises the screenings. 

The HFC has in the past had Satyajit Ray Film Festival, Guru Dutt Film Festival, Hyderabad International Film Festival, etc.“We get our films from Foreign Embassies and Consulate Generals. That is how we screen films from various nationalities,” says SS Prakash Reddy. 

The HFC is now waiting to start their Taiwan Film Fest featuring award winning Taiwanese films from July 24 to 26 at Prasad’s Film Labs. With film clubs such as these, Hyderabadis might just be developing a new-found appetite for all that the cinematic world can offer.

By:Elita Enoch